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  • Writer's pictureDr. G

What is Dental Assisting?

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Dental Assistants are professionals that work as part of the dental team. They assist a dental practitioner in offering more efficient dental care. Dental Assistants differ from other dental auxiliaries in training, functions, and patient scope of practice.

A Dental Assistant is an individual who is a vital part of the dental care team because they help the dentist provide high-quality oral health care. Dental assisting is for you if you have good communication skills, enjoy working with your hands and brain, and desire a profession with responsibilities.

What Is a Dental Assistant?

An assistant is an oral health professional who works collaboratively with a dentist and under their supervision. They assist the dentist during specific dental treatments and work with patients by conducting activities before and after the dentist visits.

Dental Assistants are well-trained individuals who make a substantial contribution to the dental team. They take care of various tasks, including patient care, office work, and laboratory work.

A Dental Assistant's particular responsibilities are dictated by the assistant's background, credentials, state legislation, and the dentist for whom the assistant works. As dentists perform exams and operations, dental assistants provide patient care and chair-side assistance.

Dental Assistants may polish teeth or teach appropriate dental care to patients. Still, their most frequent patient interaction happens when they collaborate with a dentist on operations that could benefit from extra assistance. They are distinct from dental hygienists in that they provide more unsupervised patient care.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

Assistants help dentists arrange and organize the items they'll need to work on a patient. Their responsibilities differ depending on the state and the dentist's office where they operate. They assist patients in feeling at ease in the dentist's office and perform reception responsibilities.

They work with patients to ensure that they stick to treatment regimens and maintenance schedules. As dentists finish exams and procedures, dental assistants give patient care and chair-side support. People may notice dental assistants passing equipment, but it is only the start of their technical abilities.

Assisting with dental treatments such as fillings, crowns, and extractions are some of the other technical duties of a dental assistant. A dental assistant can also do tests that aren't too difficult and don't necessitate the involvement of a dentist or dental surgeon.

A Dental Assistant may be required in small dental clinics to organize appointments and assist the dentist with various responsibilities in addition to dental procedures, diagnoses, treatment, and patient care. The dentist supervises most dental assistants, who work closely with dental hygienists.

What Is Required To Be a Dental Assistant?

Dental Assistants should either have graduated from a recognized program or have a high school diploma and have completed the requisite work experience to be eligible for DANB certification. Applicants must also have current CPR certification (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

Formal education or on-the-job experience are the two methods to become a dental assistant. Most dentists nowadays prefer to recruit a professional and nationally qualified dental assistant. Dental assistants must also graduate from an accredited dental assistant program and pass a state exam in some states.

Many universities (particularly community colleges) offer four- to six-month certificate programs in dental assisting and an associate's degree in dental assisting that may contain general education courses. All of these programs should incorporate supervised hands-on experience as well as classroom learning.

You can learn everything you need to know to be a successful dental assistant in just ten weeks. Most students perceive dental assistant training to be difficult, but working as a dental assistant will come naturally to you if you pay close attention to the smallest of details.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Dental Assistant?

Most students participate in a dental assistant training program at a post-secondary institution like a vocational school or a community college. Whether you earn a certificate, diploma, or associate degree, these training programs typically last 9 to 11 months.

You must complete a training program to become a certified dental assistant. Once you've completed your courses, you'll be eligible for a professional externship, which will provide you with hands-on experience in the dental sector and can be used to boost your resume.

The physical training comprises 120 hours of work with and observation of the dentist and employees at a dental office. You will be eligible to enter the industry and work as a dental assistant once you complete your training and externship. Becoming a dental assistant is a fantastic career decision.

It not only allows you to deal with patients and assist them with their dental health, but it is also expected to be high-growth and demand employment in the coming decade. Any prospective dental assistant must have both academic and practical knowledge to be prepared for each step of the journey.

How Much Do Dental Assistants Make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that Dental Assistants earn an annual salary of around $40,000 and an hourly compensation of $19.00. These prices may differ depending on your company, level of expertise, and region. The dental sector is a fantastic career option that provides stability, decent compensation.

On average, the hourly wage for a Dental Assistant in September 2021 is $19, but the range typically ranges between $17 and $21. Many factors influence your hourly rate, including your education, certifications, complementary skills, and the number of years you've worked in your area.

Under the direct supervision of any senior dentist, a dental assistant aids with dental surgery and other operations. A Dental Assistant assists the dentist by handing instruments to the dentist and helping during treatment. Ensures that all devices are sterile and that infection control procedures are followed.

How do I pursue a career as a Dental Assistant?

If you want to be a Dental assistant, DAACF can help you gain some insight! Our Accelerated Dental Assisting Academy is a 8-Week Course that will allow you to become a Certified Extended Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA) in just 8 weeks! While many opt to attend schools that provide two-year associate's degrees, Dental Assistant Training programs are an excellent choice for entry-level workers with a high school diploma or GED. Our program offers affordable education and certification for those who wish to gain knowledge, clinical experience and enter the workforce in as little as 2 months. For more information, contact us, book a tour or enroll today!


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