Dental Assistant Career
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What a Dental Assistant does:
A Dental Assistant performs patient care duties under the supervision of a dentist. Dental Assistants can also perform administrative and some laboratory tasks.
The main duties of a Dental Assistant include:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Sending bills and keeping track of payments received
- Sterilizing and disinfecting dental equipment
- Preparing the dental surgery for each patient
- Obtaining a patients dental records
- Preparing patients for treatment
- Assisting the dentist during the procedure e.g. using the suction device, passing instruments to the dentist and keeping the patient comfortable
- Educating patients on oral health care
- Performing laboratory duties i.e. making temporary crowns and impressions of teeth
Education & Qualifications:
The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) within the American Dental Association (ADA) is the accreditation body for Dental Assistant Programs. Programs cover subjects such as dental assisting skills and theory, preclinical instruction and also consist of supervised clinical practice.
Most Programs are 1 year in duration, where successful students graduate with a certificate or diploma. Some Community and Junior Colleges offer 2 year programs where students will graduate with an associate degree. Having a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for enrolling in a Dental Assistant program.
Salary & Job Prospects:
On average Dental Assistants earn between $20,000 and $45,000 per year. Employment in this area is expected to increase faster than average. Some entry level positions offer on the job training but job prospects are better for those with formal training.
Find an Allied Health School near you:
Use the Further Your Career zip code search box to find schools and colleges in your area that offer alliedhealth / medical technology programs.
Below is a list of some of the various types of allied health careers / professions: