When you visit the dentist, you’re probably seen by a dental assistant along with the dentist. You may have an idea of what they do: assist the dentist. But a dental assistant’s job is much more than handing the dentist instruments during a routine dental cleaning. VIP Dental Assistant School in St. Louis offers a hands-on, dynamic learning course in dental assistant training. Contact us for more information on our amazing program!
WHAT DOES A DENTAL ASSISTANT DO?
The job of a dental assistant is ever-changing, constantly-varied, and multi-faceted. Each day is different and those who love a challenge, love people, and love to help others excel in this field. A dental assistant requires many skills. Some are listed below:
- Technical. Part of the technical aspect of a dental assistant’s role is to know which dental tools to use with various procedures. However, dental assistants must understand all of the dental procedures, such as fillings, crowns, and root canals. They take X-rays, depending on the state’s requirements of certification. They make tooth molds.
- Administrative. These tasks will vary, but you’ll need good computer skills to enter data into the computer about the patient, schedule appointments, and answer billing questions to some extent. You’ll probably intake the patient’s medical history and be in charge of infection control i.e. sterilizing all the instruments.
- People. Odds are, the dental patient does not want to be at the dentist. Hence, this is probably the most important part of being a dental assistant — making the patient feel at home at the dentist’s office. You will settle the patient in, explain the procedures, and listen to them idly chit-chat to relieve their nerves. Answering patients’ questions about procedures and aftercare are paramount to a dental assistant’s job.
- Increase efficiency of the dentist. Your days will vary based on the tasks, but your overall job is to help the dentist focus on client oral health care, while you help him or her with all the other little tasks running a dental practice requires.
- Teacher. A dental assistant is called upon to educate patients about proper dental hygiene such as brushing teeth, flossing, and other dental care issues.
Dental assisting is one of the fastest growing healthcare occupations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 19% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for other occupations. Dental assistants make good money (median pay is over $37,000/year), and the opportunity for advancement is substantial. Furthermore, the schedule is often flexible, and a dental office is pleasant and community-oriented.
There are a variety of employment opportunities for dental assistants as well. You can work for a solo dentist or a multi-staff office. Specialty practices such as orthodontics, periodontics, and oral and maxillofacial surgery are more opportunities for a dental assistant.
VIP Dental Assistant School in St. Louis offers classes on Sundays for your convenience as well as hands-on laboratory work. Our goal is to give you a head-start on your dental assistant career by providing the best training and practice possible. Contact us today to get started!