Are you interested in a career as a dental assistant but not sure what comes with the job? When beginning this career path, it could be useful to familiarize yourself with typical dental assistant duties. That can mean asking yourself, ‘what are the duties of a dental assistant?’ as there are many ways to answer this question.
Dental assistants are a vital part of any dental healthcare team. Dental assistant duties can include patient care, recordkeeping, and appointment scheduling. Their duties vary by state and by the dentists’ offices in which they work¹. Still, the core skills of dental care and administrative work are key for success in this career.
Many of these skills can be learned through dental assistant career training. Therefore, it’s important to find an accredited dental training school designed to help you gain the skills and knowledge needed to pursue entry-level employment as a dental assistant. If you are considering a dental assistant career, here are some important questions to ask about what to expect from the job.
What are the duties of a dental assistant?
Asking the question ‘why choose a dental assistant career?’ can lead to your sought-after answers on whether becoming a dental assistant is the right career path. If dental assistant duties and responsibilities feel rewarding to you, then it’s time to look into what you could expect.
Dental assistant duties delegated to an assistant are very important for the functionality of any dental office. Dental assistants work under the supervision of dentists and work closely with dental hygienists in their day-to-day activities². Their role in a dental office is crucial because their duties help to keep dental procedures running smoothly and office operations organized and efficient. Dental assistants duties consist of the following:
- Ensure that patients are comfortable in the dental chair
- Prepare patients and the work area for treatments and procedures
- Sterilize dental instruments
- Hand instruments to dentists during procedures
- Dry patients’ mouths using suction hoses and other equipment
- Instruct patients in proper oral hygiene
- Process x rays and complete lab tasks under the direction of a dentist
- Keep records of dental treatments
- Schedule patient appointments
- Work with patients on billing and payment¹
As you can see, there are many dental assistant duties to perform on a day-to-day basis. These are challenging but rewarding tasks to help patients with their dental hygiene and care. Learning about these skills can lead to the next steps in your dental assistant career training journey.
What schooling is required to become a dental assistant?
Now that you have established ‘I want to become a dental assistant’, it’s important to ask questions about the formal education required to become one. When exploring what schooling is required to become a dental assistant, many resources may suggest enrolling in dental assisting programs.
Some states require dental assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam³. Enrolling in dental assistant career training could pose additional questions, such as ‘is dental assistant school difficult to work into a busy schedule?’
If you are looking to add schooling to family, work, or social commitments, it is important to seek out a flexible training program. Many training programs could be completed in 12 – 15 months with the flexibility of day and evening classes.
Why choose a dental assistant career?
The demand for dental assistants could offer many opportunities for entry-level dental assistants to begin their career journey. As dental practices grow, more dental assistants will be needed4.
Dental assistant career training programs offer entry into the dental healthcare field. It can be a rewarding career choice potentially filled with options for advancement and additional schooling. But your dental assistant career could be off to an exciting start by selecting the right dental assistant career training school.
For anyone who has decided ‘I want to become a dental assistant,’ Blue Cliff College could help you train toward making your career goals a reality. By enrolling in our dental assistant career training program, you could learn the necessary dental assistant duties to help you succeed.
At Blue Cliff College, our dental assisting curriculum is designed with your future in mind. With these classes under your belt, you could be better prepared to tackle the dental assistant world and build a career you could be proud of.
For those wondering, ‘is dental assistant school difficult?’, managing school on top of personal obligations need not become a worry. We offer day and night classes for our training program at two of our locations:
Blue Cliff College also offers flexible financing plans to those students who qualify. Financial plans vary, depending on the length of the program being financed and the amount of the student’s initial down payment.