Dental assistants play a key role in the operation of a dentist’s work. They assist patients in preparing for teeth cleaning, dental work and x-rays. It is a good job to start your career as a dental hygienist or a dentist.
Why Become A Dental Hygienist?
- It is a good job. Similar to other careers in the field of healthcare, work in a dental office offers a comfortable, temperature controlled environment where you get to work with others. As a dental assistant, you won’t be glued to a computer all day or sit in the same chair for hours on end. You’ll work with a dentist who works with his or her patients. You’ll perform additional duties as needed so that the dental office can meet the needs of its patients. Some of your duties as a dental assistant will include the sterilization of dental tools, taking a patient’s oral x-rays, assisting the hygienist and dentist in their duties, and scheduling a patient’s follow up visit. The dental school clinic will train you in the latest safety protocols, so that patients and dental workers will not be subjected to injury or diseases.
- You can gain real-world experience while you learn. Often, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a dental office, gaining experience, while you study at a dental school clinic. The combination of book learning and on-the-job experience will solidify your professional training. This is a people-centered job. You’ll have the opportunity to learn and work alongside fellow dental assistant students, teachers, dental hygienists, and dentists. You’ll also get to work with patients from across the community.
- You’ll have job security and mobility. Dental assistants work wherever dentists work, and that is in virtually every city. The dental industry is needed everywhere. In 2017, more than 127 million American adults saw a dentist in the United States. Additionally, you have the ability to work with and for orthodontists, oral surgeons, and endodontists. Dental professions are needed anywhere there are people. Dental health is vital to a person’s overall health, which is one of the reasons people visit dentists.
- Dental assisting is growing industry. According to Data USA, there were over 291,000 dental assistants in the U.S. in 2018. Projected job growth for the next 10 years is expected to be nearly 20%. The average salary is between $32,000 and $35,000. It is a career for both men and women, although women currently occupy 90% of dental assistant jobs.
In less than a year, you could earn a Certificate in Dental Assisting from a dental school clinic or dental college and be prepared to enter the workforce as a dental assistant. You’ll have a career that helps people, a career that is upwardly mobile, and a career that you can be proud of.