Patients commonly misunderstand the need for dental assistants and what duties they perform. This leads to a series of misconceptions that diminish the value of these hard-working, essential professionals in the dentistry field. These are the top misconceptions about being a dental assistant and how they simply aren’t true.
There’s No Demand in the Job Market
The outside observer might think there’s little need for dental assistants in the industry. In actuality, this occupation is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the field. With the diverse nature of their work and their ability to assist with most essential dental office practices, dental assistants are needed in nearly every dental health institution in the country. As such, the job market expects to see a continuous increase in demand.
There’s Little Opportunity for Growth
People also generally think that once someone obtains a dental assisting position, there’s no room for them to continue growing in the industry. Fortunately, this is also untrue. These individuals have ample opportunities to pursue advanced certifications and to hone their skills. They can choose to accept more hands-on work as dental hygienists or even expand their technical knowledge by considering more specialized areas of expertise.
Dental Assistants Are Required to Work Full-Time
Another common misconception about being a dental assistant is that they’re forced to work full-time shifts—even when they can’t. However, this simply isn’t the case. In fact, many individuals choose this profession for its ability to provide them with flexible hours and better accommodate their families’ needs. People who work full-time hours choose to do so, and those who need more flexible schedules can generally find arrangements that work best for them.
Dental Assistant Jobs Don’t Require Much Training
Becoming a dental assistant doesn’t necessarily require a two-year degree from a dental school, but the occupation requires just as much education and hands-on training. 13-week dental assistant programs require their students to absorb complex dental knowledge and train them in how to pass instruments, make appointments, and even calm down panicking patients. Because their jobs can require a multitude of different tasks throughout a workday, dental assistants need to be prepared for anything thrown their way.