Dental Assistants Vs. Dental Hygienists: What’s The Difference?

employment at a dental practiceBoth dental assistants and dental hygienists are key contributors at dental practices. But dental assistants and dental hygienists have different roles and aren’t interchangeable.

 

This might be confusing for those who are considering employment at a dental practice and aren’t sure whether they want to be a dental assistant or hygienist. That said, consider the following differences between dental assistants and dental hygienists so you can feel more confident in your choice of career.

 

What does a dental assistant do?

 

Dental assistants help to perform technical tasks and provide oral care to patients. They assist the dentist by taking X-rays, recordkeeping, and scheduling appointments.

 

Depending on the offices in which they work, a dental assistant may assistant a dentist during procedures, take a patient’s blood pressure or pulse, and sterilize dental equipment. Dental assistants also help to ensure patients are comfortable before, during, and after their treatment.

 

What does a dental hygienist do?

 

While dental assistants perform preparatory tasks and break-down duties in the office, dental hygienists perform more advanced tasks that involve direct patient care.

 

Dental hygienists polish and clean patients’ teeth, remove soft and hard deposits from patients’ teeth, use several tools to remove plaque and tartar, and develop X-ray film.

 

How do the two careers differ when it comes to education?

 

Some states require dental assistants to be licensed while others require aspiring dental assistants to complete certificate or diploma programs. Certificate programs typically last for a year. Employment opportunities for dental assistants are expected to increase by 18% by 2024.

 

Aspiring dental hygienists require an associate’s degree in dental hygiene, which often takes three year’s to complete. Certain states may have licensing requirements, but often aspiring dental hygienists need to pass an accredited training program with additional examinations. Employment opportunities for dental hygienists are exposed to increase by 19% by 2024.

 

Are you considering employment at a dental practice?

 

If you’re considering employment at a dental practice, you’re not alone. According to a survey, up to 70% of dental assistants who hold a DANB’s CDA certification received a raise in their current position.

 

The Dental Assistant School at the American Institute of Dental Assisting offers real-world experience and practical dental assistant training to get you off on the right foot. To learn more about our dental assistant training courses and live clinic training, contact the Dental Assistant School at the American Institute of Dental Assisting today.

Dental Assistant Vs. Dental Hygienist: Understanding the Key Differences

dental schoolIf you’re considering a career in the dental industry, you’ll have several options to choose from. But what exactly differentiates these professional paths? In today’s post, we’ll be talking about two positions that are often mistaken for each other: dental assistants and dental hygienists. Although both dental assistants and dental hygienists enjoy employment at a dental practice, the two jobs entail very different qualifications and daily obligations. With the knowledge you’ll obtain here, you can make a more informed decision about what kind of career might be best for you.

Dental Assistant

  • Variety of Duties: In 2017, there were 7,030 dental assistants employed in the state of Arizona alone. One reason why this career path is so appealing is the opportunity it provides to handle a variety of job duties. While dental hygienists may also handle some prep or even administrative obligations, dental assistants get more of a chance to get involved in several different aspects of a dental practice. You’ll get a chance to interact with patients during every phase of their visit, prepare and sterilize equipment, take X-rays and teeth impressions, and perform basic office management tasks. You’ll get a taste of everything, which is ideal for those who want to build a variety of skills and can’t see themselves in a mundane field.
  • Rapid Education: Although both dental assistants and dental hygienists need to complete some kind of dental school education, there’s a noticeable difference in how quickly you can transform your dental assistant training courses into real on-the-job experiences. When you undergo practical dental assistant training, much of it will be on-site. Rather than having to spend years in a dental school classroom, you’ll have the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned and become accustomed to what being part of this industry is really like. Not only can this allow you to move up more quickly in the ranks, but it can also allow you to make a living from your chosen career path far sooner.

Dental Hygienist

  • In-Depth Duties: Dental hygienists may sometimes be tasked with certain administrative duties, but the bulk of their responsibilities will lie in patient treatment. A dental hygienist will typically be tasked with more in-depth tasks, such as removing plaque from a patient’s teeth or even administering local anesthetics. If you’re more interested in detailed medical duties rather than learning about a variety of jobs within the office, you may want to consider going to dental school to become a hygienist.
  • Longer Commitment: As we mentioned above, becoming a dental hygienist requires a more advanced degree. Therefore, you’ll need to spend far longer in dental school prior to being able to work in the field. That can be seen as a benefit by some people, depending on their career goals. But you can’t expect to learn how to become a dental hygienist in a matter of weeks or months. You’ll typically need to spend at least two years on education alone, which can be a financial burden and a colossal time commitment. If your aim is to get real-world experience and start working as soon as possible, you won’t be able to achieve those goals if you’re set on becoming a dental hygienist.

Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong answer here. Both dental assistants and dental hygienists have a positive job outlook and can provide both career satisfaction and financial security. But understanding the key differences between these two occupations can allow you to make the correct decision for your future. To learn more about enrolling in school to become a dental assistant, please contact us today.

Dental Assistant Job Market in Arizona

dental assistant job market in Arizona
The dental assistant job market in Arizona is on the rise

Job security is one of the most important factors to consider when entering a new career. Your time and money are valuable. You want to know that the job you choose can be a long-term career. Luckily for you, dental assisting is the place to be. The dental assistant job market in Arizona is booming right now. And forecasts predict that this trend will keep rising.

Dental Assistant Job Market in Arizona

dental assisting job growth in arizonaThe dental assistant job market in Arizona is growing, and it’s growing fast! In fact, compared to the rest of the nation, Arizona is the place to be. Did you know that Phoenix is the most highly populated state capital in the entire nation? Phoenix has over 1 million residents, which is actually the only state capital to reach over 1 million residents in the entire United States. Working in a highly populated area can create nearly unlimited job potential.

The dental assistant job market in Arizona is so great that dental assistants are making more money than the national wage average. According to the Dental Assistants National Board, certified dental assistants in Arizona average $22.25 per hour. And the best part is that you can get through school fast and into your new career right away. Flexible hours with great pay, yes please! 13 weeks is all you need to get started in your new dream career.

For more information on a career in dental assisting and to explore whether AIDA dental assistant classes are right for you, fill out our form or call 480-209-1392.

Dental Assistant Job Market Growth

The dental assistant industry is trending upward. Between the years 2016 – 2026, it is predicted to grow 19%. That’s more than double the growth that other industries are seeing. In fact, apart from other healthcare support occupations, every other industry is predicted to have an increase of only 7%. Dental assisting is in the top 25 fastest growing occupations in the United States  This gives dental assistants a huge advantage when it comes to the job market.

What is prompting such large growth in the industry? Well, all those baby boomers from the 1960’s are now growing up. Which means that a huge portion of the population is getting older all at the same time. And since people today are keeping more of their permanent teeth than in the past there are more teeth to care for. Which in turn means that all of these baby boomers are placing an increased demand on dental care.

With this increased demand being placed on the dental industry, now is the perfect time to enter the field. As dental practices grow, more dental assistants will be needed. Which means more opportunities to work in a long-term, flexible career with a great salary! The national average for dental assistants wages is $18.09 per hours. Experienced dental assistants can make up to $25 or more per hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Reasons to Consider Becoming A Dental Assistant

live clinic trainingIf you are looking for a career, there are a lot of options out there today. According to the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), about 95% of people who have received their CDA certification say their view being a dental assistant as having a career, not a job. If you are looking to get into the business you do have to get the right education and do all of the live clinic training hours required of you but it is a great career. Here are some reasons to consider this career path:

    1. Every day is a new and different adventure. You will get your first taste of this when you are doing your live clinic training hours. When you work in the field of dentistry, every day is different. There are new challenges to meet and deal with every day. If you like dealing with the public, this a great profession for you. When you are still enrolled in school and are taking dental assistant training courses, your live clinic training will show you if you like this kind of work.
    2. Your work environment is pleasant. There are a lot of professions out there where the work is interesting but the workplace is sketchy. That cannot be said of employment at a dental practice. In some medical fields, the work environment is not as pleasant as in dentistry. Private medical and dental practices are quieter and less hectic than other areas such as hospitals or urgent care centers. For the most part, dental offices are calm and quiet.Your schedule can be flexible. Most dental practices have both full and part-time assistants on staff. That way you can decide what kind of hours you want to work.
    3. The training does not take years of your life. Training to become a dental assistant means you have to take classes and complete your live clinic training. For people who are looking to change their career after working for a while, this can be a great option. This is also a good career path for people who are just starting out. You do not need a four-year college degree. Only a high school diploma is needed for this kind of work. The programs are not as long as a dental school by any stretch.
    4. There are a lot of benefits and not so many drawbacks. Every job has good and bad parts of it. Dental assistants have said that they have more good days than bad. Dental assistants get to help people, the hours are great, and you can work with a number of different people.
    5. There are lots of opportunities to advance in your career. There are people who are very happy working as a dental assistant and do it for decades. Other people like working in the dental industry enough to use the dental assistant position as a stepping stone to other opportunities. Some people go back to school to become a dental hygienist.
    6. You can make good money as a dental assistant. The salary you get will depend a lot on where you live, the kind of clinic or surgery center you work in, and the number of hours you put in every week at work. The bottom line is that you can make a good living working as a dental assistant. The more experience you get in this field, the more money you will take home.
    7. You have a chance to network with a lot of people. This is not a job where you are stuck in a cubicle, locked away from the world. This kind of job allows you to meet and work with a wide array of people. You will meet other people who work in your industry and that can help you take advantages of better opportunities.

 

There are a lot of benefits to going into the dental industry. Becoming a dental assistant can open yourself up to a lot more opportunities and options than you might get elsewhere. The live clinic training you receive when you are on the path to becoming a dental assistant can transfer to a number of other industries and positions.

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Dental Assistant vs Dental Hygienist

What is a Dental Assistant vs Dental Hygienist?
What is a Dental Assistant vs Dental Hygienist?

Have you been to the dentist recently? The American Dental Association recommends that people visit the dentist frequently. These visits should be individualized by your dentist. Some people may need to be seen by their dentist yearly. Others may benefit from 6 months or less. An individualized approach is best when it comes to oral health. At your last dental visit you may have noticed several people busy around the office. There was probably a receptionist and, of course, a dentist. But there were also a few others that helped out during your visit; a dental assistant and a dental hygienist. So what is a dental assistant vs dental hygienist? Let’s take a closer look.

Dental Assistant vs Dental Hygienist

Dental assistants and dental hygienists have a few things in common. They both work closely with a dentist. They both help care for peoples teeth. They also help educate patients about oral health. They may appear similar, but there are actually many differences. A dental assistants main job is to assist the dentist. They can also help with a variety of office jobs. The main job of a dental hygienist is to clean teeth. They work directly with the patient while an assistant works more closely with the dentist. Let’s take an even closer look at a dental assistant vs dental hygienist.

Dental Assistant Responsibilities

dental assistant vs dental hygienist
Dental assistants work closely with the dentist

A dental assistant can have many jobs in the office. Their work often starts before you even enter the office. A dental assistant will prepare the room before you arrive. This includes sterilizing all dental instruments and laying them out for the dentist. They are usually the first person to greet you once you are seated in a chair. They will take and develop x-rays before you see the dentist. They can also take impressions. During your appointment they will assist the dentist and pass instruments to him. The assistant will also prepare anesthetics, cement, and impression materials. The dental assistant can also help maintain dental records and patient health history. At the end of your appointment they can help with front office tasks like scheduling appointments and taking payments. Even after you have left the office a dental assistant is still busy. They will clean the room and prepare it for the next patient. They will also prepare any lab work and can help order dental supplies. In some states dental assistants can have advanced duties such as applying sealants and fluoride, topical anesthetic and coronal polishing. A dental assistants work is never done. They are always busy doing the many jobs it takes to keep a dental office running.

Dental Hygienist Responsibilities

dental assistant vs dental hygienist
Dental hygienists work directly with the patient

The responsibilities of a dental assistant vs dental hygienist are actually very different. While the dental assistant can have many jobs around the office, the dental hygienist has one main job. They focus on cleaning your teeth. A dental hygienist works one-on-one with you during a teeth cleaning. First they will review your dental and medical history. They will perform an exam of your mouth. Then they will work to clean your teeth. There are many techniques that can be used to clean teeth. They will use one or more of these to remove any deposits from your teeth. They will also clean off any plaque or tartar that has developed. Then they will polish and floss your teeth. Finally they will apply any fluoride treatments that are needed. Once your cleaning is finished the dentist will come in for his exam and evaluation.

Each person in a dental office has an important job. Dental assistants can help out the dentist and office wherever it is needed, while a dental hygienist focuses mainly on cleaning the patients teeth. Schooling for a dental hygienist can be lengthy while a dental assistants schooling is much shorter. The American Institute of Dental Assisting offers a unique, hands on experience. In just 13 weeks you can be fully trained to be a dental assistant. Check out what students love about our school!

 

3 Reasons to Consider Becoming a Dental Assistant

hands-on dental trainingDentistry is considered to be one of the 10 most trusted and ethical professions in the United States. It’s no wonder that the dental industry is so appealing to people from all walks of life. But you may not have considered the fact that you don’t have to hold a DDS to be part of this sector. In fact, becoming a dental assistant can be an incredibly rewarding and fascinating way to help others and pursue your passions. Let’s take a closer look at three reasons why you might want to consider becoming a dental assistant.

You’ll Have Flexibility and Versatility

One of the great things about attending dental school to pursue a career as a dental assistant is the amount of flexibility you’ll have. Dental assistants can find employment at a dental practice, of course, but they’re also required by specialists like oral surgeons, orthodontists, endodontists, and more. Plus, everyone needs a dentist — which means that you will be able to find work wherever you go. Whether you remain in your hometown or want to relocate clear across the country, you’ll have the skills, knowledge, and real-world experience to find gainful employment in your field.

It’s also important to note that you may benefit from having more flexible job hours and will be given a variety of responsibilities in your position. Not only will you provide the dentist or specialist with assistance during procedures, but you can also provide information and emotional support to patients who might not feel comfortable speaking to their dentist (or have an opportunity to do so). You’ll also take on some administrative tasks, which can be a great way to break up the day. Because of this, you’ll likely feel more fulfilled in your job and will be less likely to burn out due to monotony and high levels of stress.

You’ll Benefit From Hands-On Learning

Another great thing about becoming a dental assistant is the opportunity to learn in different ways. Some people choose to attend a formal dental college, while others opt for hands-on dental training on the job. You may even experience some of each. This means that no matter your preferred learning style, you’ll be able to obtain the education you need to be successful in your field. It also means you don’t necessarily need to spend years obtaining an advanced degree before getting to work. Rather, you’ll make a commitment to lifelong learning without shying away from experiences outside the classroom.

You’ll Be Working in a Growing Industry

Whether you choose to pursue hands-on dental training or attend college classes, you’ll be entering a field that’s poised for growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupational outlook for dental assistants is expected to grow by 19% from 2016 to 2016 — a rate much faster than average. The demand for preventative health services is predicted to keep increasing as more research emerges on the importance of oral health. And because we’re living longer, the need for ongoing dental care will likely increase. Dental practices will continue to expand, which means dental assistants will always be needed. So by pursuing educational courses and hands-on dental training, you will literally be making an investment in your future.

Ready to learn more about what it takes to become a dental assistant? We’re here to help. Please contact us today for assistance and additional information.

Dental Assistant Overview: What You’ll Need to Know

dental collegeAlthough countless Americans dread going to the dentist, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider a career in the dental field. In fact, you could be the reason why a patient ends up having a great experience when getting their teeth cleaned or a cavity filled. Best of all, you don’t necessarily have to attend dental college for many years before breaking into the field. If this appeals to you, you might want to consider practical dental assistant training.

But what exactly is involved in becoming a dental assistant? Do you have what it takes? We’ll go over some practical information pertaining to future dental assistants in today’s post to give you a good working knowledge of what might be required of you.

Tasks Dental Assistants Typically Perform

Some people assume that dental assistants merely provide help to the dentist or other staff members. While that’s technically part of this role, there are a lot of important tasks for which dental assistants are responsible. Those may include the sterilization of equipment, the processing of X-rays, the performance of lab testing, the scheduling of appointments, the preparation of work areas, the record-keeping of treatments, the education of patients, and the processing of bills and payments. Essentially, you may be asked to do anything from front office obligations to providing physical help to the dentist in the examination room. It means you’ll need to have a firm grasp on a lot of different areas of operations and that you won’t ever be bored with a mundane schedule.

Skills You’ll Need to Be a Successful Dental Assistant

Because the duties of a dental assistant are so varied, you’ll do well if you are well-rounded with a keen interest in learning about several different areas. You’ll also need to be detail-oriented, as you’ll need to understand complex procedures and address the needs of both patients and dentists. You’ll definitely need organizational skills as well, since you’ll be juggling a lot of different tasks and will need to keep your obligations in check. Additionally, you’ll need to be socially gifted and committed to providing a high level of service. Interacting with all kinds of people on a constant basis will require some stellar interpersonal skills. You’ll need to be friendly, communicative, patient, and understanding to be successful in your role.

Required Training, Certification, and Experience for Dental Assistants

If you want to pursue employment at a dental practice as a dental assistant, you will need to complete some formal education. Attending dental college doesn’t mean you’ll spend years as a student, however. There are plenty of hands-on dental training programs that will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need. Some states will require you to complete a specific type of program at an accredited dental college, while others necessitate on-the-job training only. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that even if your state doesn’t require degree completion, it may be within your best interests. Approximately 89% of Dental Assisting National Board Certificants report high levels of job satisfaction, and having this type of certification may make it easier to find employment and feel confident in your role. It’s important to conduct thorough research to assess what’s required and what will benefit you in the long run.

Ready to Start Your Journey in Dental School? We’re here to help you get started. For more information on our dental college and the programs we offer, please contact us today.

Looking to Get Back On Your Feet? Consider a Vocational School

dental collegeA traditional four-year college isn’t right for everyone, despite the push in the United States to send everyone to that sort of institution. For some people, a vocational school, where one can learn hands-on, applicable, practical skills is the right way to go and they can gain some real-world experience to see if it’s the best fit. In some cases, single mothers or new mothers might need training that’s done in the most efficient and impactful way, so they can get to work. From being an air traffic controller, a cosmetologist, chef, electrician, or dental assistant, vocational schools play an important role in keeping us and the things we rely on every day safe, running smoothly, and healthy. One potential profession to look into is that of a dental assistant. Society will always need dentists and dental college is a great way to get the training, job experience, and connections you need to start.

Why Go to Dental College? 
No matter which path you pursue in the field of dentistry, you’ll need to be certified and show that you have qualifications to be practicing. For someone who wants to ultimately become a dentist, they’ll need a DDS or DMD degree and be certified in a specialty. They’ll also need to complete the licensure exam for their state. Dental college can assist them with completing these steps and attaining the knowledge and experience necessary to become a dentist.

Dental colleges may also offer dental assistant training courses as well, which offers hands-on dental training and prepares students for employment at a dental practice after graduation. These programs usually take under a year (anywhere from nine to eleven months) to complete and certification from the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) have a higher salary on average, as well as other employment benefits.

Indeed, almost 90% of those who hold a DANB certificate say they have a high level of job satisfaction and 70% received a raise in their current job. They also have a high level of pride in their work, with 95% saying that they saw dental assisting as a career, not just a job. So there are many reasons getting certified from the DANB can be a smart career choice!

Why Dentistry? 
Though perhaps you hear a lot of grumbles about going to the dentist, dentistry is actually in the top 10 for the most trusted and ethical professions in the United States. There will also always be a need for dentists, orthodontists, dental assistants, and hygienists. In 2017, over 125 million adults in the United States went to the dentist.

In addition to being a respected field, dentistry also offers a good salary, and contribute positively to the health and well-being of their community. Their work can also be flexible and no matter what your job is, you work collaboratively with a team to find the best strategies and practices for keeping your patients healthy.

What Do I Need to Enroll at Dental School? 
For dental assistants, there are actually no educational requirements you need to fulfill. A high school diploma can be all you need and your expertise will come from on-the-job training. If you already have a degree, postsecondary programs can offer more comprehensive training. You’ll be focused on technical training during this program, though sometimes a two-year associate degree is also available.

At the dental school, you’ll start the steps for the appropriate licensure and certification required by your state. It’s often common for dental assistants to continue their education at various intervals at their career, to ensure that they’re staying up to date on the latest methods, techniques, and knowledge in the field.

To practice as a dental assistant, you need to have graduated from a dental assistant or hygiene program, have the equivalent of a high school diploma, and a minimum of 3,500 hours of approved work experience. It can be a wonderful new start for those who need a new career path, are interested in dentistry, and are looking to start a career, not just a job.

3 Personal Traits That Might Make You A Great Dental Assistant

dental industryWhether we know it or not, we all have affinities for certain industries. Some people are inherently good with money, making them ideal candidates for jobs as bankers or financial managers. Other people born with a knack for words and storytelling might go on to become stellar journalists or librarians.

The dental industry is no different. Though nearly anyone can become a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant, some people possess personal qualities that make them especially well-suited for work in the dental industry.

If you’ve been thinking about enrolling in dental assistant training courses at a dental college, take a moment to consider your own unique strengths. If you think any of the following qualities describe you, you could be a perfect candidate for a career in dental assistance:

Organization

Dental assistants are responsible for keeping the dental clinic running smoothly before, after, during, and between appointments. Though the dentist may be responsible for performing surgeries, it’s the assistant’s job to ensure the doctor has all the information and tools she needs to get the job done. Without the dental assistant keeping processes and information organized, the clinic would certainly struggle to keep up with patient demand. If you’re good at keeping information like names, terminologies, and processes in order, you could make a great dental assistant!

Social Skills

Much of dental school and hands-on dental training involves learning to work with patients; however, having a natural ability to communicate and engage with others makes you a prime candidate for this career. All professionals in the dental industry need good social skills in order to keep patients at ease and well-informed about their oral health. After all, dentistry is considered one of the top 10 most trusted and ethical professions in America. If you know you’re an effective communicator, you could make an excellent dental assistant!

Perseverance

Like any medical profession, working in the dental industry involves a certain amount of stress. To get through schooling and to thrive in a clinic environment, you’ll need a good dose of determination and perseverance. Dentists and dental assistants have to handle different scenarios every day, and making a mistake in surgery or even during a regular cleaning could result in an injury. If you know you thrive in fast-paced environments that require focus and grit, dental assistance might be the career for you!

If any of these descriptions sound like your own personality, you might be the perfect candidate for dental school. To learn more about careers in the dental industry, or to get started on your new educational journey, contact us at Dental Assistant School AZ today!

Important Advantages Of Being A Dental Assistant

dental school clinicEveryone wants a job that gives them satisfaction and adds to their lives, rather than a job that detracts from their happiness. Oftentimes, you don’t know if that will be true for any given position until you’ve worked in it for a significant amount of time. If you’re considering starting dental assistant training courses, which can give you real-world experience through dental school clinics and hands-on dental training, you should know the advantages you’ll see once the training is complete.

Variety In Your Work

Unlike those who work in boring desk jobs and do the same menial tasks every day, dental assistants are always meeting new people and performing new responsibilities.

As a dental assistant, you will see new patients every day. By helping these different people day in and day out, you won’t have two days that are exactly alike. Each day, you will meet new people and help them meet their health goals by determining their unique dental needs.

Work Schedules To Fit Your Life

A great benefit of being a dental assistant is that you likely won’t have to work on the weekends or at nights. You will work when the dentist office is open, which is typically during regular business hours on the weekdays. For working parents, this type of schedule is very important. This will give you the time off that you need to spend time with and take care of your family. It will also offer a predictable schedule from one day to the next. With this predictability, you’ll be better ready for the hectic nature of the rest of your life.

Great Pay

You deserve to get the proper compensation for the work that you do, and dental assistants typically do. In Arizona in 2017, the mean annual wage of dental assistants was $39,580, according to a survey from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. Of course, the exact pay will vary depending on where you work. Many places of employment also offer benefits such as paid vacation, paid sick leave, 401(k), and paid holidays to dental assistants.

By simply attending dental assistant school, which is full of practical training and dental school clinics, you can find the perfect balance between a career you enjoy and one that gives you the pay and schedule you need. Dive into the world of dental assistants today and find the job that will finally give you professional satisfaction.

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