People who work in dental offices have a variety of responsibilities and duties in a dental office. They help with patient care, have laboratory duties and also help with office work. They help prepare patients for dental care and also work alongside the dentist during procedures. Dental assistant training is a good way to learn the skills that will help you get a job in this field.
There were about 280,000 dental aide careers in 2006. About 1/3rd of all these are part time. Careers in this field are expected to increase much faster than the average for all occupations Job prospects are excellent and opportunities for those entering the field will be abundant.
In most states, there are no formal training or education requirements to begin at the entry-level. Many assistants learn through on the job training by working with another worker in the field. However, it is probably smart to enter a specific program in this industry as they may allow you to pursue more opportunities.
There are many dentist office worker training programs across the United States that are approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Most of these are year long programs that lead to a certificate or diploma. These programs would include time in both the classroom and laboratory. There are two year programs at junior and community colleges from which you will graduate with an associates degree.
Some states require these dental office employees to be license or registered. Many states also require continuing education to maintain your license or registration. The CDA credential is recognized or required in many states. There are at least twelve states that have no formal licensing or certification requirements. It is best to check with the appropriate state board to find out more about licensing and certification requirements in your state.
To be a good employee in this industry you should possess a few basic traits and skills. You should be organized, reliable, work well with others, have a pleasant manner with patients (who may be very nervous), and have good manual dexterity. It is best to have good office skills as many dentists need their assistants to also perform these duties.
The job market for dental assistants looks great for the near future. Finding a good program for training will help you learn the skills to make you a marketable commodity. Once in this field, you will earn a good living while working as a medical professional.