So You Think You Want To Be A Dental Assistant…
You're looking through the want ads for a job you can make decent money in, that trains on the job, and provides opportunity for advancement, and there you see it - dental assistant wanted. Is it right for you? Do you think you could do it? Read on to find out a little more about the job behind that want ad. You never know, it could be perfect for you.
Basic Duties Of A Dental Assistant
As the title implies, a dental assistant quite simply assists the dentist. Not to be confused with a dental hygienist, which requires more schooling, a dental assistant does things like arrange the instruments for the dentist. They are the ones that suction out your mouth and tell you when to rinse and spit. A dental assistant can be responsible for everything from answering phones and organizing files to sitting alongside the dentist during procedures and making sure he has everything he needs.
On the down side, a dental assistant is basically a person who fetches things and takes orders from others. However, if you're thinking about going into the field of dentistry, such as being a hygienist or even going to school to be a dentist, this can be a great place to get started and get a feel for whether this is a profession you want to pursue.
The Perks Of Being A Dental Assistant
Many dental assistants are trained on the job, although there are schools available that provide training. The advantages of being trained on the job are many, the foremost being that you don't have to have had prior experience. A good attitude and a willingness to learn combined with attention to detail and good people skills are often all it takes to get hired. Dental assistants make very competitive wages and sometimes come with benefits. Of course, because you're working in a dentist's office, employers may also offer complimentary or significantly discounted dental services since their employees' teeth should be an example of the good work their patients can expect.
Weighing The Pros And Cons
If you're thinking about taking a job as a dental assistant there is much to think about. The pay is good, and the opportunities for advancement are there, with many dental assistants going on to school to become hygienists, but is this a field you can see yourself in for the foreseeable future? The last thing you want to do is waste an employer's time training you only to decide this career is not for you. Will you be able to handle looking in strangers' mouths all day, not to mention the discomfort patients will inevitably be in, and the amount of blood you will have to see? If you've thought about these things and you're still considering the job then chances are you should give it a whirl.