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Dental Assistant Educational Requirements

If you are a high-school student wanting to pursue Dental Assistantship, consider taking-up basic Sciences like Biology and Chemistry. Hardly any specialized course directly fulfills the requirements put forth by a Dental Assistant's profile. As a result, a trend has emerged among medical practices wherein students who have completed a Basic Dental-assisting Program are enrolled for on-the-job training. These Basic Courses are often offered in junior and community colleges or among trade schools and technical institutes that may offer such courses during evening hours, making it easier for working professionals.

Most Dental Assistants undertake short, technical training at the medical facility of their proposed employer. Here, they are trained to handle basic laboratory duties, including interpretation of clinical data and updating patient files that are often dense with medical terminology.

Specialization — Experienced Dental Assistants can also pursue specializations that offer higher salaries, such as handling the demands of a radiological department in a healthcare facility. For this, they should be able to clear the Radiation Health and Safety examination held through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

Dental Assistant Employment Opportunities

A Dental Assistant can seek employment in a practicing or consulting dentist's office or in a facility of general physicians. Further, this profile is extremely manageable since numerous employment opportunities exist in the form of short-term requirements from established dental clinics that need Dental Assistants for few hours every day or during the weekends.

Developing a comprehensive Dental Assistant Profile

Further, with so many part-time options on offer, Dental Assistants have the opportunity of simultaneously working for multiple practices, making them adept at handing various dental niches. Being a Dental Assistant gives you the opportunity of seeking additional diplomas such as that in Office Management. This is often recommended for Dental Assistants seeking employment in bigger, private practices wherein their role is often regarded as a blend of a physician’s assistant and a conventional office employee.

Flexibility is Critical

It should be understood that a Dental Assistant's work profile is seldom uniform, mostly dictated by the employing medical facility. The eventual job responsibility could lean towards assisting dentists/technicians in a specialized niche such as cosmetic dental surgery or merely checking upon daily supplies or a blend of both.

Ideally, a Dental Assistant should also be well versed with the basic billing procedure if the employing healthcare facility has an in-house medical billing system. Being willing to learn either of these roles is a pre-requisite skill for a Dental Assistant, i.e. being flexible to the core is vital.

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