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How To Find Dental Assistant Jobs Near You

Updated on March 23, 2011

How To Become A Dental Assistant

Demand for well trained dental workers are increasing by leaps and bounds as more people are retaining their own teeth longer and the advances in dentistry are enabling people to both feel and look better.

As a Dental Assistant you would usually work a forty hour week. In some dental offices, you may be required to work on weekends. You would work in a clean, well-lit, sanitary environment. Dental assistants work under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist.

Dental Assistants have a wide variety of duties which mean their days are always interesting and challenging. When patients arrive, it is the Dental Assistant who greets patients and makes them feel comfortable, and at ease. They prepare them for treatment, sterilize and prepare any needed instruments and hand them to the dentist as required. They keep the patients mouth dry and clean as the dentist works. Dental Assistants also keep records, take impressions and x-rays. They may also make appo9intments and do other general office duties.

To be a Dental Assistant you must enjoy working with people, have good communication skills, good manual dexterity, be well organized, cheerful, and compassionate.

After completing high school, Dental Assistants take a training course which lasts from one to two years. Make sure the course you take is accredited. These courses are available in Junior Colleges, Community Colleges and the Armed Forces. If you are still in high school, it would be wise to take all the science courses you can, especially Chemistry and Biology.

The one year training course leads to a Certificate and the two year course leads to an Associate Degree. State requirements for practicing vary so check with the state in which you live. Some states require licensing and registration. Licensing requires that you pass both a written and a practical exam. Most states now require certification. This is available to those that have taken the two year course.

Some dental offices offer on-the-job training, but remember that this training may not be adequate if you wish to change offices or move up in your field. The best educated are those most in demand and also the best paid so get all the education that you can afford. Being both licensed and certified only add to your appeal as an employee and are proof of your skills and experience so obtain these if possible.


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      doodlebugs 8 years ago

      Good article for those considering a well paying career in the dental field.