Benefits of Being a Dental Assistant

Dental assistants are responsible for helping dentists treat patients.

They may assist with cleaning teeth, taking x-rays, sterilizing instruments and other office duties assigned by a dentist or hygienist. Assistants are also responsible for teaching patients about proper oral hygiene, such as proper brushing and flossing techniques. In addition to being a vital member of a dental office team, dental assistants also receive many benefits in return.

Excellent Work Schedule

Some dental assistants work part-time. Their flexible schedules allow them more leisure time and more time to spend with family. Dental assistants who work in private offices generally do not work when the dentist is on vacation, which means they rarely work on national holidays. Because most dental offices are closed on weekends, dental assistants typically get those days off, too. Those dental assistants who do work full-time often work days but not evenings. This provides them with more evenings at home, which is ideal for workers with children.

Job Security

Everyone wants to have a pretty smile. The desire to have a healthy and aesthetically pleasing mouth keeps dental offices busy. Therefore, dental assistants can feel secure in their line of work. Because of the recent increase in the number of dental offices, the job outlook for dental assistants is a good one.

Patient Care
Some patients are wary of the dentist and even downright intimidated by the dentist's chair. Dental assistants have the job of comforting patients and calming them. For people who thrive in a customer service environment, becoming a dental assistant is a good career option. Patients also tend to be relieved and grateful when they have their dental work completed, which gives dental staff and dental assistants a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Affordable, Efficient Training
Most dental assistants train at community colleges. Tuition and fees at such schools are typically more affordable than tuition at larger colleges and universities. The training lasts between one and two years, depending on what sort of certification the student desires. The short training time allows people to quickly transition into a new career.

Excellent Educational Opportunities
In general, the shorter dental assistant training programs award a certificate or diploma, and the slightly longer programs award an associate's degree. Much of the training is completed on the job, and students complete classroom courses related to their field of study. This means they don't have to waste time or money on unrelated subjects. The best training schools also have a career services department. Career services professionals help students write resumes and look for job opportunities. This helps them transition smoothly into their new career as a dental assistant.

Work Environment
Dental offices are generally clean and well-organized. The working conditions are much more pleasant than working outdoors or working in a factory. People who thrive in quiet office environments generally enjoy workings as a dental assistant.

Employee Benefits
Depending on the employer, dental assistants may qualify for employee benefits, such as health insurance and dental insurance. Paid sick leave and some holidays may also be provided by the employer.

Career Advancement
Some workers begin their careers as dental assistants and decide to climb the ladder once employed. To transition from dental assistant to dental hygienist typically requires an additional 1-2 years of classroom training as well as successful completion of a licensure exam. Thus, moving from assistant to hygienist can be done quickly, and it often involves a pay raise.

Dental assisting is an excellent career choice for those who enjoy helping people. It is also ideal for those who want to transition into a new career quickly and inexpensively. Job security and employee benefits are also enticing reasons to choose a career in dental assisting.