Advantages of Being a Dental Assistant

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Becoming a dental professional provides countless opportunities in the world of dentistry. And if you enjoy working with your hands while working to help people with their smile, then a career as a Dental Assistant might be for you.

Expanded Dental Assistant job functions

"Dental assisting plays a vital role to the dentist and the dental team," said Alphia Parker, Dental Assistant Program Director at Concorde's campus in Miramar, Fla. As Parker goes on to point out, a DA has the potential for expanded job functions, but first must obtain an Expanded Functions Certificate. They also can obtain a radiology certificate. "An Expanded Functions Assistant may perform procedures by themselves or with direct supervision," Parker said. Examples of procedures might include placement of dental sealants, placement of fluoride, removing sutures, placement of temporary fillings, fabrication of temporary crowns, just to name a few. Expanded functions and procedures vary state to state.

Dental Assistant as an educator

Another role for a Dental Assistant, Parker said, could be as an educator of oral health. He or she might present visual aids such as dental X-rays to further educate patients. Educating adults, seniors, and children on oral hygiene is a vital step in the care of one's overall health. "An assistant may specialize in periodontics, general cosmetics, oral surgery, pedodontics, prosthodontics, craniofacial and orthodontics," Parker said. "If one desires an administrative role, there are positions such as supply coordinator, OSHA safety officer customer service for the dental supplier, sales representative, insurance administrator, and dental management."

Other Dental Assistant career opportunities

Debbie Fritcher, Dental Assistant Program Director at Concorde's campus in Aurora, Colo., also points to the insurance industry as a possible DA career path. Attending an accredited Dental Assistant school can open a world of employment opportunities. "Many Dental Assistants choose to further their education by attending Dental Hygiene and even dental school," Fritcher said. "The possibilities are endless!" Including, Parker said, opportunities to travel. "A Dental Assistant also has the advantage of traveling to any part of the United States to work in a dental office," she said. "There will always be a need for experienced, compassionate and enthusiastic dental professionals across the United States of America."
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