Are you looking for a stable job that lets you help others and work in a medical office? If you are, consider becoming a dental assistant.
Although many jobs have experienced slower rates of job growth, the need for dental assistants is expected to grow by 7% in the next decade, faster than the national average.
If you’re wondering how to become a dental assistant, keep reading for a guide that’ll teach you about the dental assistant requirements.
How to Become a Dental Assistant
Once you become a dental assistant, there are different career paths you can choose to embark on. Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to have a certificate, while other states may not need a formal education.
If you’re a high schooler interested in being a dental assistant, take classes in chemistry, biology, and anatomy.
Dental assistants can receive training from different outlets. Some may want to learn on the job, but embarking on a training program may be the most efficient and effective way to develop the necessary skills.
Community colleges and vocational schools offer training programs.
These programs can last from several weeks to two years. To enroll, you’ll need a high school diploma or a GED equivalent.
To learn more about the different requirements, check out this article that talks about different dental assistant jobs.
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Recommended Skills and Qualities
Working as a dental assistant comes with a lot of responsibilities. You’ll be performing both clinical and clerical duties, though the specifics vary from office to office.
You’ll need to prepare the patient before the doctor comes, sterilize dental equipment, as well as take down the patient’s dental and medical history.
You’ll also need to arrange appointments and instruct patients on how to take proper care of their dental hygiene.
This means that dental assistants need to be warm, friendly, and detail-oriented. They’ll also need good organizational skills, as well as steady and dexterous hands and arms.
Certifications, Licenses, and Registrations
In many states, you don’t need a license to become an entry-level dental assistant. Yet some states do require you to have a certification or license, especially if you’ll be working in a more specialized area, such as infection control or radiography.
Although your state may not require them, having a certificate can be a good idea.
By having one, you’re showing potential employers your dedication, experience, and that you’re qualified. This will make you a more stand out candidate and may help you get a higher salary and more responsibilities.
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Get Started on the Path to Success
Becoming a dental assistant means that you’ll have no problem getting a job that allows you to help others. If you’re wondering how to become a dental assistant, following this guide can be a good place to start.
Do you have any other tips on the steps to be a dental assistant? Let us know in a comment below!
For more guides and tips, check out some of our other articles.