Working as a dental assistant is one of the best options for those who are looking for entry level jobs that pay well. It also does not require any formal training or work experience. That is why being a dental assistant is also ideal for those who are fresh out of high school and those who are working their way through college. In fact, many professionals in this field receive on the job training. The duties and tasks are quite simple and straightforward. They do not require special skills or knowledge in order to be properly performed. However, there are some functions that are more advanced and complicated which can be executed only by a certified dental assistant as these tasks cannot be performed by those who have inadequate experience or have not undergone any formal training. Because these functions cannot be performed by just anyone, you can expect to get paid a higher salary if you are certified.
How does one become a certified dental assistant? There are two ways to get a license. One method is by completing a training program and the other method is by having the minimum required work experience. Either method will qualify you to take the licensing exam which is administered by the DANB or the Dental Assisting National Board. Passing the said exam will earn you the certificate and will make you a certified dental assistant.
If you decide to get formal training, you will find that there are many schools that offer certificate or diploma courses. You can search the internet for information about the different schools and their curriculum. Some schools offer clinical practice aside from classroom lectures and laboratory work. Find a program that suits your schedule especially if you are working part-time.
If you would rather not go to school, you can qualify for the credentials by working full-time as a dental assistant for at least two years or by working part-time for at least four years.
Enrolling in a training program has many advantages. The program trains students how to properly assist dentists when doing a procedure by handing over the right dental instruments. Students are also taught the right way of using the dental suction, how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), radiography or dental x-ray, crown removal, polishing coronal surfaces, removing teeth stains and other advanced procedures and functions. The program also includes the improvement of administrative skills and, more importantly, interpersonal skills. After all, dental assistants are also tasked to greet and interview patients and to make them comfortable and less anxious. Also, a formal training will open doors to other career opportunities in the fields of education, office administration and even in health insurance.
Getting certified is very important even if it is not a requirement. Being a certified dental assistant can make you more qualified and will allow you to choose from more job offers and more competitive employment terms.