The significance of the dental profession to our society is best summed up by just how well-compensated they are, as well as by how difficult it is to get into school to become a dentist in the first place.
When would-be dentists are weighing up their choices, more often than not, they’re only considering what being a fully-fledged dentist would look like in their later life. What a lot of people tend to overlook, though, is the myriad opportunities that are available to people who hold a dental assisting diploma. Every dentist you’ve ever visited has probably had a team of highly-trained assistants working with them. In fact, they’re often the people you have the most direct contact with — be that hygienic or personal in nature (chatting with a friendly face is one of the best ways to dispel pre-checkup nerves, after all).
In the following article, we’ll give a brief overview of some of the career options that are available to people who hold a dental assisting diploma. Because this isn’t a topic that gets a ton of airtime, we figured it was time to set the record straight. Whether you’re considering becoming a dentist or a dental assistant, here’s everything you need to know before diving into the profession.
1: In-Practice Dentist’s Assistant
This is probably what most people think of when they picture a dentist’s assistant, and it’s also the kind you’re most likely to have come across in the course of your own personal life. The dental assistants who work in practice with the head dentist themselves are known for being professional, organized, and friendly enough to help people settle down before the big examination they’ve been dreading all week.
Not only are dentist’s assistants who work in a practice with a dentist considered a vital part of the team, but they also have a ton of duties that require real responsibility to be taken, making this a promising option for anybody who likes getting stuck into hands-on work. By keeping everything organized and providing the pre-checkup cleaning and examination, a good dentist’s assistant can go a long way towards making things easier for the dentist to do their own job, which in turn can contribute to a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding working experience.
The vast majority of dentists are well aware of just how important their assistants are to the way they run their clinic day in and day-out, so establishing a long-term relationship with a dentist as an assistant can help you to create a work environment where you’ll be looking forward to going in each day, rather than dreading it. You should be able to expect appreciation, a decent amount of pay, lots of responsibility, and an exciting, important problem-solving role that you’ll be expected to play in addition to the head dentist in charge.
Check out our article on 11 Common Dental Assisting Interview Questions to be prepared and confident when applying for a dental assistant position.
2: Institutional Dental Care
Working as a dental care provider in an institution is one of the most underrated ways to use your dental assisting diploma. It’s also one of the most personally rewarding. If you’ve got a personal passion for helping people who need the most help, this could well be the best option for you since you’ll be given a lot of responsibility on top of the awareness that you’re doing real good in the world.
The kinds of institutions that require dental care assistants are numerous and include prisons, retirement homes, mental health institutions, and border-control processing points. In every single one of these cases, the people you’ll be helping will be in a degree of trouble, meaning that any positive impact you can make on their life will be a) significant and b) remembered fondly for years to come. It’s a little-known fact that you can actually change lives with a dental assisting diploma, which is probably the most wide-ranging way to make that happen.
3: Pharmaceutical Companies
If you’d rather do something other than work in an institution or dental practice with your dental assisting diploma, why not consider applying for a position at a pharmaceutical company? You’ll have the chance to be right on the front line of medication development, meaning that your efforts will go toward making new medicines as safe as possible for the patients who need them.
There are a number of different guises your role could adopt in this capacity, with some of the most common being helping out with patient testing and research — although some dental assistants are also hired to be part of a representative team who function as the ‘face’ of the company. Any new medication or product that is related to dental or oral hygiene at all is going to require significant input from people with proven experience in the field, making this one of the most potentially lucrative roads you can go down with your dental assisting diploma.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to a dental assisting diploma than just helping the dentist to run the clinic. As a matter of fact, there are even more opportunities to be had as well as the three main ones listed here. Still, it’s just not possible to write an article long enough to provide an exhaustive list of every possible opportunity. The main takeaway is that there are many options on the table for you, and you’ll be able to decide between them according to what best suits your own temperament, ambitions, and personal skill set.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how these kinds of diploma programs work, get in touch with us here at Cestar College today. We’d love to walk you through your options and figure out exactly what it is you want to pursue.