Think a career in dental assisting is right for you? Read on to find out!
Signs You'll Succeed in Dental Assisting
• You Enjoy Movement and Sitting
Dental assistants switch between sitting for a long time on a stool or chair next to the dentist when treating patients or when scheduling appointments at the desk, and walking around the office to check supplies and update files.
• You’re Comfortable with Having a Flexible Schedule
While some dental assistants work a more typical 8am - 5pm, Monday through Friday schedule, hours and days of work vary significantly by practice. This means the office you work in may not open until 10am and staying open until later in the evening. Or you may have half days on Fridays, but need to work Saturday mornings.
More and more dental offices are open certain evenings and weekends to provide more convenience for their patients, which means you will most likely work a variety of shifts.
• You Have Time and Dedication to Commit to Training
The average time to complete a dental training program is 9 to 12 months, though the exact length of time will vary by program. Graduates typically receive certificates after completing their programs, but many also choose to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board's (DANB) Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination.
• You’re Compassionate
Dental assistants often listen to patients about problems and concerns and need to be able to provide comfort to them and alleviating their anxiety. Possessing strong relationship-building skills is an important component of succeeding in this job over both the short and long-term.
• You’re Organized
Since handling administrative tasks like setting up appointments and printing reminder notices are also a large part of this job, it is important to be efficient and well-organized.