Thinking Outside the Box: Alternative Career Opportunities for Dental Assistants

DentalApril 04, 2023

Many people tend to assume an education in dental assisting means a career of working directly with dental patients, but dental assisting can set you up for a variety of careers.

All-State Careers’ dental assisting program provides you with a skillset that can be used in related roles that draw directly on your dental knowledge. Or you could explore dental-adjacent careers that tap into your dental assisting skills but take you outside the dentist office. Here are four alternative careers for dental assistants that put your dental school education to work to find the right dental career path for your personality and skill set.

Dental Office Manager

  • In this role, you oversee the day-to-day operations of a dentist office. Some of the tasks you’re responsible for include scheduling appointments, greeting patients, handling payments, ordering supplies, managing staff, and possibly marketing. The variety may be more up your alley than working with patients in the chair. 

Dental Lab Technician

  • Working as a dental lab tech taps into your dental knowledge, because it requires a thorough understanding of dental anatomy. Part of a dental lab tech’s job is to fill orders for different types of dental appliances.
  • Lab techs may also fabricate dental prosthetics like crowns, bridges, full and partial dentures, and orthodontic appliances. Dental lab techs work with sophisticated equipment and different types of materials. Working behind the scenes in dentistry may be more to your liking.  

Dental Sales Representative

  • Perhaps you enjoy marketing and sales. A dental sales rep markets new products and services to dentists. A dental assistant’s in-depth oral health and best practices knowledge makes them a good fit because dental sales reps need to understand how new technologies and dental equipment work.
  • They also need to be able to demonstrate the equipment to others. Learning the marketing and sales side of the job can also easily transfer to another industry. 

Dental Assistant Educator

  • If you’ve always wanted to work as a teacher, becoming a dental assistant educator could be perfect for you. Besides tapping into your passion for educating, you’ll also teach the skills you learned.
  • In this role, you might help the program director create the curriculum, instruct the students, and grade their work. For many people, working with students is an inspiring job. 

Your skills can also translate into many other types of fields. You could work as an office manager, sales rep, or even possibly a lab tech in an unrelated field. The personal skills you learn might also parlay into working with children or the elderly or in a social work role. 

Whether you work in a traditional dental office or in another aspect of the career field, your knowledge of dental assisting will benefit your next move. All-State Career is here to help you with the next steps in exploring dental assisting careers. Learn more about our dental training programs and give us a call at 1-855-834-4580 to speak to one of our admissions advisors about dental assisting or to schedule a campus tour.