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Dental Assisting as a Career

A career as a dental assistant is dynamic, engaging, and full of numerous personal rewards each day. If you’ve ever wondered exactly what being a dental assistant entails, this page is for you.

Unlike many other medical professions, dentistry usually revolves around a typical 8-hour workday. This fact alone makes dental assisting an attractive option for those who desire a medical career but do not want to work erratic hours, be on call, etc. Furthermore, many private dental practices do not work a full, 40-hour workweek, providing dental assistants ample free time in addition to a bustling career.

The core responsibility of a dental assistant is to provide chair side assistance to dentists during procedures. Prior to dental procedures, assistants are responsible for preparing and organizing the dental operatory and required instruments, as well as seating patients and reviewing medical history and other pertinent information in the patient’s chart. During the procedure, assistants provide suction and deliver instruments to the dentist in a timely and efficient manner as they are needed. Other tasks, like fabrication of temporary crowns, may be required depending on the procedure itself. Once the procedure is complete, assistants escort patients to the check out area, and then begin preparing the operatory for the next procedure.

A dental assistant career, however, can be much more varied than simply providing chair side assistance. In some offices, assistants are tasked with sterilizing instruments, helping track inventory and ordering dental supplies, or assisting with front desk operations. Dental assisting is truly an adaptive career, one in which no two days are exactly alike.

The field of dentistry is expected to remain in high demand as large portions of the population age and more people gain access to dental care. As such, dental assistants will be in high demand for the foreseeable future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the rate of dental assistant careers to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Choosing a career as a dental assistant means choosing flexible work hours and work environment, competitive pay, professional fulfillment, and a skill set that will be highly valued almost indefinitely.

If a career as a dental assistant sounds appealing to you, the Sunrise School of Dental Assisting is the best place to begin. Our comprehensive programs prepare students to enter the workforce already endowed with the knowledge and skills that employers value the most. With our convenient class schedules and multiple locations, your journey toward a dental assisting career has never been more accessible. We look forward to meeting you and having you as part of our family!

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