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Dental Assistant Career Information

Dentists rely heavily on dental assistants to make their practices run smoothly. Faced with increasing demand for complex dental procedures, dentists must find ways to serve more patients without increasing costs. Therefore, dental assistants handle more routine tasks in many offices, allowing dentists to focus their talents on the most extreme and complex cases.

Depending on the size of a dental practice, dental assistants might perform a variety of tasks, or they might focus on a specific skill. Dental assistants with technological skills might spend most of their time supervising x-ray sessions and processing laboratory results. Other dental assistants work more closely with patients, taking molds for dentures and removing sutures during post-surgery visits.

dental assistant career

As dental practices grow larger and insurance requirements become more complex, many dental assistants spend some or all of their time working in the front office at a dental practice. Dental assistants often greet patients and conduct intake interviews. Using their dentistry training to review patient charts, dental assistants can alert dentists to problems or complications with a patient’s progress.

Of course, dentists still require the help of skilled dental assistants during most office procedures, especially when patients require anesthesia. Dental assistants prepare surgical rooms, operate equipment, and keep patients’ mouth clear of saliva and debris during procedures.

Like most medical specialties, dentistry faces challenges as medical schools turn out fewer doctors every year. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that an explosion in demand for dental assistants will create jobs for talented professionals without the desire to complete medical school.


Related Career Resources

Dental Assistant Colleges and Schools

Dental Assistant Career Outlook & Salary Information

Dental Assistant Career Traits

How to Become a Dental Assistant


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