So you are considering a career in Dental Assisting, but you are still uncertain if it is the correct decision for you. Here are some simple signs that dental assisting may be right for you.
1) You are interested in a flexible schedule
Dental assistants tend to work convenient, dayshift hours in dentist’s offices. Many other healthcare professionals experience the challenge of adapting to evening or night shifts. Hospitals, for example, must be staffed 24/7. But dentist offices typically operate primarily during daylight hours. If you would prefer not to be asked to work night shift occasionally and would prefer to get time off for holidays, dental assisting may be right for you. It should be noted, however, that some offices may also schedule work on weekends or evenings, the better to serve populations that cannot be seen during the day.
2) You’re interested in earning competitive pay
Pay for dental assistants vary from region to region and state to state. In most instances, dental assistants receive fair compensation that allows them to provide for themselves and their families, and perhaps, to continue furthering their education. Dental hygienists, for example, are compensated higher than dental assistants. Some dental assistants may view their work as a stepping stone toward a more enriching career as a dental hygienist. Others may be satisfied earning their living as a dental assistant for their entire career and working with a team of professionals to serve the dental needs of the public.
3) Job stability is important to you
Given the increasing recognition of the link between good dental hygiene and general health and growing awareness of the need for preventive dentistry, demand for dental assistants is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations for the next 10 years. Indeed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the period from 2014 to 2024, employment opportunities for dental assistants are expected to grow by 18%.
Many dental offices depend on their assistants for help delivering quality care to growing numbers of patients. Among other factors, people are keeping more of their natural teeth longer, necessitating greater care. Accordingly, the outlook for employment among dental assistants is good.
4) You’re a “people person” who enjoys working with the public
Being an effective dental assistant means working well within a healthcare team, while also working closely with the public. You may be called upon to perform any number of duties, ranging from providing comfort and reassurance to nervous patients, to assisting the dentist during procedures, to providing instruction to patients regarding proper oral hygiene, preparing and processing x-rays, etc.
5) You’re interested in career advancement options and opportunities
You want a career with a relatively sunny, long-term employment outlook. Given that employment is projected to grow at a rate of 18% for the period from 2014 to 2024, qualified dental assistants can expect to enjoy many opportunities.