When it comes to careers, there are a variety of fields to choose from. The dental field is something that many are interested in joining. There are also plenty of positions available in the dental field other than dentist or orthodontist. One position that those who are interested in the dental field should look into is dental assisting. Dental assistants have various responsibilities within a dental office and are an integral part of the team. Here are three things to consider before becoming a dental assistant.
The first thing that anyone should consider before starting training to become a dental assistant are the responsibilities that come with this position. During procedures, dental assistants hand instruments to both dentists and dental hygienists. They also sterilize instruments and prepare exam rooms for patients. Other duties include processing x-rays, talking to patients about oral hygiene, and updating records. Dental assistants also often assist with scheduling, payment, billing, and insurance processing. The exact duties differ from office to office. However, anyone who wants to become a dental assistant should be prepared and capable of these duties in addition to other tasks.
Cost Of Schooling
Another thing to consider is the cost of becoming a dental assistant from an institution like New Mexico Institute of Dental Assisting. A high school diploma is needed followed by additional training for dental assisting through a community college. Most programs can be completed in less than a year when attending full-time or two years if attending part-time. The cost of attending school to become a dental assistant is fairly affordable. Programs tend to cost between $850 to $7,560 with an additional $1,000 for books and around $560 for lab fees. The American Dental Association offers a list of accredited dental assisting programs.
Another thing to consider when it comes to being a dental assistant is salary. The salary for dental assistants is dependent on their experience, the office they work for, and location. On the low end, dental assistants make around $22,853 annually. On the high end of the salary range, dental assistants make $44,400. Most dental assistants are paid hourly and may work overtime on busy weeks. Bonuses, commissions, and even profit sharing are also ways that dental assistants can bring in additional income. Those who plan on becoming dental assistants should consider the income potential of this field before undergoing training.
Working in the dental field can be fast-paced and rewarding. Dental assistants are essential for keeping the dentist's office running smoothly. Those who are considering entering the field of dental assisting should be aware that they will be expected to perform a variety of duties ranging from office tasks to handling equipment. The cost of schooling is relatively affordable. However, those who are considering this field should also consider their potential income before beginning an accredited program.
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