Most people think that you need to spend at least four years working towards a degree if you want to work anywhere in the medical profession. But, once you start researching all of the jobs that are available you will quickly see that healthcare is one of the biggest industries in the world and there are all sorts of different things that a person can do. If you want to work at a dentist office and don't want to spend time becoming a dentist or a hygienist then you might consider working towards being a dental assistant.
Before you start looking for a training program to become a dental assistant you should know what they do and how they differ from dental hygienists. You only need a certification or diploma to become an assistant while you will need an associate or bachelor's degree to work with an orthodontist or beside a dentist as a hygienist. An assistant is responsible for taking down all of the medical history of the patient, cleaning the instruments, and informing the patients about proper dental practice. A hygienist will assist on procedures and even do some of them on their own.
While you only need a diploma to work as a dental assistant, there are some school in Canada and the United States that offer degree programs in this area. This is a personal choice and you should think about what you want to do with your career before you decide. You might one day want to work towards being a hygienist or you could be comfortable helping with teeth whitening.
Dental assistant information provided on this page was supplied to us by Trinity Family Dental Clinic.
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While you will learn all of the things that you might need to learn on the job while you're at school to become a dental assistant, you will not know exactly what you're doing until you move into the workforce. This is because this is not a position that is exactly the same everywhere. If you are working for a dentist they might want you to be able to remove stitches while another clinic might not have their hygienists doing this. It is always going to be a balance between who does which tasks around the office and you should pick a clinic where you are comfortable doing all of your work. If you are trying to work your way up to a higher position someday then you might like working at a clinic where you are given more responsibility. Other people are more comfortable with the administrative side of the job and cleaning the equipment.