Dental assistants play a critical role in a dental office. A dental assistant regularly aids the dentist, ensuring that patient care is completed as efficiently and effectively as possible. Dental assistants often work in traditional office settings. However, dental assistants who are feeling adventurous can consider a career beyond the typical dental office. There are several creative possibilities for jobs beyond the dental office that dental assistants can consider including working as a dental office manager, teaching dental assisting, selling dental products, dental assisting in the military, and a dental insurance claims processor.
What A Dental Assistant Does
A dental assistant works with the dentist to offer proper dental care and educate patients on good oral hygiene, according to the American Dental Association. They will assist the dentist during treatments, exams and procedures. The dental assistant takes vital signs and records the patient’s medical history. They will also take impressions of the patient’s teeth for casts and models. The dental assistant will assist the dentist whenever they are caring for a patient to make sure the patient is comfortable and properly informed during any procedure.
Dental Office Management
Dental office managers have administrative roles and oversee the functioning of a dental office. They answer phones, greet customers, order supplies, manage bookkeeping, take inventory and cover for other dental office staff. As a dental office manager, you’ll work with front desk staff, hygienists, dentists, and staff to ensure that the dental office is functioning smoothly, and that patients are receiving the best care possible.
Teaching Dental Assisting
Some dental assistants may become teachers in different teaching capacities. Dental assistants who decide they want to teach can get a simple certification that allows them to provide education to others who are hoping to pursue a similar career path.
Dental Assistants can also work in schools to educate students on proper oral hygiene. Habits are learned at a young age and helping youth with preventive dentistry will set them on the path to healthy teeth and gums.
Selling Dental Products
Dental product manufacturers and distributors employ people with a distinct knowledge of dentistry to sell their dental products. Dental assistants are often qualified to hold these positions because they have an in-depth knowledge of oral health, teeth, and how the dentist office works. Dental assistants can consider getting into sales if they want to use their knowledge and continue to improve dental offices, while not having to work chairside assisting a dentist.
Military Dental Assistant
Dental assistants may want to travel or be in more exciting work environments than a typical dental office. For those dental assistants, there are careers in the military. Military dental assistants work for military dentists, who provide dentistry to people in the U.S. armed forces. The main job functions include education of troops in preventative dentistry, radiology techniques, and dental office procedures. The dental assistant may be stationed in military dental clinics or deployed where soldiers are located. Some military dental assistants may even serve aboard a ship. The military dental assistant will help the troops with oral hygiene and serve their country at the same time.
Dental Insurance Claims Processing
If you have trained to be a dental assistant, you are qualified to work in the dental insurance industry. Working in dental insurance allows you to process dental insurance claims, verifying the treatments that were given to patients and deciding whether those treatments qualify for coverage. Working in dental insurance is a good way to use your dental knowledge in a more business focused position.
Being a dental assistant is a fulfilling job where you get to provide oral health care for those in need. While many dental assistants choose to work in a regular dentist’s office setting, some may be looking for more unique career opportunities or interesting work environments. Those dental assistants, upon gaining experience in the field, can consider working as a dental office manager, teacher of dental assisting, selling dental products, becoming a military dental assistant or become a dental insurance claims processor.
You can graduate from a vocational school’s dental assisting program in as little as 9 months and start your new career in the dental industry. Many dental assisting programs offer in lab training and off-site externships to prepare graduates for real world situations Whether at a traditional dental office, in the military or working in a related field, dental assistants have the opportunity to help people live healthier lives.
Still deciding whether you want to become a dental assistant? Ready to learn more about a program that will help you become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic.? PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.
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For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.pcihealth.edu/consumer-information. Dental Assistant program offered at our Richardson Campus.