Many people have a fear of going to the dentist to get their teeth checked. For some, this might be rooted in bad experiences from childhood. Others may have a general fear of medical procedures and the examinations that go with them. In any case, trained dental assistants can provide comfort and reassurance to children and adults alike. There are a few common steps at the start of your path to becoming a professional in this area.
Even if you are still a student, you can start preparing for a career in the dental industry as early as the high school level. You can start learning what you will be expected to do in this position once you get a job. However, it’s never too late to consider going into this career when you are older as well. In either case, you can pick up some interesting facts just by observing the assistant at your next appointment. Working with schedules, prepping patients, sterilizing instruments, and taking x-rays are just a few of the common tasks associated with this work.
Begin Your Training
Most of the requirements for training in this field are similar across different programs. However, you may have particular goals you need to meet depending on your location. You can check your state’s guide to this training to see what they expect. It might be a good idea to go beyond the minimum that you should do during training. You’ll probably compete against several other candidates searching for a placement after training is over. It is important to stand out as a dedicated worker in this industry. Several dental assistant programs have a mix of textbook theory and practical, hands-on instruction to help you learn.
Get Specialized Experience
After you complete a training program, it is time to show that you are ready for the job market. You won’t have a ton of experience to draw on at first, but you can get some by applying for an internship. Like many industries, this is a great way to get practical experience in a clinical setting. It could boost your confidence, and it will help prepare you for the job market. In some cases, you could get an internship. This is part of your study program that takes place in a dentist’s office.
The application process might seem straightforward at first, but it can be tricky for new hires. Several of the offices trying to fill open positions will be looking for at least a year of practical experience. This can be hard for recent grads to come by, but the externships mentioned earlier can help with this problem. If you didn’t have supervised training like this, you can still apply for entry-level work.
Dental assistants can have fulfilling, rewarding careers that serve important functions related to medical health. If you are passionate about this field, you can start learning about it early in life. You can even watch the dental assistant working at your next orthodontist appointment to see what kinds of tasks they do or how they treat patients.