Having the proper training prior to embarking on a career such as this is essential. Courses such as Dental Assisting, Radiology, X-rays, Instrument Setup and Sedation are just a few of the basics you must master in order to fill all the requirements of the job. These courses are available at many Junior/Community Colleges, Colleges/Universities and accredited Technical Training Schools.
Having this training and becoming a registered assistant will open doors that lead to well paying jobs. You will be able to put all the skills learned to practical use, which will be appreciated by both the dentist and the patient receiving the treatment. In addition, knowing that you have established a career that is in demand is very self-satisfying.
Once you have completed your training and are certified you are ready to work, with dentists, taking care of a patient’s dental needs. This could be in a number of different locations. It might be in a dentist’s office, a laboratory, a prison, or with lower income populations in places such as Head Start or Migrant Programs.
Your job could cover one or several areas in a dental care environment. If working side by side with a dentist, your duty is to calm a nervous patient, lay out the correct instruments, take x-rays, operate any necessary equipment and any other duties required. In small offices, you might be expected to handle such things as setting up appointments or answering the phone when the receptionist is at lunch.
Some offices also have an adjoining laboratory. If this is the case, you may be expected to help make molds of teeth for bridges, caps and other work. This is good on-the-job training, which will work well if you decide to take more classes for advancement to a higher paying job.