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Employment for Dental Assistant Associate’s Degree

Introduction

Due to the amount of people who are dealing with a poor diet or questionable oral hygiene methods, oral health has been in decline for the past few decades. As a result, the need for dentistry has always been available. Cosmetic dentistry has been growing in popularity over the past few decades and there have been numerous job opportunities within the dental industry. The dental assistant program allows for individuals to become prepared for a career as a dental assistant or a dental hygienist. Those who work as a dental hygienist will be able to work within a dentist’s office and assist patients with maintaining their dental care; dental assistants work in the front of the office and greet patients, handle appointments, and are responsible for record keeping.

Career Options

As one might expect, there are always jobs available within the dental industry because the rate of oral diseases is always rising. Although the majority of dental hygienists and dental assistants work in dentist offices, there are many who work in community organizations, dental sales, schools, and other locations. Having a graduate degree in the dental hygiene field would provide individuals with the potential for a career in teaching, healthcare management, or some faculty positions in dental hygiene schools and programs. Dental assistants are known for their work with basic patient care duties, processing x-rays, polishing teeth, handling paperwork, and managing office logistics. In contrast, dental hygienists are able to examine patient’s teeth and gums, clean and polish the teeth, remove deposits, record findings, and take x-rays.

Salary

The salary associated with this position is typically around $33,300. This amount varies depending on the experience of the individual and their education level. Obviously, it is possible to earn higher than this salary, though that depends on the location where the individual works and their responsibilities within the setting. Many people use this position to work and gain experience until they are ready to move on to another position within dentistry after attaining a higher degree.

Further Education

In most situations, dental assistances are trained on campus or can earn their degree and certification through an online certificate program. Generally, they have to complete a two year program. However, it is possible to complete the program more quickly. Individuals who want to have a bachelor’s degree can participate in a four year program and gain experience that would allow them to work as dental hygienists or within other circumstances. Most people begin as an assistant or hygienist and then continue to pursue their education until they are ready to become a dentist or work within some other position of dentistry.

Conclusion

A career as a dental assistant may be a great alternative to those who are interested in some of the dynamics of the medical profession but don’t want to specifically work on a purely medical basis. There are many opportunities available for the industry and dentistry is an area that is almost always in demand and growing.

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