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Helpful Tips for a Successful Dental Assistant Career
What Dental Assistants Should Consider Doing
Upon completion of your dental assistant training you should be fully qualified to perform the roles and responsibilities of a dental assistant. There are however, additional opportunities dental assistants should consider to help maintain and even advance their dental assisting career.
We’ve identified opportunities dental assistants should explore when working within their dental assisting field to help aid in a successful, long term career. The below recommendations can help improve attitudes, boost confidence and ultimately help find success as a dental assistant.
Get Involved Within Your Community
Networking and getting involved in the dental profession is a great way to further a dental assistants’ careers. Belonging to various dental organizations can also offer both professional and social benefits. The American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) for example, is a very renowned organization offering many resources which may not be available elsewhere. Even though it’s not required in Wisconsin, obtaining your DANB certification can also help explore continuing dental education options.
Always Know You’re More Than “Just” an Assistant
Sometimes dental assistants feel like they’re not as imperative as other members of the dental team. Believing in yourself and your self-value as a dental assistant is a crucial stepping stone to one’s own success. Dental assistants are extremely valuable and make significant contributions each day to the dental office. Many dentists couldn’t even perform their job without their dental assistants. In addition to assisting a dentist, dental assistants have a very important role by assuring patients feel welcomed and easing any nerves which may be present. Some patients would never feel comfortable if it weren’t for a dental assistant. If you keep a positive attitude and take pride in everything you do, you will exude confidence and become a model employee.
Pursuing continuing education (CE) can be a vital attribute for dental assistants to obtain a thriving career. Earning CE is critical to maintaining your skills and knowledge — and it can even help contribute to the profitability of the practice.
There are many opportunities available through the DALE Foundation, the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) or even through an employer. Oftentimes employers offer outside connections with professional development opportunities along with funding for educational endeavors. Some dentists might help with the cost of DANB exams and certifications, or may increase earnings as an incentive to become DANB certified and then to maintain DANB certification.
Make Certain Your Compensation is Fair
It’s important to do your due-diligence and know what your compensation should be. It’s also important to know, like any career, advances and pay increases should accompany experience. If you are unhappy in your current role due to your wages, having an open conversation with your employer can do no harm. If you are uncertain on how to approach the topic, there are books and tips available on the internet to help you be prepared. Once you’ve done your research and are confident, your employer will more likely respond positively.
Don’t Be Afraid of Change
With any field, satisfaction can be linked to strong team dynamics and a positive workplace environment. You should feel motivated and eager to go to work. However, if you regularly dread going to work, you should consider pursuing a new dental assistant role or even employer. From coworkers, place of employment and type of field you work in to even your dentist, all contribute to your overall career. It could be highly beneficial to consider exploring specialty roles within the dental field. Pediatric, orthodontic or even oral surgeon dental assisting could open up a door you never thought existed and may be the exact change you need. Learn more about specialty dental assistant opportunities now.