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Dental Assistant Specialties
If you have already considered becoming a dental assistant, you’ve most likely given thought as what type of dental office you desire to work in. If not, Weekend Dental Assistant School’s experts recommend having an effective plan of action when entering the job market.
Dental Assistants have the opportunity to learn and train in various specialty offices outside the traditional dental office. Given the chance to work in different office settings, a dental assistant’s responsibilities will vary. While dental assistant specialty positions typically only require on-the-job training additional formal training and certification for specialty offices can be required and are beneficial to job prospects.
Dental Assistant Specialty Offices Include:
- Oral Surgeon
If you are uncertain of the type of office you aspire to work in, it may be beneficial to spend some time studying the different areas of dentistry which interest you. Being a versatile and multiskilled dental assistant can provide many exciting and lucrative career opportunities down the road.
For guidance on further opportunities to advance in your career, we provided information below regarding the specialty practices you can enter as a trained dental assistant.
Pediatric Dental Assisting
Similar to working in a general dentist office, pediatric dental assistants are responsible for sterilizing dental tools, adjusting equipment, preparing the room and making any other necessary accommodations like setting out specialized tools or booster seats for small children prior to a dental examination or procedure. During procedures like teeth impressions, extractions, cavity fillings and root canals, dental assistants help dentists by passing them tools and suctioning excess saliva from the mouths of young patients and doing so in a comforting manner. Pediatric dental assistants may also assist dentists with the application of dental sealants and fluoride treatments. A pediatric dental assistant may also take and process patient X-rays independently.
Trained to work with infants, toddlers, children and teenagers, pediatric dental assistants help educate both parents and children on at-home preventative-care measures for optimal oral healthin addition to addressing any concerns.
Pediatric dental assistants also provide basic supervision while children are inside examination and procedural rooms where they are surrounded by equipment and potentially hazardous sharp instruments.
If your love for children shines and working with them has always been a passion, pediatric dental assisting may be the perfect job for you.
Oral Surgeon Dental Assisting
While the job responsibilities of an oral surgeon assistant may be similar to general dental assisting they are more in-depth to allow for successful pre and post-surgery procedures.
Job tasks include receiving patients, viewing charts and beginning patient preparation. Oral surgeon assistants must ensure surgical tools are properly cleaned and sterilized before procedures begin. While oral surgeon assistants do not perform any actual surgery upon patients, they may be responsible for tasks like checking vital signs or maintaining IV fluid flows during procedures.
It's often required for an assistant to make notes about performed procedures, progress and any recommendations in the patient's charts. Oral surgeon assistants will commonly take x-rays and process items like removable dental appliances and casts or impressions.
Duties may also include some clerical work. Handling dental charts and upkeep of inventory are common for oral surgeon assistants. Keeping track of how many supplies are currently on hand, and re-ordering when the time is right. They must also become familiar with the equipment used in the oral surgeon's office and ensure it is properly controlled and maintained.
An endodontic assistant works with a specialized dentist called an endodontist. An endodontist treats problems with the tissues and pulp within the teeth. The primary dental procedure they perform is a root canal. Similar to an oral surgeon assistant, your duties are to assist the endodontist in their practice and procedures. Your responsibilities may include scheduling patient appointments, performing x-rays, and assisting before, during, and after a root canal. During these procedures, you may clean the patient’s mouth, pass tools to the dentist, or monitor the patient’s wellbeing and comfort.
Becoming A Dental Hygienist
Oftentimes, dental assistants gain the urge to continue their education and become dental hygienists. Dental assistants have a major advantage when it comes to applying for a hygienist position due to experience and networking opportunities. The preliminary education and work experience dental assistants have is a huge plus for employers. Understanding the fundamentals of dentistry, the office environment along with working with potential prospects, dental assistants have many advantages. For those who find themselves wanting a more thorough role after a few years as an assistant, a career move to a dental hygienist position may be the next best step.
Training at Weekend Dental Assistant School
Dental assisting is a very versatile career with many advancement opportunities. Dental assistants are also fortunate as they are always needed and continue to grow in demand. Dental assistant training is very affordable and can usually be completed under 3 months. When you train at Weekend Dental Assistant School, you’re offered flexible Saturday classes for 10 consecutive weeks. Manage life and school when you attend Weekend Dental Assistant School. Located in Appleton, Wisconsin we are conveniently just a short drive for most major Wisconsin & Michigan cities.