A dental assistant provides oral-hygiene services to their patients. However, unlike dentists and orthodontists, they perform simpler treatments of oral diseases and conditions, such as routine cleanings and the application of preventive treatments to patients’ teeth.
Their most common duties include applying fluoride, sealing fissures in teeth, cleaning teeth, treating cavities and gum disease, and providing oral hygiene guidance to patients.
The vast majority of dental assistants are in public or private business and see their patients by appointment. They often work in conjunction with dentists, orthodontists and other health-care professionals. As such then, dental assistants are the, of course, assistant to the dentist and help him or her in the same way that a nurse helps a doctor.
As we said dental assistants help out dentists in many, many ways. Some of the things these professionals provide in their field are: Performing dental cleaning procedures, hygiene treatments and minor repairs to tooth structure, like:
- Cleaning teeth, removing stains, treating cavities and gums using specialized tools (suction equipment, probes, drill, tweezers, filling tools, etc.).
- Removing food residue, excess dental cement and plaque from the patient’s teeth.
- Examining the teeth and gums for symptoms of dental degeneration or gum disease, as well as irregular lumps or inflammation in the patient’s oral cavity.
- Documenting and report the existence of any disease to the Dentist.
- Applying fluoride and other chemicals used to seal and prevent tooth decay and dental degeneration.
- Applying local anesthesia to patients when necessary, as long as they are properly trained to do so.
- Making impressions of dental structures in plaster so that they can be analyzed.
They also oftentimes keep a record of the patient’s history, which includes:
- Adding observations to a patient’s record to record the condition of their health and oral hygiene.
- Documenting and filing each patient’s file for later consultation.
Not to mention helping to maintain order and cleanliness of tools and the workspace, which means:
- Sterilizing dental equipment and tools.
- Sharpening and maintaining the sharpness of the tools.
But that is just to get us started, of course. While a general overview of what the job entails and what you do in it is good and all, it doesn’t exactly help to completely convince me to become a dental assistant, you might be saying to yourself. And right you are. Being a dental assisting is a very good choice for those of you who might be looking to start a new career, be it whether you’re looking for another one or you’re just starting out right out of high school, as it typically has lots and lots of benefits to it, and that’s what we are going to show you here in this article to hopefully convince you to give this career path a try, or maybe just consider it for the future.
Work from Almost Anywhere with Fantastic and Flexible Working Conditions
As a dental assistant, you will have plenty of freedom when it comes to choosing where to work, as they’re wanted -and needed- almost everywhere in every state and every city, big or small. We all have teeth, don’t we? Chances are in your own city there are more clinics than you could count. It makes sense though, as not only is it a very sought-after and required thing for most folk, but dentistry is very specialized so you can have your regular general dentist clinic and also have a more specialized one geared towards dental surgery and the like.
The cherry on top of all this is that for most dental assistants, the working conditions are fairly flexible. You can move around from one place to the other without having to stare at a computer screen the whole day as you’ll be doing (as we previously discussed) a plethora of tasks and small jobs throughout your day.
It’s A Growing Industry That Is Only Going to Keep Growing
If you are one of those who fears his career is going to be dead in the water in a couple of years or that you are going to be replaced by robots then you need not worry here. Dental Assisting is expected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than average according to BLS.gov 
Training Takes No Time
As opposite to many careers, and even many dental careers, the required training in order to become a professional dental assistant is not only quick, but easy as well, with most programs taking about 10 months to a year; perfect for someone who doesn’t want to or simply cannot go through a full college degree and just wants to join the workforce as quickly as they can. In fact, you need but your high-school diploma -and the aforementioned training- in order to start your journey as a dental assistant.
This is probably one of if not the most important thing to most when it comes to choosing a career path. It would surprise you perhaps to know that while the training and the time it takes to become a full-fledged dental assistant is almost nothing when compared to a lot of other careers, the pay is nothing to scoff at.
For most dental assistants, the per-year pay is going to be around $37k and $42k depending on where they work, be it offices of physicians (lowest median pay), offices of dentists, or if they work for the government (highest median pay); all of this comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  To top it all off, most professionals in this field will receive paid sick leave and paid holidays, medical insurance, and free dental care. Of course, not to mention that your average pay will go up (typically) the more experience you have and the longer you work as a dental assistant.