When looking to take a certain career path, we all want to know we’re making the right decision – here are the top 5 reasons and benefits of choosing a career as a dental assistant:
#1 – Job Availability
Since we are looking at some very basic, common sense issues about dental careers, it is important that we list job availability in the top priorities. It wouldn’t make much sense to get excited about a career in which we could not find work, but the great news is that it should not be the case in dental assisting; especially if you act now!
In a sister article it was mentioned that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and its Occupational Outlook Handbook (1) it is projected that between the years of 2008 and 2018 a dramatic 36% increase will take place in dental assisting jobs!
With that phenomenal leap being forecasted it is not unrealistic to count on obtaining a job in dental assisting with the proper education and training, and doing it right now.
With a dental assistant career being determined as a practical pursuit, our attention can now go to what we want to come of that; an income.
#2 – Making Money
Although there are many motivations for career choices, by and large, it is to generate income. The same is surely true of those seeking a dental assistant career. That’s just realistic in our world. Short of being born a trust fund baby, and not that there is anything wrong with that!
Most people work to get paid, first and foremost, and while we want many other aspects of our job to be ones that we love, we know that income is very high on the list of criteria for enjoying a well-rounded career.
Throughout the other articles available it is obvious that those seeking a dental assistant job can have reasonable faith that they are capable of making a respectable income. Though many different sources are available to explore, the numbers are overall encouraging.
Individuals have many ways of enhancing the probabilities of higher incomes by the choices they make in education.
A dental assistant career choice has a wide range of options to choose from to become specialized in a specific service. It is good to explore the market in your locale or particular setting in which you wish to work: Do you live in a small community or a vast metropolis? Are you in areas of the country, like New York or California, where cosmetic dentistry may be called for more than average?
If you live in an area that is known to attract retirees, you may choose to become specialized in services that are normally performed for those in their later life. It is likely that there would be dentists targeting that age group for their business to grow successfully. You may secure your position as a dental assistant by getting extra training in such a field.
You may live in a suburban area that you know is heavily populated by people with growing families. Perhaps specializing in an area directed to the needs of pediatric dentistry or orthodontics feels like the right road for you to take to ensure a good income.
In any case, it would behoove you to give serious consideration to areas of specialization, because, as you know, the financial world tends to balance itself on supply and demand. If your training makes you a hot commodity in your community the chance of you getting and retaining a dental assistant job is greatly enhanced.
And if you should choose a specialization, you will have secured for yourself extra leverage in negotiations regarding salary, schedules, promotions, benefits, or whatever other options there are where bargaining power is a plus.
#3 – Challenging and Interesting work
A great balance of having challenging and interesting work is generally sought after in the consideration of career choices. It is simply another one of those desires that come along with being human, so we will be benefitted in the long run to give it serious thought today.
A mundane job makes days feel endless and provides nothing extra in the motivation to get up and go to work each day. Dental careers, especially with ample education and training, need not ever fall into that category.
On the contrary, there is little reason to be concerned that you would ever find your job lacking significance, as dental assistants are providing a valuable service to both doctors and patients.
You can make it what you want it to be by your education choices, but besides opting for specialized training for enhanced skills, the dental assisting world brings an array of interesting duties all on its own.
Sitting chair side with the dentist creates situations where no two are exactly alike. Each person’s situations will bring different challenges and opportunities for experiences that are far from dull.
As broadly different as individuals are, so can be the interaction with each one of the patients. And no dentist possesses enough hands to do his or her job alone, so your presence is always greatly needed and useful.
As the person who will be at the hub of activity in an office, your knowledge will be used in many peripheral forms. Some weeks you may be involved in the in inventory or ordering supplies. Your services are often needed in greeting patients or calling them to see how they are getting along after procedures are performed. You may take calls from patients with follow-up questions.
You will likely be called upon for some lab related activity, in the fitting, cleaning, or adjustment of dental appliances. While these duties are quite different from direct patient interaction, such tasks can provide a refreshing balance in overall responsibilities, keeping job satisfaction at its best.
It is highly doubtful that all of those activities and the many more done by dental assistants can be practiced each and every day, so it is easy to see that the job will be one of a very nice variety of daily activities. That is why you can look forward to work that is unlikely to run out of appealing and rewarding experiences.
If you should get all of your dental assistant skills so sharply honed that you are looking for additional challenges, that’s okay. There is good news in that arena too.
#4 – Options For Advancement
Another wonderful perk of dental assisting careers is the many options for career advancements or even attractive lateral moves. You can always strive for additional knowledge or experience to create a specialization that will bring you into a different aspect of your field.
So, if you are doing a lot of chair side assisting but your interest in lab-related work is growing, or vise versa, you can reach for those changes by verbal requests, excelling in those tasks, or both.
You may have had a general education in dental assisting that leaves you equally qualified throughout a dental office. The dental office can enable you to settle into the specific trade that you mainly enjoy or are the most comfortable with.
That flexibility does not exist in many settings, so this is a true plus when choosing your career – advancements within dental careers are also plentiful.
For instance; a person who has largely done chair side assisting for years can become greatly knowledgeable in the language of dentistry and so become qualified to move into the business end of the office – going into an office position can also be the stepping-stone to management.
A dental assisting career opens up many ways to keep jobs interesting and forward-moving. It is easily feasible to maneuver your own flexibilities in the world of dental assisting.
#5 – The Intangible Rewards
While job availability, salary, interesting work and advancements are extremely important parts in building a great career, one aspect that people often find themselves sacrificing is true fulfillment.
The above perks of a job can be used to describe many types of employment, but the heartfelt satisfaction that comes from touching lives positively are not always so present or obvious in many jobs.
For instance, a construction worker, a billing agent, a weather person, a window washer, a research scientist or a civil engineer may be able to say all of those things about their jobs, and be very fulfilled by their work, but might rarely feel the personal side of seeing the smile on somebody’s face because of what they do.
A dental assistant is likely to see the results of their labor every day. It is the dental assistant that normally takes a patient under their wing, gathers the facts and concerns of the patient, makes sure the doctor knows their needs, and can even literally speak for them while their mouth is wide open.
A dental assistant may greet a patient, see that they are uncomfortable, either due to pain or anxiety, and make a world of difference to their experience by treating the person with compassion and empathy, or soothing them with explanations.
They are the go-to person from the side of both the doctor and the patient, the ambassador for both, which can mean their being the one deemed the hero of the hour.
The dental assistant gets to walk the patient back out, normally seeing the other side of the harrowing experience; the relief, their smiles and appreciation for getting through what could have been a difficult or fearful experience.
Patients often express their thanks in words to the dental assistant, for their being so gentle and understanding – there are plenty of those deeply satisfying moments for those who have chosen dental assisting as their career.
No Need To Delay
Now that we have visited five extraordinary reasons to choose a dental assisting career, the only other thing to do is get started. Classes are available to meet virtually any situation, any schedule, and any present income.
One year from now you could be asking yourself why you delayed, or one year from now you can be patting yourself on the back for taking such a wise step.
Whether it is because your present situation is proving to be at a stall, a dead end, lacking in satisfaction or job security, low income, or you just want to try something new, there are many good reasons to move forward into the career of dental assistance.
You have the power to choose a career with very positive perks; from the likelihood of available openings with interesting and fulfilling work, to respectable incomes with the mobility of change and advancements.
It has been made easy for you by the many options available to you for education and training – you have the power to turn yourself onto that road this very day.