a dental assistant with her patient

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5 Reasons a Dental Assistant Career Might be Right for You

The healthcare industry is booming and if you’ve ever considered where you could fit in, consider whether a Dental Assistant career might be right for you. It could be if…

You have an interest in teeth. Not just teeth! You really need to care about oral medicine, proper dental hygiene, and preventive dental care. You need to know that there’s more to a dentist appointment than just shiny white teeth and composite resin fillings. For example, did you know that dental x-rays can detect bone infections, or help find tiny tooth imperfections or small amounts of decay that could lead to big problems? Administering dental x-rays is just one important responsibility you’d have as a Dental Assistant. But you already knew that, didn’t you?

You have an awesome smile. Okay, it’s not really about your smile. It’s the attitude behind those pearly whites. Do you have a positive, friendly nature? Are you attentive and helpful? Do you really listen to others so you’ll understand exactly what they need when they come into the dental office? Can you reassure even the most apprehensive dental patients that it’s all going to be alright? Those are the kinds of personality traits that make an awesome Dental Assistant.

You’re professional and responsible. Working in a healthcare setting demands a level of professionalism and responsibility unlike many other office environments. After all, we’re talking about patient care. You will need to adhere to the Federal standards of patient privacy protection under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations and follow strict rules regarding instrument sterilization and proper sanitation for surfaces and equipment. You’ll also need an even temperament and calming influence on your patients.

You’re super organized and detail-oriented. Guidelines on how to take accurate medical histories will help you keep records straight, but medical records are only one area where organization will help you do a better job. Names, appointments, insurance information, and files need to be up-to-date. The office and exam room need to be clean and tidy. Attention to detail can also make patients feel welcome and cared for. When you remember information about your patients that isn't necessarily written down in their files, like details about their families and recent life events, it helps set the mood for the whole visit.

You care about people. At the end of your very busy day as a Dental Assistant, you have to care about people; those you help to treat and those with whom you work. If you’ve ever dreamed of a career helping others, you may have found the best reason ever to become a Dental Assistant. Find out how to start on the path to this rewarding career at Charter College.