Did you know that tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body? How about if you don’t floss you miss cleaning 40 percent of your teeth’s surfaces? Or just like fingerprints, your tongue print is unique to everyone else’s?
Those are just some cool facts you can tell your patients if you want to become a dental assistant. While most dental assistants work in dental offices, periodontist offices or endodontist offices, and the job can be challenging and interesting at times, it can be a lot of fun too.
Read on to learn five facts you’ll want to know about becoming a dental assistant.
Dental assistants get to do a variety of work
For many people, performing a variety of tasks makes work diverse, engaging and enjoyable. Some of the daily duties when helping dentists and hygienists as well as the office team include:
- Sterilizing equipment
- Processing X-rays
- Organizing dental records
- Processing billing and payments
- Scheduling appointments
- Educating patients on oral health
Dental assistants usually work regular business hours
Most dental offices are open during the weekdays, giving a dental assistant the weekends and nights off. Although, there may be some offices that are open on some weeknights and weekends, you still won’t be working long shifts like some other healthcare professions.
Dental assistants get to educate patients on dental hygiene
You can make this part of your job creative and educational at the same time. Teaching a patient about diet and nutrition, how to brush and floss properly and scheduling them for their next visit can be a rewarding part of your job. You can throw out some fun facts during your discussion so your patient can take their dental health seriously.
Here are a few facts you can tell your patients while educating them:
- There are 10-12 teaspoons of sugar in one can of soda.
- People who drink 3 or more glasses of soda each day have 62 percent more tooth decay, fillings and tooth loss than others.
- You should spend two to three minutes brushing your teeth, twice daily.
- Dental plaque is made up of more than 300 types of bacteria.
- The average woman smiles 62 times a day while the average man only smiles about eight times a day.
- The Blue Whale doesn’t have any teeth, even though it’s the largest mammal in the world.
Dental assistants gain real-world experience before they graduate
In order to complete the dental assistant program, students have to complete a certain number of clinical hours before they can graduate. Our Career Services teams help with externship placement and students also gain experience through community volunteer opportunities during their program with us.
Dental assistant jobs are on the rise
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is projected to grow eight percent from 2021 to 2031, which is faster than average for all the occupations. The aging population and ongoing research linking oral health and general health will continue to increase the demand for preventive dental services.*
Visit Pima Medical Institute to see how you can earn a dental assistant certificate in approximately nine months.
Check out our YouTube Short on the 5 Facts About Dental Assistants.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Dental Assistants, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm (visited March 03, 2023).