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5 Facts About Dental Assistants

Posted: August 10, 2018 by Kasey Bowser

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 tooth 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 about some of the exciting things involved in being 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 get to hand out the goody bags
The best part of going to the dentist is getting the goody bag when it’s all over, and the dental assistant is most likely the one who gets to give it to the patient. Ending the patient’s visit, hopefully, on a positive note.

Dental assistant jobs are on the rise
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The aging population and ongoing research linking oral health and general health will continue to increase the demand for preventive dental services.*
Find out more about the dental assistant job outlook by downloading the diagram below. Then visit Pima Medical Institute to see how you can earn a dental assistant certificate in approximately nine months.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Dental Assistants, on the Internet at (visited June 28, 2018).

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