Home > Blog > March 2021 > The Role of a Pediatric Dental Assistant

The Role of a Pediatric Dental Assistant

Posted: March 31, 2021 by Kasey Bowser
Dental assistant student with patient in our dental assistant lab.
Get hands-on experience in our real-world dental assistant labs.
 


Did you know dental assistants can choose to work in specialties such as pediatric dentistry when they graduate? Pediatric dentists look for candidates who are patient and want to work with children. Not only are children in the early stages of development, they are also more of a challenge to keep calm during dental checkups and routine exams.
 
Dental assistant student teaching proper brushing techniques using fake teeth in our dental assistant lab. Learn how to educate patients on proper oral hygiene.
An important skill a pediatric dental assistant must possess is the ability to communicate with and help children feel at ease so the dentist can do their job accurately. A child’s reaction to the dentist will depend on their developmental stage. For example, a toddler may feel more comfortable sitting in their parent’s lap during a dental exam, while an older child may be more at ease holding a stuffed animal. It’s crucial that pediatric dental assistants are able to assess how the child is feeling and be familiar with different tricks and techniques like how to properly brush their teeth and other important dental health practices.
 
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, or AAPD, recommends children start dental visits no later than their first birthday. While most of your duties and tasks as a dental assistant will be what’s learned while in school, such as assisting the dentist, taking and developing X-rays and educating patients on proper oral hygiene or after care from procedures. As a pediatric dental assistant, you will also have additional duties including educating parents about preventive care for their children's teeth and supervising children during operations and procedures.
 
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of dental assistants is projected to grow seven percent by 2029, 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, including pediatric dental assistants.
 
If you’re interested in helping to improve children’s smiles and want to get into the dental industry, consider a career as a dental assistant. Our program only takes nine months and will get you started in your field quickly.
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