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Dental Assisiting Essay, Research Paper

Dental Assisting

I choose dental assisting because I have always wanted to work in a

Health profession. I enjoy working with people and I like the ?team

atmosphere? approach of a dental office. Dental assisting is becoming an

exciting career as dental laws are changing and the role of the assistant is

increasing in regards to patient care. There are also many jobs available for

dental assistants and also a wide variety of options. Dental assistants can choose to work in private practices, insurance companies, federal and state funded health programs, public health departments as well as teaching community colleges or universities.

It is possible to become a dental assistant with no formal training. However most job duties would include in cleaning treatment rooms, setting up rooms for procedures and basic dental assisting.

There are one year traing programs available for dental assistants. To enter these programs a high school diploma or GED is required. This is a full time program. Classes are usually from eight a.m. to five p.m. Monday thru Friday. In the last eight weeks of the program, students are assigned to work in local dental offices to gain additional experience. A minimal high school GPA of 2.0 is required to enter the program at community colleges. Science courses are helpful but not required. Upon satisfactory completion of an accredited program, or having met the work experience requirements, and holding current cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification you are eligible to sit for the certification examination given by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

Examinations are given in several specialty areas like, chairside assisting, practice management and oral surgery assisting. If you are successful and pass the examination you may use the title Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) followed by your area of specialization.

Certification carries with it the prestige of knowledge and the ability to apply it; however it is in no sense a degree, nor does it hold any legal status except in those states recognizing it under their dental practice acts.

After completing the one year general dentistry program UNC-CH also offers additional six month training courses, if a dental assistant would like to specialize in an specific field such as, periodontics, prosthodontics, orthodontics, endodontics, pedidontics.

A pedodontist specializes in the preventive in therapeutic care of children from birth through adolescence and also treats people with handicaps and special needs. A prosthodontist fits and designs bridge work and dentures to replace missing teeth. They also design substitutes for missing oral tissues. A orthodontist prescribes and fits appliances to straighten crooked or badly spaced teeth and to correct the bite and alignment of the jaws. . An Endodontist treats disease of the dental pulp, usually with root canal therapy. A periodontist which treats gum disease. A public health dentist works with communities as a public educator in the prevention and treatment of dental disease.

Currently, there is a high demand for good dental assistants. As time goes on, the role of the dental assistant is changing. Almost every year it seems as if they have an increased role with patient care. For example in the past four years it has become legal for dental assistants to polish teeth. The range of duties varies from state to state.

The following is a list of duties that are allowed by a certified dental assistant: making radiographic exposures, taking impressions for opposing study casts, retracting gingival prior to impression procedures, placing and removing periodontal and surgical dressings, removing sutures, applying topical anesthetics, assisting in the administration of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or sedation, providing oral health insurance, applying anticariogentic agents topically, taking impressions for cast restorations, taking impressions for space maintainers, orthodontic appliances and Occlusal guards, placing and removing rubber dams, placing and removing sedative or temporary restorations and crowns, removing excess cement form coronal surfaces of teeth, preparing teeth for bonding by etching, applying pit and fissure sealants, applying cavity liners and bases and performing additional functions that may be delegated within specialties.

Upon satisfactory completion of an accredited program, or having met the work experience requirements, and holding current cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification you are eligible to sit for the certification examination given by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

Examinations are given in several specialty areas like, chairside assisting, practice management and oral surgery assisting. If you are successful and pass the examination you may use the title Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) followed by your area of specialization.

Certification carries with it the prestige of knowledge and the ability to apply it; however it is in no sense a degree, nor does it hold any legal status except in those states recognizing it under their dental practice acts.

The salaries of dental assistants varies depending on job experience. You can have on the job training, however you cannot do expanded functions if you don?t go through a training program. On the job training starting salary is from 14,000 ? 16,000 dollars annually. The expected salary in three to five years is 18,000 ? 19,500 dollars annually. For certified dental assistants recent graduate would earn between 20,000 ? 21,000 dollars annually. The expected salary in three to five years would be 23,000 ? 25,000 dollars annually. Salaries also vary depending on what type o f dentist you work with. Specialist usually pay more. Especially Orthodontist and Endodontist. This is usually because they have a lower overhead and higher fees for services rendered. Most dentist offer a good benefit package in addition to salaries. The packages usually includes paid vacations, 401-K retirement, profit sharing, uniform allowance and sick days. Again this varies among dentist.

As shown in previous paragraphs, dental assisting does provide a variety of options for this field of work. However, before choosing dental assisting as career, it would be helpful to observe in a local dental office to see if it is really something you want to do. Dentist and staff are more than helpful and encourage those interested to do so. Usually your personal dentist is willing to do this. Dental assisting instructors are very willing to meet with perspective students as well.


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