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Areas of Employment for Dental Assistants

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					Areas of Employment for Dental Assistants

A career as a Dental Assistant will open many doors of opportunity.
Dental Assistants will be among the highest growing occupations from
now until 2012. This is because people are starting to take a better
interest in their oral health. Technological advances have led many
individuals to the dentist office for cosmetic dental procedures rather
than just cleanings and major dental work. Also, people are living
longer, so their teeth need more care to stay healthy throughout their
life.

The most common place of employment to find Dental Assistants is in
the dental office. Here they provide a variety of services. They often
help to comfort scared patients prior to procedures as well as give
them follow up care at the end of the appointment. Dental Assistants
clean the tools used as well as make sure each work unit has the
necessary tools and equipment ready for the next patient’s
procedures.

Dental Assistants in the dental office work very closely with Dentists
and Hygienists. They often sit in on all procedures, handing staff the
necessary tools. Dentist offices are generally small so Dental
Assistants often help with lab work. This includes making molds of
teeth for caps, bridges, and other dental work. They may also be
required to assist with the taking of X-rays.

A common place for Dental Assistants to be employed is in prisons.
With more and more prisons being built all over the Nation, Dental
Assistants are in great demand for Federal, State, and privately owned
prisons. Working as a dental assistant in a prison setting requires
more caution that in a regular dental office.

All Nursing Assistants need to be aware of the risk of communicable
diseases that are transmitted via saliva and blood. However, the rate
of these diseases, especially HIV, is much higher with a prison
population than the general public. Also, some inmates might try to
attack by biting.

Nursing Assistants in a prison setting need to be alert, and never let
down their guard. Inmates often look for any opportunity to escape or
obtain weapons. They can use a dental tool as a weapon against you,
other staff, or other inmates. It is very important that you keep very
close track of all dental tools in a prison setting. Never leave a tool in
the reach of an inmate for even a moment. If you discover a tool is
missing, immediately notify your supervisor and follow the procedures
outlined in the prison policy.

For those Dental Assistants wanting to help the lower income
populations, securing employment in a Child Development Center,
Head Start, or Migrant program is an excellent way of giving back to
the community. Often, these populations can’t afford dental care and
would go without it if the services weren’t offered as part of a
government program. Employment in these types of agencies as a
Dental Assistant often pays less than other employment opportunities
in the field. However, many Dental Assistants make the choice to help
those in need rather than earn more money.

There are many opportunities to work as a Dental Assistant for
agencies who serve the disabled. Often, Dental Assistants are afraid to
work with such a population. However, once you feel comfortable with
disabled people and their disabilities, you will be able to provide proper
care to those who are in need, regardless of their mental capacity or
physical appearance.

A career as a Dental Assistant offers you many areas of employment
including dental offices, prisons, low income programs, and for
facilities who serve the disabled. The ability to choose the type of
environment you want to use your Dental Assistant skills in makes the
field even more inviting. If you are not sure if a particular type of
agency is a good fit for you, talk to them. Ask if you can shadow
another Dental Assistant who works there for a few days. This should
give you plenty of exposure to the activities that take place in that
agency.

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DOCUMENT INFO
Description: The role of a Dental Assistant is to help Dentists and Dental Hygienists carry out the duties of providing quality dental care to individuals as well as providing an environment with sterile equipment and a comfortable setting for the procedures to take place in.