The healthcare sector of the United States economy is growing fast, and team-based practitioner groups are being utilized to deliver more efficient care to patients. One area of healthcare that has always employed a team of specialists to good effect is the dental office. That’s where office staff, hygienists, dentists, and dental assistants work together to foster better dental health in their communities.
You can join this expanding sector with healthcare training in the Miami, FL, area. The dental assistant program at The Praxis Institute helps graduates embark on a worthwhile and satisfying career path in the fascinating field of dentistry. Here, we’ll discuss some of the top places dental assistants can work.
Career Variety in Dental Assisting
The types of jobs preferred by dental assistant program graduates depend partly on individual attributes and preferences. For example, those who like to work with children might find working with pediatric dentists and related dental professionals appealing. They find that in an environment that’s especially attuned to the needs of young patients the dental tools may be smaller, and procedures are handled differently. Other dental assistants may prefer to work with an oral surgeon or orthodontist.
The Praxis Institute requires an externship for 120 clock hours out of the 900-hour program, which provides students with solid work experience and opportunities for networking with potential employers. This is also an excellent way to explore different aspects of the dental field.
Where Do Dental Assistants Work?
Just as dentistry contains many specialties, there are also a variety of workplaces for these professionals. After completing a dental assistant program, graduates usually choose to work closely with one dentist, gaining practical experience and training while finding out more about the field. Dental assistants can be found in the following areas:
- Private dental offices
- Military facilities
- Government programs
Some professionals also work for insurance companies, dental supply businesses, and dental manufacturing operations.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 91% of dental assistants were employed in dentist offices in 2021 – but that doesn’t mean they’re all engaged in exactly the same type of work. Depending on the specialty, patient demographics, size of the operation, and other factors, the job descriptions for these professionals may vary widely.
Some assistants are specially trained to take X-rays of teeth and mouths, while others are dedicated to the important responsibilities related to sterilizing procedure rooms and instruments. And some assist dentists and oral surgeons with complex procedures, such as removing teeth, creating dentures and crowns, placing implants, and performing root canals. Dental assistants are integral to every patient visit and the success of the practice overall.
Dental assistants who do not work in dentist offices may work with physicians, such as ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists. And government programs employ dental assistants, as well. They may work in public health clinics or research settings. If dental assistants want to advance their careers, they can move into positions of greater responsibility, often that require an administrative component, such as dental services coordinator, dental assistant educator, business development for dental practices, and medical-dental coding specialist for insurance companies.
Dental Assistant Program Advantages at The Praxis Institute
Graduates of the dental assistant program with expanded functions at The Praxis Institute can apply for the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) certification exam. After passing sections that cover anatomy, morphology, physiology, radiation health and safety, and infection control, the newly graduated dental assistant can apply for certification. This allows greater freedom to work in states that require certification, as well as appealing to potential employers who prefer to hire certified dental assistants.
The Praxis Institute offers financial aid services for eligible students, as well as competitive pricing on tuition. Our dental assistant program allows a certain amount of flexibility for students, helping them balance work and family obligations with their training schedule. The Praxis Institute also features a robust career services department. These dedicated professionals assist students and graduates with opportunities for exciting new careers. They can also help you create resumes, utilize online resources, and practice interview techniques.