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What's It Really Like to Work in a Dental Office?

Published: January 11, 2023 | Updated: January 10, 2023
 

How would you like to literally put smiles on people’s faces and make a difference in their lives? If you worked in a dental office, you could! And there’s plenty of work to do. It’s a busy place, with lots of opportunity to help patients, dentists, and other professionals. The work you do is important. Not only do you help care for people’s teeth and gums; oral health is a leading overall health indicator. If you’ve ever considered becoming a Dental Assistant, check out what the environment in a dental office might be like:

Dental Office Work is Fast Paced

The typical day in the life of a Dental Assistant is a busy one. Throughout your day, you switch back and forth between clinical and administrative duties, sometimes even juggling multiple tasks at the same time. For example, you may need to reply to emails while patients fill out paperwork. Or greet patients coming through the door while also answering a ringing phone. And when you work chairside, you need to be as swift as the dentist, even anticipating their needs during exams and oral surgeries so the procedures can go as smoothly as possible.

You Are an Essential Part of a Dental Team

A dental office is a team environment. In a big practice, your team may include other dental assistants, dental hygienists, front office staff, and possibly multiple dentists. In a smaller practice, it could be just you, a dental hygienist, and the dentist. No matter how large or small the staff is, you work together to keep the office running like a well-oiled machine. To support your team, you should be a good communicator, organized and efficient, and able to solve problems quickly.

The Dental Office Schedule is (Mostly) Set

Most dental practices have set hours during the day, so you can expect to work a 9:00 to 5:00 schedule. If maintaining a work-life balance is important to you, a set schedule can be a great benefit. Some dental practices do offer weekend and evening hours to accommodate busy patients or those who have emergencies. In those settings, you may be required to work a little later or come in on a Saturday, but you can still expect to know your schedule in advance.

Your Work in a Dental Office Makes People Smile

How many people can say that their work puts a smile on people’s faces? As a Dental Assistant, you have the rare benefit of helping others feel more confident about the way they look. Since good oral hygiene can have a direct impact on overall health, you also contribute to your patients’ wellness. Whether you offer a smile or friendly greeting when you first see patients, or help calm anxious nerves, you can make patients feel good.

You Are a Teacher and a Student in a Dental Office

Did you know that a Dental Assistant can be a teacher? You can educate every patient about proper oral care, including how to brush and floss, and what foods can harm or help their teeth. Since the field of dental assisting is always evolving, you also have the chance to be a student. Every day, you can learn new things, whether it’s a new technique, technology, or trend in dentistry.

Does the dental office sound like the right space for you? Charter College offers a Certificate in Dental Assisting that can prepare you for entry-level work in a dental office. Our dedicated faculty have experience in the field and are ready to help you meet your career goals. Fill out the form to learn more.