Are you seeking a career change? Are you looking for a job that can challenge you and that’s also enormously satisfying? If so, join us as we explore a day in the life of a dental assistant (DA) in a fast-paced dental practice. It just might be the perfect career for you…
Embarking on a new career in the dental field presents a wonderful chance to connect with individuals and improve their oral health. The role offers not only personal fulfillment but also the possibility of joining a tight-knit team in various dental care environments, including:
- Public hospitals and health clinics
- A private dental office
- Specialist dental hygiene and orthodontic practices
- Military dental facilities
- Educational institutions
Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts an impressive, higher-than-average employment growth rate for dental assistants at 8% between 2021 and 2031.¹ Sound appealing? Then keep reading as we’re about to delve into a day in the life of a dental assistant…
A Typical Morning in a Day in the Life of a Dental Assistant…
A typical day for a dental assistant always starts by organizing the day ahead… and a great cup of coffee. Taking to the front desk before patients arrive allows you to check overnight emails and messages for new appointments or cancellations. Amending and planning an efficient diary is a priority task in a day in the life of a dental assistant.
Before you open the doors to the public, preparing the treatment and exam room is also essential. This involves checking medical supplies, disinfecting dental instruments, and ensuring the X-ray machines work correctly. And now, a day in the life of a dental assistant can begin…
A Busy Morning Ahead…
As patients arrive, your first task is to collect their medical history and treatment plans for the dentist, orthodontist, or dental hygienist to review. While a patient is waiting to be seen, this is an excellent opportunity for a dental assistant to help put nervous patients at ease.
Before they head into the exam room to meet the dentist, you may need to take the patient’s blood pressure and update their medical history file accordingly. Additionally, this offers a chance to provide patient education regarding good dental hygiene practices at home.
Leaving the front desk, your next job is to assist the dentist or dental hygienist in the examination and treatment rooms. Working with your fellow dental care professionals, you assist during the procedures, which can include:
- Reassuring and comforting the patient
- Applying topical anesthetic
- Taking tooth impressions
- Operating tools such as overhead lights and suction devices
- Passing and sterilizing dental instruments
The fast-paced environment in a dental office means that before you know it… it’s lunchtime in a day in the life of a dental assistant.
An Action-Packed Afternoon Unfolds…
The afternoon in a day in the life of a dental assistant often starts with updating the medical history and treatment plans for this morning’s patients. In addition to this, you will also want to schedule any follow-up appointments and process payments.
At any point in the day, a patient may arrive needing emergency dental care. Depending on the emergency, you might assist a dentist or dental hygienist as the patient is being treated. This can include taking their blood pressure or making temporary crowns or bridges.
After emergency surgery, this is an excellent opportunity for further patient education. Here you can advise them of the benefits of good oral health and dental hygiene and how they can prevent future emergencies.
As a day in the life of a dental assistant draws to a close, there’s just one final task to complete. Your last job of the day is to ensure the exam room is clean and fully restocked for tomorrow, turn on the answering machine, and it’s time to head home.
What Is a Typical Week for a Dental Assistant?
The best part of becoming a DA is that a typical day for a dental assistant is never the same. On any given day, you’ll be involved with different patients, procedures, and duties, which is what makes this job so appealing.
Most dental offices and practices typically operate during regular business hours, with dental assistants working between 35-40 hours per week. However, emergency dental facilities may require occasional weekend and evening availability.
If a day in the life of a dental assistant sounds like a career that excites you, be sure to qualify through a dental assisting program. As a graduate, you’ll be eligible to enter this growing employment sector. One that the BLS calculated earned an average median salary of $38,660 in May 2021, with the top 10% earning over $59,540. ²
Unlock Your Potential With National Career College (NCC)…
Before searching for dental assistant schools in Los Angeles, speak to the National Career College today. Our dental assisting program could help you requalify to enter the dental field in just nine months!
By enrolling in our exceptional diploma program, you can soon make a day in the life of a dental assistant a reality. Our specialist DA course curriculum has been designed and taught by our in-house team of dental practice professionals here at National Career College.
Through NCC’s expert in-class tuition and a supervised real-world clinical externship, in just 40 weeks, you too can master:
- Dental anatomy and terminology
- Patient care and communication
- Infection control and sterilization
- Dental radiography
- Dental office management
National Career College offers flexible morning and evening class schedules, making it easier to retrain without disrupting your current routine. Additionally, we have financial aid options available to assist with your education costs.