Becoming a Dental Assistant [Steps & More]

Posted on 02.03.2020

female dental professional standing in dentist office

Choosing to become a dental assistant enables you to join the field of other dental professionals in a rewarding career. After finishing your certification program, you can work shoulder to shoulder with dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, and prosthodontists across the country.

How do you become a dental assistant? To have the career you’ve always wanted, follow the three simple steps below.

Steps to Becoming a Dental Assistant

Having a plan is a great way to make sure you don’t waste precious money or time. A major mistake some people make is not knowing where they are going or where the next step in their career is and then stopping just a few steps shy of the finish line. Having a clear picture of what to expect will give you more control and stability in your life as you become a dental assistant.

1. Research

If you’re reading this article, you’re headed in the right direction. You need to research and make sure you know what is ahead of you. Learn all the things you need to know about being a dental assistant through online research and by talking to actual dental assistants. Ask them questions about the field they’re working in, and ask for any advice or tips they would give themselves if they were in your shoes. Having an experienced mentor to help guide and direct your experience is priceless.

Another major part of your research is to look into the various certification and training programs out there. Before you pay for your training, you should know how much it will cost, how long it will take to finish the training, and the education requirements for dental assistants. You should feel comfortable with the program and know what is coming your way before you start your training.

During the research phase of your journey, make sure the program you’re looking into has a built-in support system to help you succeed. It’s painful to pay a large amount of money only to be forgotten by the company or institution that is supposed to be helping you grow and succeed. Make sure you have access to counselors, tutors, or academic advisors who are ready and willing to help along the way. Even if you learn quickly, you might have some areas you don’t perform as well in, so it’s important to know someone who can help you.

2. Complete Your Training

Once you find a program that works for your schedule and meets all your requirements, set aside time and finish it. Don’t stop. Don’t make excuses. Finish your program.

You may find many excuses to quit or to procrastinate, but you can’t let those excuses stop you. You want to make a difference and be in a career that will change your life. Though it will require some late nights, hard work, and long hours studying, it will be worth it. Don’t stop just because you hit a speed bump.

When things get hard, ask for help. Use your support network; they want you to succeed. This can be family, friends, co-workers, or the support team available to you through your program. If you feel like you’re doing this alone, reach out to this network of supporters. Turn to those people and ask for help. Even though they won’t be able to make the quiz questions any easier or the vocabulary simple to memorize, they can help pull you through it, keeping you motivated and encouraged so you can continue to improve yourself.

3. Apply for Jobs

As you are finishing your program, you can start to apply for jobs. Apply for several positions as you approach your final day. It’s very possible for you to start work the same week or even the same day you graduate.

Even though there is a high demand for dental assistants in the job market, that doesn’t mean you will receive an offer from every job you apply for. Apply to as many jobs as you can. It’s a great problem to have when you’re faced with two or more job offers, and that is only possible when you apply to multiple locations and positions.

To find out more about becoming a dental assistant, check out CareerStep’s Dental Assisting program. CareerStep is waiting to help you succeed in your certification program.