For example, they may explain the relationship between diet and oral health. They also may give advice to patients on how to select toothbrushes and other oral-care devices. Dental assistants often prepare other materials for use by the dentist, such as x-ray machines, impression materials, anesthetics and cement.
Other tasks may include office secretarial work such as billing patients, making sure payments are received and ordering dental supplies. According to The U.
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Dental hygienists wear safety glasses, surgical masks, and gloves to protect themselves and patients from infectious diseases. When taking x rays they follow strict procedures to protect themselves and patients.
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They may spend long periods of time bending over to work on patients. Their work area usually is near the dental chair so that they can arrange instruments, materials, and medication and hand them to the dentist when needed.
Assistants also follow safety procedures to minimize the risks associated with the use of x-ray machines. High school students interested in a career as a dental assistant should take courses in biology, chemistry, health, and office practices. In addition, students gain practical experience in dental schools, clinics, or dental offices. Most programs take 1 year or less to complete and lead to a certificate or diploma. Two-year programs offered in community and junior colleges lead to an associate degree.
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To become a dental hygienist you need to take more courses in science, math and English. Most programs prefer applicants who have completed at least one year of college. I loved the thought of helping people smile again. Some dental assistants entered the field while they were preparing to attend college or another healthcare program like nursing or dental hygiene school.
They worked as on-the-job-trained dental assistants to pay for their education.
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Once they started, they realized they enjoyed dental assisting. They have never looked back. Then I became curious about what an MOD filling was. Once I started assisting, I loved it. Many people turn to dental assisting later in their lives. Some want a career change.
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