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Career Connections: Dental Assisting

5 minutes

(Describer) Beside four different-size different-color circles connected by lines, titles: Career Connections. Dental Assisting. Students wearing smocks and masks work at counters in a classroom.

(man) Career positions in the dental field are, you have your dentist, the main guy, then you have a dental hygienist, which is, if you've been to any dentist office, the person cleaning your teeth is the dental hygienist. They also have the dental assistant. The dental assistant, which is what I am, is you are assisting the dentist or hygienist

(Describer) Earl Armstrong:

in whatever procedure you're going to be doing. That may require you just suctioning, that may require you doing, fixing materials. You can do a lot to assist the dentist, like a nurse for a dentist. You're the dentist's right-hand man. When you're assisting, you're just an assistant. But if you like assisting but want to clean teeth, you can do the hygiene program. That's another program you'd have to do.

(Describer) The students create impressions for model dentures.

If you like assisting but want to become a dentist, then you have to go to dental school. If you want to become a specialist, you go to dental school and get into the specialty school. But this is the first step if you want to get into that field.

(Describer) Armstrong speaks to the students.

You're going to need either a certificate or a degree for dental assisting, for sure. You may have to do some prereqs, but it's a certificate program. It's not like a bachelor's or an associate's. You can work towards that, but this is a certificate. So how long would it take for one person to get finished? I would say probably six, seven months.

(Describer) Title: What is the job demand for dental assisting?

If you're looking at something that's long term, that is going to be more stable-- 'Cause if I had a factory, if economy's not good, I could get fired or laid off for however long they feel, whereas this particular field, that's not going to happen. People need their teeth worked on, fixed all the time. That's one of the good things about the dental field. It's not going anywhere. The starting salary for assistants would be anywhere between 10 to 15 an hour or 10 to 20 an hour, depending on where you go. As you get more experience, it'll go up.

(Describer) Title: What can I do now to prepare for my career?

In the junior or senior year of high school, next time you go to your dentist to get your teeth cleaned, tell the receptionist, tell the assistant, tell the dentist, "I'm interested in doing this. "Can you show me some things? Can I come in one time to get an idea of what this is?" Course-wise, definitely like an anatomy or science. If you're doing reception work, like a computer class 'cause everything is on computers now. Usually when you're an assistant, you're the first person patients will be interacting with, so when you have to talk to them, it's good to have communication skills. Me, personally, I'm a people person, I like talking, getting to know people. That is a good thing, meeting people. It's good to know that this person broke his tooth, and you and the doctor fixed it. The doctor does the work, but you are also his assistant, working and helping him.

(Describer) Titles: For more information, visit OhioMeansJobs .com. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

PH: 1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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Dental instructors provide information about the various programs offered at dental assistant schools. They discuss the job demands and career goals for professional dentistry. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 5 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12

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