If you’re already a dental assistant or thinking about becoming a CDA, but you’re not sure about your long term goals, this article is for you. A dental assisting program will not only train you for a job as a CDA but it’s an accepted stepping stone to other dental, nursing, and medical careers.
Jobs Very Related to Dental Assisting
These are some of the positions directly related to a dental assisting education:
- EFDA: Expanded function dental assistants are at the top of all dental assistant positions. EFDAs generally need to be licensed in any state they practice. They are responsible for procedures like fillings and sealants. To become a certified EFDA you have to be a CDA with at least 2 years of full-time experience.
- Dental Hygienist: Becoming a dental assistant may also lead you to a career in dental hygiene. Many students who start with a CDA program go back to school to take a dental hygiene program.
- Dental Assistant Instructor: If after you became a CDA you then felt like moving toward the education side of dentistry you could train to become a dental assistant instructor. Dental assistant instructors teach all the things dental assistants learn during their CDA program. They’ve mastered aspects of radiology, use of dental tools, patient relations, record keeping, and clinical instruction.
- Dentist: You may be a natural, a dental assistant can certainly continue on through school to become a dentist. It takes a lot of school work to become a dentist but dentists do shoulder a lot of responsibility.
Jobs Somewhat Related to Dental Assisting
An associate’s degree in dental assisting combined with other training will get you in the door of many types of careers. Here’s a few more where experience in the dental assisting field could land you the job.
- Dental Sales Rep: You’ll need to be familiar with sales techniques so a course in sales along with your dental assistant certification will be a foot in the door. First hand knowledge of dental terminology, office procedures and equipment is a big upper hand in this career field. You’ll work very closely with the office staff and the dentist to determine their needs.
- Dental Office Administrator: A course in healthcare administration or business management, along with your dental assisting school-work, will qualify you to apply for dental office business administration positions. These administrators schedule appointments and maintain the office insurance billing and record-keeping.
Other Medical Careers Only 1 Program Away
A CDA program will open the doors to many career paths. Medical technology, radiology and health office administrator come directly to mind. Skilled workers for dental and medical jobs are in demand, 10 of the top 20 growing fields are in medicine and healthcare. Here’s a few examples:
- Radiologic Technician: Radiologic technicians (x-ray tech) work directly under a radiologist using imaging techniques such as basic x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging. Gaining experience as a CDA will introduce you to many concepts more heavily covered in a radiologic technician course.
- Physical Therapy Assistants: Dental assisting would introduce you to the hands on care involved in the physical therapy industry. PT assistants work under the direction of a physical or occupational therapist and are directly responsible for providing therapy to patients. To become a physical therapy assistant you’ll need to complete a physical therapy assistant program.
- Licensed Medical Massage Therapist: Dental assisting isn’t very similar to massage therapy at face value, but your work as a CDA will give you hands on experience with patients. That’s very important in medical massage therapy. You’ll need to complete a 6 month massage therapy program to work as an LMT since you’ll need to be licensed in the state you work.
That is obviously not meant to be an exhaustive list. I could keep listing different medical careers here until my fingers and your brain hurt, but I think you get the idea. Dental assistant training will prepare you for entry level work in a medical dental facility. Your experience assisting dentists and hygienists, plus other programs you may take, can definitely prepare you for a wide variety of jobs.
Find a local dental assisting school now.