jmac81

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2002
77
0
0
Chicago
Visit site
Status
:D Hey guys-

I have a question for all you guys that are dental assisting now...did you go to school for that or just take a course? I thought you had to go to school for that, but I'm seeing that tons of you guys have experience as dental assistants?! Can you guys help me out here and giver me the down low...

Thanks guys
 

vixen

I like members
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2000
5,760
1
0
40
upstate ny
Visit site
Status
no i think most of us volunteered/shadowed etc while we were in undergrad...either our own dentist or another one that would be willing to let us help, or in a hospital dental clinic....to actually be an assistant you have to go to school for that....but I dont think that helps you much to get in unless you have good grades and a good dat.
 

RSXer

:) UoMBCDSCo07 :)
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2002
170
0
0
Visit site
Status
Jmac,

I dental assisted for six months PT. First, it depends on the state. Some states require formal training in order for someone ot be a dental assistant. This means more schooling. In this case, you're outta luck.

Other states don't require this (like my area - MD, VA, Wash DC), but it is still difficult to find an office willing to hire someone with know experience. I spent a good month looknig through the papers. You'll find a plethora of dental assistant openings....but few willing to train OTJ. I would suggest applying to these first and see what happens. If these offices DO offer you a job, don't expect much in monetary compensation. But getting paid shouldn't be the primary reason for getting this job. :)

If this fails, the next step would be to find free clinics in your area. THere's a bunch on non-profit free clinics in DC that would be happy to have help in their dental clinics. A few drawbacks to this option are:
1) Don't expect to get paid. This will 99% ofthe time be a volunteer job.
2) The neighborhoods maybe a little shady
3) The facilities will most likely be old

Although, if you can go without the money, volunteering in a dental free clinic is a great idea: 1) dental experience 2) community/volunteer work

Hope this helps
 

NUgirl

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2002
406
1
0
Chicago
Status
I JUST got a job as a second dental assistant, so basically I am an assistant to the dental assistant. To be a dental assistant you need to go to school for that. If you can find something like what I do, I promise you that it will be a great experience. I see first hand what the dentist does, and at the same time, I'm learning a lot about instruments, teeth, etc. I was set on going to medical school going into the job, and I simply wanted the job to gain more insight about dentistry, since lately I have become more and more interested in the field. Now, what's scary, is that I am slowly being converted to dentistry! It really is a great profession. I met two dentists there both of whom applied to both medical school and dental school and both (obviously) chose the dental route and they absolutely LOVE their jobs and have no regrets. Anyway, maybe you should ask some dental offices about a possible internship. That's what I did. Well, good luck! :)
 

UBTom

Class '04 official geezer
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2002
1,459
4
241
Queens, NY
www.iloveny.com
Status
The regulations vary from state to state...

But here in New York, as far as I know you can be a dental assistant without formal training-- The dentist is responsible for supervising what you do and making sure you do not perform procedures you have not been certified for.

Formal training would make one a CDA-- Certified Dental Assistant, and CDAs have greater responsibilities and can do more (and earn more money!).

Experience as a noncertified dental assistant is still valued in dental school applicants though. It is a form of exposure to the field and it shows the admissions committee that the applicant probably knows what he/she is getting into.

But as Vixen says, while exposure to the field is fine and dandy and a good thing to have, it will NOT make up for poor GPA and DAT scores.
 

Teething Beauty

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 28, 2002
46
0
0
39
Miami, Fl
Visit site
Status
I was a lucky one! I assisted for about three years in a general dentist's office. They were nice enough to train me to be an assistant. They taught me everything I know! :clap:
 

sjdent

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2002
218
0
0
Visit site
Status
Hey,

My dad's a dentist, I've worked in his office for years on and off. Lately, he looks for really quality, stand-out people who will add to his office team in a dynamic way....rather than people with just a ton of experience. He's willing to train. In our state, no schooling is necessary to assist.