Dental assistants work under dentists and help manage the workflow. They help handle various tasks in the dental office like patient checkups, scheduling appointments, cleaning teeth, etc. Sometimes, they might be asked to perform a specific task or procedure, depending on their experience and education. Are you wondering how many types of dental assistants there are? We got you. Read this blog to find out four types of dental assistants and what they do.
Types of Dental Assistants
Are you curious about the types of dental assistants? Here are four types to help you decide what to go for:
- Entry Level or Unregistered Dental Assistant Dental assistants with no prior training or experience are usually required to do basic tasks. Unregistered dental assistants work under the observation of a dentist. Moreover, they help them with minor tasks like patient checkups, taking x-rays, and offering water to patients. Unless they receive more comprehensive on-the-job training, they will remain at this level. You can even find unregistered dental assistants at high school.
- Dental Radiologic Technologist Dental radiologic technologists receive training concerned with dental x-rays. Hence, they cannot perform other tasks like dental care, filling cavities, fitting dentures, etc. Since they have formal training about dental x-rays, that is the only task they are permitted to carry out. Moreover, dental assistants trained to perform x-rays must be licensed in most states.
- Certified Dental Assistant A certified dental assistant or CDA must complete a recognized dental assistant program and pass a national board examination. Having a CDA certificate implies that you are qualified and informed professional. Therefore, certified dental assistants have an advantage over entry-level dental assistants, as they have completed an entire program. This means that they will be trusted with more tasks. Furthermore, they work alongside dentists to care for patients and perform tasks like applying the sealant to the teeth, treating x-rays, and more. Additionally, they are also capable of diagnosing and treating some oral conditions. Also, they can apply temporary fillings too!
Although you don’t need a CDA certificate for an entry-level job, having one definitely puts you in the lead.
- Registered Dental Assistant Registered dental assistants complete a board-approved dental assisting program and pass a national board examination. RDA is the highest dental assistant level. However, to become one, you may need work experience as a certified dental assistant first. Compared to a CDA, an RDA can perform various dental procedures like:
- Diagnose oral conditions
- Make referrals
- Perform some office procedures under a dentist’s observation
- Prepare amalgam to apply on teeth’s surface
- Adjust temporary restorations
- Set rubber dams
- Place temporary restorations while crowns or veneers are being prepared
- Adjust removable appliances before they are positioned inside the mouth
What’s the Takeaway?
Dental assistants are of four types: entry-level or unregistered, dental radiologic technologist, certified dental assistant, and registered dental assistant. They work under dentists to help them during procedures, aid in managing workflow, schedule appointments, and much more. Are you looking for a dental assisting program? You can find the best one at Greatwood Dental Assisting Program. Dial (281) 728-6012 to get more information.