Most people don’t know about dental assistants, and even fewer know the distinction between different types of dental assistants. But if you’re a dental student looking to make your dreams come true — pause!

Before settling for a meager position, make sure your interests align with your job. For instance, are you someone who likes kids? Or are you someone who focuses well when surrounded by adults?

Dental Assistants don’t have it as easy as one might think. However, the most challenging part is deciding what sub-field you should master. If you’re stuck on the same path and want to know what sets a pediatric dental assistant apart from a general dental assistant, keep reading this blog.

What Does a Pediatric Dental Assistant Do?

A pediatric dental assistant is someone who works under the dentist, taking direct orders from them. In addition, they also take care of minor surgeries, especially when headed by a dentist. At most, a pediatric dental assistant ensures the patient is calm and not fretting. When dealing with kids, especially, keeping them happy and tear-free can be a hectic job.

Nonetheless, besides taking care of the patients, pediatric dental assistants are also responsible for sterilizing the surgery equipment along with preparing minor oral procedures.

What Does a General Dental Assistant Do?

General dental assistants share most of their duties with pediatric dental assistants. From managing administrative duties to ensuring the safety and sterilization of surgical equipment, they can do it all.

However, a general dental assistant may also take digital x-rays and perform minor dental procedures as required by the dentist. They mainly deal with adults and families alike, without the specification of a particular age group.

Can You Change From a Pediatric to General Dental Assistant or Vice Versa?

Considering that dental assistants don’t have to participate in the surgical department, it’s easy for them to make the switch if needed. Although, it is crucial to keep in mind that despite not needing further certifications and such, transferring from one specialty to another can be a bit hectic.

That is to say, a pediatric dental assistant is more adept with children as their patients. They must know how to break down huge chunks of knowledge for the minor to understand. In contrast, a general dental assistant is much more used to the hustle and bustle. They don’t have to smash big concepts into smaller pieces for the patients, given that most of them are adults.

Thus, although a pediatric dental assistant can become a general dental assistant and vice versa, the slight complications may linger for quite some time until they settle into their new role.

Bottom Line

To conclude, there isn’t a big difference between a pediatric dental assistant and a general dental assistant. Nevertheless, if you’re a student looking for new prospects and enjoy being around kids, perhaps a pediatric dental assistant is the position for you. On the other hand, if you’re someone who’s great at communication and better at managing adults, a general dental assistant job will serve you better. In either case, for more information, contact Greatwood Dental Assisting Program at (281) 728-6012.

Greatwood Dental Assistant Program
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