What is it like being a dental assistant

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jaclie in Monroe, Michigan

56 months ago

I have read some other discussions and it seems like many dental assistants hate their jobs. I am considering becoming a dental assistant and would like to know more about it. Do you get benefits? Is the pay decent?

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4432 in Conroe, Texas

56 months ago

Well, all I can say is make sure you are okay with scrubbing toliets- mopping floors- and other maid duties, 8-10 hours on your feet, and rude unappreciative doctors and managers whom feel in neccessary to tell you how stupid and useless you are.

If anything make sure you are properly trained and start with a slow pace private office if you are dead set on becoming a dental assistant.

If I had to do it all over I would have done otherwise.

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Kyle in North Tonawanda, New York

55 months ago

Dental assisting sucks. You get paid half as much as the hygienist (if you're lucky) for doing the same amount of work.

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DeLolly in Lake Mary, Florida

55 months ago

The biggest issue with Dental Assisting as a career is the sheer lack of benefits.

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STAY AWAY IF YOU LOVE LIFE in Winter Garden, Florida

54 months ago

So DENTAL ASSISTING....become it if you have ever dreamed of being a MIND READER...thats right...mind reader. You have to know what a doctor wants before he thinks of it and they do change their minds a lot and make you look like a stupid ass in front of PTs.
YOu will DEAL with mean hearted evil girls at times that will try to rule your life. The lead assistant will try to make you look like a FOOL in front of the doctor and Pt. and you will find yourself slip into a grave depression and find your life falling around you. Oh and just get some anti-depression pills before you start...start early...prevention is KEY.
Do not think this is just a bitter dental assisant...I have only been doing this for 6 months...and have been thru 2 offices.
Oh another thing. Dont be too happy, cause if you show the other DA's that your life is better then they will DO ANYTHING to make your life hell at work. REMEMEBR THIS: you work for only a few minutes with the doctor....you WILL work with and at first ONLY for the DA's.
Every Dental office is different. Maybe you will love the job and think you have been blessed. JUST remember to WEAR a tough skin. NEVER let ANYONE see you CRY or look WEAK, and when new at an office bring a note pad on your first day and write everything down. Dentistry is very interesting. GOOD LUCK. Wish I never got my degree.
DENTAL ASSISTING SCHOOL WAS WORSE. Never go to SFCC in Gainesville FL. Promise me.

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Delolly in Lake Mary, Florida

53 months ago

Oh and by the way... Our Hygienist in our office scrubs the toilets in our office. We are a team and we all have different duties to perform besided patient care!!! So good luck to Jessa, maybe when you get to be a hygienist you won't have to scrub the toilet!! LOL

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Jessa in Carrollton, Texas

53 months ago

STAY AWAY IF YOU LOVE LIFE in Winter Garden, Florida said: So DENTAL ASSISTING....become it if you have ever dreamed of being a MIND READER...thats right...mind reader. You have to know what a doctor wants before he thinks of it and they do change their minds a lot and make you look like a stupid ass in front of PTs.
YOu will DEAL with mean hearted evil girls at times that will try to rule your life. The lead assistant will try to make you look like a FOOL in front of the doctor and Pt. and you will find yourself slip into a grave depression and find your life falling around you. Oh and just get some anti-depression pills before you start...start early...prevention is KEY.
Do not think this is just a bitter dental assisant...I have only been doing this for 6 months...and have been thru 2 offices.
Oh another thing. Dont be too happy, cause if you show the other DA's that your life is better then they will DO ANYTHING to make your life hell at work. REMEMEBR THIS: you work for only a few minutes with the doctor....you WILL work with and at first ONLY for the DA's.
Every Dental office is different. Maybe you will love the job and think you have been blessed. JUST remember to WEAR a tough skin. NEVER let ANYONE see you CRY or look WEAK, and when new at an office bring a note pad on your first day and write everything down. Dentistry is very interesting. GOOD LUCK. Wish I never got my degree.
DENTAL ASSISTING SCHOOL WAS WORSE. Never go to SFCC in Gainesville FL. Promise me.

Dental and medical field are esp. stressful careers. And you are right You just have to find a good office to make the best of it. Keep positive and I am sure you will find a dental office you'll like. The first years are the hardest since you are just starting out.
Just remember every Career has its downside. GOOD LUCK.

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ptabby in Jackson Heights, New York

53 months ago

The dental field is not stressful. However, the medical field is..or can be.

Now the schooling..that's a different story. I'm entering nursing, and I promise you that no Dental Hygienist out there is even 1/3 as stressed as I am. But God Bless them, because they have just as intense schooling and make nearly the same as us!

If I were passionate about Dentistry, I would have gone for a Dental Hygienist program. Dentists and DHs are not usually as stressed as MDs and RNs....but they make nearly the same. Oh how I wish I loved teeth. LOL :)

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Laura in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

53 months ago

Delolly in Lake Mary, Florida said: Just so you know... I chose being a CDA as a career. Like I said you are funny! Thanks for the humor today!! :)

What's up with you??? Leave the poor girl alone, she is right, dental assistant is the lower end of the chain, it does not mean anything wrong, is just the way it is. And cleaning the toilets... first of all she never said that a dental hygienist would never have to clean a toilet, i don't know why you even mention that... a private dental office is not the same as working in public health, and of course you want to keep the office clean!!!
You sound like you're actually jealous of Jessa, and are the one who actually wanted to get a dentist!

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GP in Wolcott, Connecticut

53 months ago

This is completely DEPRESSING !! I am a 41 year old woman in the midst of a life altering career change. Having been in the resturant business the past 24 years, I'm tired, sore, overworked and underpaid and just plain done with it. I will never get any higher in the field than I am right now. So that's it.....I need to decide what I'm going to do with the next 20 some odd yrs of work I have left.
I've pretty much decided on the Mecical field but have been tossing around different routes. Medical Assistant, LPN, Dental Assistant are the three career paths I'm considering. I'm completely terrified of attending school for one of these three and then finding out I hate it once I'm working in the field. I'm too old for that crap.
I love working with people, helping others, I need to be kept very busy (even hectic) at a job to be happy but I cannot choose something which will be too taxing on my body....the food industry has already taken care of that.
I also cannot stand clerical work. A little is OK, but the thought of sitting at a desk pushing papers all day long makes me want to stick something sharp in my eye. For this reason, Medical Assisting is at the bottom of my list, as I understand there is usually more clerical than clinical involved in the field.
Anyway, I have NO IDEA what to do anymore.
And this forum is so depressing, it is making me think twice about DA.
ARRGGGHH !!!!

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Delolly in Lake Mary, Florida

53 months ago

Laura in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida said: What's up with you??? Leave the poor girl alone, she is right, dental assistant is the lower end of the chain, it does not mean anything wrong, is just the way it is. And cleaning the toilets... first of all she never said that a dental hygienist would never have to clean a toilet, i don't know why you even mention that... a private dental office is not the same as working in public health, and of course you want to keep the office clean!!!
You sound like you're actually jealous of Jessa, and are the one who actually wanted to get a dentist!

So sorry you feel that way. I wasn't picking on her... My perception of her comment was not that same as yours.

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Delolly in Lake Mary, Florida

53 months ago

GP in Wolcott, Connecticut said: This is completely DEPRESSING !! I am a 41 year old woman in the midst of a life altering career change. Having been in the resturant business the past 24 years, I'm tired, sore, overworked and underpaid and just plain done with it. I will never get any higher in the field than I am right now. So that's it.....I need to decide what I'm going to do with the next 20 some odd yrs of work I have left.
I've pretty much decided on the Mecical field but have been tossing around different routes. Medical Assistant, LPN, Dental Assistant are the three career paths I'm considering. I'm completely terrified of attending school for one of these three and then finding out I hate it once I'm working in the field. I'm too old for that crap.
I love working with people, helping others, I need to be kept very busy (even hectic) at a job to be happy but I cannot choose something which will be too taxing on my body....the food industry has already taken care of that.
I also cannot stand clerical work. A little is OK, but the thought of sitting at a desk pushing papers all day long makes me want to stick something sharp in my eye. For this reason, Medical Assisting is at the bottom of my list, as I understand there is usually more clerical than clinical involved in the field.
Anyway, I have NO IDEA what to do anymore.
And this forum is so depressing, it is making me think twice about DA.
ARRGGGHH !!!!

Bless your heart! What a tough choice. Dental Assisting has been an awesome career for me. You just have to plan accordingly and find an office that works for you. If possible and you decide to go into Dental Assisting as a second career. Be sure to get Certified. That will be a plus in the hiring game. Not always, but more often that not. I have been in the field 20 plus years. Also you might want to go into a specialty, like Oral Surgery or Orthodontics. Good Luck my dear!

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booey in Tulsa, Oklahoma

53 months ago

Jessa in Carrollton, Texas said: I am reading posts and It bothers me when people complain about cleaning,mopping, and etc. in an office. You are an assistant! and the lowest at the bottom ( dentist, hygienist) and theres only so much you can do at a dental office. You are not going to have patient every second.

Dont like your DOCTOR? he/she making you feel worthless? then switch offices, no ones making you stay.
Dont like being DA then look in to the medical field its more demanding, i guess.

All these negative posts are making future dental assistant think twice. Dental can be a great career field, but only if you make it. And that goes for every job and or career.

Im only a dental assistant just so I can get my foot in the door. My career choice is a Hygienist. :]

Thanks you!!!! I'm going to school in January to become a dental assistant, and all this is bothering me.

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Delolly in Lake Mary, Florida

53 months ago

jaclie in Oak Park, Michigan said: Wow, these comments really have made me think twice and look into medical assisting for a job.

I don't know what the benefits are with MA, but look at the big picture in that aspect. Like I said before being a C.D.A. has been good to me. I have been lucky to have an awesome boss, and a "team" atmosphere where I work. Noone is "lowest of the low" in our office as each person has a valued position. Our office has "career" assistants not those looking for a stepping stone. Patients appreciate the same faces and how smooth their appointments go due to a positive work environment. But it does have it's down side. I'm sure the phsyical aspects are the same in medical as you are on your feet a lot as well. Good luck with whatever you choose. :)

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sasha in Perth, Australia

52 months ago

why are you peolpe soo depressed IF U DONT LIKE UR JOB as a dental assistant than why stay in the indistry no one has forced you to stay in a place which u are not hapy with Dental assisting can be a nice place if u deal with nice peolpe i have alot of s.... but who cares life goes on......

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sasha in Perth, Australia

52 months ago

jaclie in Monroe, Michigan said: I have read some other discussions and it seems like many dental assistants hate their jobs. I am considering becoming a dental assistant and would like to know more about it. Do you get benefits? Is the pay decent?

......................................

I encourage you o go for it....well about the pay it depends were you work. you can get really good pay ....every place is different and not every ones experince is the same if u like wat ur doing than u will love it

goo for it......

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THINK TWICE !!! in Colorado Springs, Colorado

52 months ago

I have been a DA for the past year and let me just say, it is a very stressful job. The Doctors do work you to the bone and overschedule everything. Lack of benefits, too much drama (which I stay away from) and way too much negativity. I'm highly considering Hygiene school at some point like the rest of you or seeing if there's a specialty out there I would like (ex. Oral Surgery, Ortho, etc) cause we all know specialty gets higher pay, sadly enough. Overall, I try my hardest to keep positive and just can't wait to go home after just getting there at 8am. LOL

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In and Out in Chicago, Illinois

52 months ago

sasha in Perth, Australia said: why are you peolpe soo depressed IF U DONT LIKE UR JOB as a dental assistant than why stay in the indistry no one has forced you to stay in a place which u are not hapy with Dental assisting can be a nice place if u deal with nice peolpe i have alot of s.... but who cares life goes on......

No one really means to complain about being an assistant but more like hating the office and work environment they work in. We all know that there are offices that treat dental assistants like garbage. I have had my share of goods and bad experiences and believe me there not all base on your skills being good or bad, sometimes the drama in an office can kill your spirit and love of the job!!! By the way you need to learn to spell.

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In and Out in Chicago, Illinois

52 months ago

booey in Tulsa, Oklahoma said: Thanks you!!!! I'm going to school in January to become a dental assistant, and all this is bothering me.

I agree with your statement. Dental assisting to me is very rewarding and I love what I do. As in any job you can have your good or bad experiences. It's up to you to decide if you want to move on and find another office you can be appreciate it or look into another career.

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In and Out in Chicago, Illinois

52 months ago

Jessa in Carrollton, Texas said: okay lol. In Texas it does matter if you are a dental assistant before becoming a hygienist :] it increases your chances of getting in faster and I am not the one that is unhappy with the job. I know the risks and what comes a long with it. I have the love and the desire for the dental field and thats why I am doing it. UNlike you, you probably just wanted an EASY way out and became what you can become in the least amount of time.

And trust me I wouldnt become a hygienist so I can have a "relationship" with the dentist for his money. If i was like that, Id rather become a Registered Nurse so i can "be" with a surgeon, now that would be WORTh my time :] :] :]

That's right! Shoot for the top of the totem pole

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In and Out in Chicago, Illinois

52 months ago

booey in Tulsa, Oklahoma said: Thanks you!!!! I'm going to school in January to become a dental assistant, and all this is bothering me.

There's lots to do in a dental office that doesn't require mopping etc. If we wanted janitorial duties we would apply for that position instead!!!!!!!!!

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DentalGuru2009 in Richmond, Illinois

52 months ago

Oh, and about all the DA's thinking that Hygiene is so much better..... Though the paycheck is somewhat larger in hygiene, it is plain BORING for sure. Scaping off teeth, what is fun about it??

I get to make temps, fix dentures,reline dentures, all the reg DA stuff- films , impressions, polish, etc...
order what you like working with, organizing, What is hard about it? turning over a room?? Is that really hard?
If you are the creative type - you'll like it.

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DentalEX in Modesto, California

52 months ago

Amen, DentalGuru2009! You said it all so well! Yes, when I started out I thought I wanted to be a Dental Hygienist. Dental Assistants get to be involved in so many aspects of dentistry, not just the cleaning! When you make it fun by trying to be there for the patient and for the rest of the staff and the Dentist, it is awesome to be able to make a difference. I was a RDA, taught dental assisting in a vocational school for a time, taught on the job training in dental assisting over many years,was actually in dentistry for 44 years. Worked in one office where I was able to make temporaries bridges and crowns for full mouth reconstructions, allowing patients to be truly comfortable with function and esthetics while the permanent prosthetics were being fabricated in the lab. To be a part of that was so rewarding!

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sasha in Perth, Australia

52 months ago

In and Out in Chicago, Illinois said: No one really means to complain about being an assistant but more like hating the office and work environment they work in. We all know that there are offices that treat dental assistants like garbage. I have had my share of goods and bad experiences and believe me there not all base on your skills being good or bad, sometimes the drama in an office can kill your spirit and love of the job!!! By the way you need to learn to spell.

.........

Belive me i can spell its just that you dont know what short slang is.
i think its time for the dental assistants to stand up to them selves and dont let any one bully them.
and if you dont like were you work find some were else..

Jesus christ..
am not saying i havent had a bad time, i did but i stod up for my self,

anyways..

am not going to comment about every word you said.

good bye and have a lovely day

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smile in Calgary, Alberta

52 months ago

I was a DA for 20 yrs b/f I was a RDH. In my experience, DA is a no-where, dime a doz. BORING job. Believe it or not, it is more boring than RDH. Oh good, you get to make temp crowns!!! I get to administer LA, be part of a diabetic's healthcare regime, do bleaching, do temp fills, manage perio abcesses, cancer screenings, consult people during pregnancy, cardiac tx, eating disorders, osteoporosis, cancer thx. I treat each person as an individual & I treat their individual needs as I see fit. As a DA you cannot do that. You can do some of these things after it is rx'd by a dentist or RDH but not on your own. With further training RDHs can also administer n2o2, do ortho (not full ortho), rests, prescribe meds. RDHs can also set up their own practices & employ DAs. DAs job rely heavily on the dentist & not all dentists are created equal. Some do expect you do do things totally out of your scope of practice & you will do it to save your job. You cannot necessarily leave a patient b/c time constraints. I almost missed a flight & my daughter's Christmas concert b/c simple exts turned out to be surgical. This was part of my job & did not get any gratitude for it. As a RDH, you build a stronger relationship with the patient. There are patients that present to the office b/c of you not the dentist & certainly not the DA. DO NOT be a fool & expect more $ from a specialty office. I made $8 less/hr going from a GP office to an OS office. I also worked in perio & pedo. The dentist will pay you what they will pay you. You are not guarenteed pay increases, benefits, retirement plans, etc. Some peoplke are happy with this job but I found no personal satisfaction & wanted more out of life. Once you are a DA, unless you do recept, that's what you do. Your skills are not transferable to too many other jobs. DAs don't really know what RDHs do until you go back to school as a RDH. I thought I knew what they did too until I went back w/ a class full of DAs we got a rude wake up call

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Terri in Peoria, Arizona

52 months ago

For those who are still wanting to know what it is like being a dental assistant, try going to Youtube and in the search field "Dental Assistant." There are quite a few personal dental assistant stories that are very encouraging. I do not agree with there being no advancement in this field. Whatabout Lead DA, Treatment Coordinator, Voc tech teacher, Federal Govt EFDA, etc. This field is what you make it. In California eff. 1/1/2010 Registered dental assistants are moving into very rewarding direct patient care positions and the trend is growing. RDA's in CA are doing x-rays, coronal polishing, pit & fissure sealants, fluride treatments, sedation assisting and the list is growing. I personally think now that with the ADA adding the Oral Assistant field, who will do oral healthcare education to patients could pose a threat in the near future to dental hygienist. It looks like to me, that the dentist are tired of paying high wages to the RDH's and are sitting themselves up to pass off the duties to some DA's at half the price.

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smile in Calgary, Alberta

52 months ago

Terri in Peoria, Arizona said: For those who are still wanting to know what it is like being a dental assistant, try going to Youtube and in the search field "Dental Assistant." There are quite a few personal dental assistant stories that are very encouraging. I do not agree with there being no advancement in this field. Whatabout Lead DA, Treatment Coordinator, Voc tech teacher, Federal Govt EFDA, etc. This field is what you make it. In California eff. 1/1/2010 Registered dental assistants are moving into very rewarding direct patient care positions and the trend is growing. RDA's in CA are doing x-rays, coronal polishing, pit & fissure sealants, fluride treatments, sedation assisting and the list is growing. I personally think now that with the ADA adding the Oral Assistant field, who will do oral healthcare education to patients could pose a threat in the near future to dental hygienist. It looks like to me, that the dentist are tired of paying high wages to the RDH's and are sitting themselves up to pass off the duties to some DA's at half the price.

DAs have been doing those most of those duties in most of Canada forever. This is where my DA experience comes from. A treatment coordinator is another name for someone who books recall appts all day (a job very few in a dental office wants to do) or receptionist. Lead Da just means you are the 1 that stuck around the longest & have to take the most garbage, educator is a given as someone has to teach the job, DAs in Canada can also take an ortho module, impressions,temp crowns,etc. It's funny how all these new names are given to make the job bearable. 20 years into the field & it's the same old same old. How does it feel do to the same duties as a hygienist & get paid half the price?? Doesn't seem too fair to me.

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smile in Calgary, Alberta

52 months ago

Terri in Peoria, Arizona said: For those who are still wanting to know what it is like being a dental assistant, try going to Youtube and in the search field "Dental Assistant." There are quite a few personal dental assistant stories that are very encouraging. I do not agree with there being no advancement in this field. Whatabout Lead DA, Treatment Coordinator, Voc tech teacher, Federal Govt EFDA, etc. This field is what you make it. In California eff. 1/1/2010 Registered dental assistants are moving into very rewarding direct patient care positions and the trend is growing. RDA's in CA are doing x-rays, coronal polishing, pit & fissure sealants, fluride treatments, sedation assisting and the list is growing. I personally think now that with the ADA adding the Oral Assistant field, who will do oral healthcare education to patients could pose a threat in the near future to dental hygienist. It looks like to me, that the dentist are tired of paying high wages to the RDH's and are sitting themselves up to pass off the duties to some DA's at half the price.
By the way, some people don't want to leave their jobs to advance. They want to be able to stay with the same company without starting over somewhere else. In order to advance as a dental assistant, that is what ou have to do.

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delolly in Lake Mary, Florida

52 months ago

smile in Calgary, Alberta said: DAs have been doing those most of those duties in most of Canada forever. This is where my DA experience comes from. A treatment coordinator is another name for someone who books recall appts all day (a job very few in a dental office wants to do) or receptionist. Lead Da just means you are the 1 that stuck around the longest & have to take the most garbage, educator is a given as someone has to teach the job, DAs in Canada can also take an ortho module, impressions,temp crowns,etc. It's funny how all these new names are given to make the job bearable. 20 years into the field & it's the same old same old. How does it feel do to the same duties as a hygienist & get paid half the price?? Doesn't seem too fair to me.

Been in the field as a CDA over 20 years. It's been good to me. I've seen more Hygienists come and go than DA's. But this isn't a RDH bashing. I just think it depends on the person. It depends on what you find fulfilling in life. I work to live, not live to work. I have patients that come to see me and ask for me by name before their procedures. I have watched my child patients grow up and am seeing their children now. I plan on five more years of working then I retire and I think I had a very noble career. I hate to see so many people really put down a very rewarding career if you find the right place.

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smile in Calgary, Alberta

52 months ago

delolly in Lake Mary, Florida said: Been in the field as a CDA over 20 years. It's been good to me. I've seen more Hygienists come and go than DA's. But this isn't a RDH bashing. I just think it depends on the person. It depends on what you find fulfilling in life. I work to live, not live to work. I have patients that come to see me and ask for me by name before their procedures. I have watched my child patients grow up and am seeing their children now. I plan on five more years of working then I retire and I think I had a very noble career. I hate to see so many people really put down a very rewarding career if you find the right place.

You hit the nail on the head when you said "if you find the right place". It's very hard to find that right place. You are one of the lucky few. I'm glad that you found that place & are happy with your chosen career. After 20 years, it wasn't for me. It did not supply the treatment responsibility, professional satisfaction & growth potential I was looking for. I found it boring doing the same thing day after day. You only do procedures that the dentist does, nothing more. It's worse if you are in a specialist office. Can you imagine doing endo all day, or flap surgeries, or ext'ing wisdom teeth or never doing an endo or seeing adults or children at all? I never did find that right place. After 20 years I stopped looking. I'm doing something I really enjoy & am challenged on a daily basis. No, I don't just scrape teeth all day. I love the relationships & trust I build with my patients. They look to me for my professional guidance whether it's for oh, bleaching, ortho, children's oh, etc. I've personally worked with pts who wouldn't come in to see a dentist if their life depended on it & a clg was a huge leap for them but now come every 3 mths for a clg & will get dental tx done w/out sedation. This is something I couldn't do as a DA. Hygiene is far more fulfilling for me than assisting & I can work on my own

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delolly in Lake Mary, Florida

52 months ago

I'm sorry you never found the right place in assisting. It can be very frustrating. It took me two offices before I did. But it worked out great for you anyway. There are few hygientists that have the passion you have for your work. It shows in your writing. The hygientist in our office sees the adult prophy's and RP's only. I can see why some people might get the impression that hygiene could be boring. But then again you never know until you stand in someones shoes. Where I work we do so many different things daily that I never get bored. Our office utilizes the expanded functions of our assistants. I work a lot on my own taking radiographs, impressions, bleaching, childrens prophys,sealants,perio charting, temporizations, lots of patient education as well with intraoral cameras. I do these on my own, and I still do chairside with the Dr. as well when we do crown and bridgework. I have my own office with a great big cushy chair and computer too.... LOL So, YES it CAN be a great career if you find the right place. The bottom line, yes... find the right place or it can be a very boring "job". Good Luck to all the would be assistants!

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DentalGuru2009 in Richmond, Illinois

52 months ago

So when you interview, or if you do a working interview , you know right there if you like it or not. If you don't - then keep looking. You would not go on a date with a guy and decide to marry him after 1/2 hr would you????? Being an assistant is like being the platonic office "wife". lol Keep looking for that Dr. Right!

When my kids were little I did some temping on and off. You sure do get stuck with some jerks. They tend to be dr's that can't keep staff and are in constant need of a temp. At least you know you don't have to stick around long.

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smile in Calgary, Alberta

52 months ago

delolly in Lake Mary, Florida said: I'm sorry you never found the right place in assisting. It can be very frustrating. It took me two offices before I did. But it worked out great for you anyway. There are few hygientists that have the passion you have for your work. It shows in your writing. The hygientist in our office sees the adult prophy's and RP's only. I can see why some people might get the impression that hygiene could be boring. But then again you never know until you stand in someones shoes. Where I work we do so many different things daily that I never get bored. Our office utilizes the expanded functions of our assistants. I work a lot on my own taking radiographs, impressions, bleaching, childrens prophys,sealants,perio charting, temporizations, lots of patient education as well with intraoral cameras. I do these on my own, and I still do chairside with the Dr. as well when we do crown and bridgework. I have my own office with a great big cushy chair and computer too.... LOL So, YES it CAN be a great career if you find the right place. The bottom line, yes... find the right place or it can be a very boring "job". Good Luck to all the would be assistants!

When I said that I can work on my own I mean without the supervision or prescribed treatment of a dentist. I can actually have my own practice & employ DAs.

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delolly in Winter Park, Florida

52 months ago

OIC. In Florida Hygiensts can't do that. That is very cool though!!!

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anonymous in London, United Kingdom

51 months ago

WORST JOB EVER! Wouldnt reccomend it to anyone its the same everywhere you go! treated like crap, made to be a slave, treated like a dog basically if you wanna, clean up toilets, sick, mop floors then go and be a cleaner you'd probably get treated better there, dont know how anyone can do it. dentists are arrogant thinking that they are awesome when they are not they are better people than them in the world! ive not even been doing it for a year and im going back to study, but hey ho its just my opinion. aint for me though!

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anonymous in London, United Kingdom

51 months ago

ft dental nursing

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anonymous in London, United Kingdom

51 months ago

DOCTOR MOORE = DEMON

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dentalmaid in Fords, New Jersey

51 months ago

I've read all the comments posted and dental assisting is definately like waitressing or maids work. unfortunately we just don't get any tips unless if its an insult. I was told at the age of 18 that dental assisting was very reward umm excuse "lie" this is the worst job and the pay is lousy! Believe it or not most dentist make you pay for our own dental work can you believe the nerve! imagine working as an assistant and you have a toothache but can't afford to pay for it cause your dr charges too much ridiculous! Goodluck to whoever chooses this profession you might wanna think twice! New Jersey,Avenel

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SKTC in Carrollton, Texas

51 months ago

You are an assistant!! Become the dentist, if your bitching. You people are just lazy.

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Jamie in Greer, South Carolina

51 months ago

This is one strange forum. I accidental stumbled upon it while searching. I have been a dental assistant for 27 years. The early years are tough as you "learn" to become a VERY value able asset the dentist and practice. I can honestly say that there are only a handful of dental assistants that will make it through the fire and ice of all the "cattiness" that you are speaking of. A hardworking, efficient, adept, intelligent, confident and SKILLFUL dental assistant can become the MOST valuable and respected person in the office. Each dentist came to depend on my skills, my input and my opinions about procedures involving patients and the practice. Having the education, the knowledge, the skills, and the confidence as a dental assistant will COMMAND (not demand) respect from ALL staff members. If I choose to scrub the toilet, it is because it needs to be clean. If I change a light bulb in the darkroom, it is because it is blown out and I may have the time to replace it. There may be "certain" staff members who (in the beginning) think that their position is higher than mine, but that only lasts until I demonstrate, and they observe my value. As a "whole" dental assisting can be a great career choice. In any office, in any job, there is going to be "catty" women (and men). However, your work ethics along with your character and your social skills are going to determine your success and the respect that you receive.

Best wishes to you all!

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dentalGURU2009 in Genoa City, Wisconsin

51 months ago

Preach it! I fully agree.

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Belle in Pleasant Grove, Alabama

51 months ago

to In and Out in Chicago : you make good comments I enjoy reading them, because you are right with your respondes.

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mommymichele in Lakewood, Ohio

51 months ago

Delolly in Lake Mary, Florida said: Just so you know... I chose being a CDA as a career. Like I said you are funny! Thanks for the humor today!! :)

You think like I do:) Your a good person, I can tell:)

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delolly in Winter Park, Florida

51 months ago

Finally..... Someone gets my take on things!!! Thanks!

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In and Out in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

Jamie in Greer, South Carolina said: This is one strange forum. I accidental stumbled upon it while searching. I have been a dental assistant for 27 years. The early years are tough as you "learn" to become a VERY value able asset the dentist and practice. I can honestly say that there are only a handful of dental assistants that will make it through the fire and ice of all the "cattiness" that you are speaking of. A hardworking, efficient, adept, intelligent, confident and SKILLFUL dental assistant can become the MOST valuable and respected person in the office. Each dentist came to depend on my skills, my input and my opinions about procedures involving patients and the practice. Having the education, the knowledge, the skills, and the confidence as a dental assistant will COMMAND (not demand) respect from ALL staff members. If I choose to scrub the toilet, it is because it needs to be clean. If I change a light bulb in the darkroom, it is because it is blown out and I may have the time to replace it. There may be "certain" staff members who (in the beginning) think that their position is higher than mine, but that only lasts until I demonstrate, and they observe my value. As a "whole" dental assisting can be a great career choice. In any office, in any job, there is going to be "catty" women (and men). However, your work ethics along with your character and your social skills are going to determine your success and the respect that you receive.

Best wishes to you all!

I agree. I have been an assistant for over 20 years and have done it all. Toilet scrubbing, window cleaning,vacuum, equipment maintanence, front office, even running personal errands for doctor etc. I did it because like you Jamie I had the time, no one told me to do it I just did. When you work for a true professional whom values your work you go above and beyond. Not all of us our bless to have good experiences on the job. Just keep the faith. :)

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In and Out in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

Belle in Pleasant Grove, Alabama said: to In and Out in Chicago : you make good comments I enjoy reading them, because you are right with your respondes.

Thank you!

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In and Out in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

dentalmaid in Fords, New Jersey said: I've read all the comments posted and dental assisting is definately like waitressing or maids work. unfortunately we just don't get any tips unless if its an insult. I was told at the age of 18 that dental assisting was very reward umm excuse "lie" this is the worst job and the pay is lousy! Believe it or not most dentist make you pay for our own dental work can you believe the nerve! imagine working as an assistant and you have a toothache but can't afford to pay for it cause your dr charges too much ridiculous! Goodluck to whoever chooses this profession you might wanna think twice! New Jersey,Avenel

I've been an assistant for over 20 years. I think you just need to step back and reevaluate your self worth. If you have confidence in your dental abilities then go out and look for a new office. Sometimes we hate our job cause we work for jerks who do treat us like maids and if you don't nip that behavior in the butt and command respect early on you're going to be miserable. Even when I've worked with narrow minded people I've always try to do my job to the best of my ability. When I feel I've been discipline unfairly I make sure to confront that person at the end of the day and ask them to clarify the the incident for me, most of the time they feel stupid being called out. With time those difficult employers or staff members tend to calm down.
Take pride in your work and don't let a few bad apples spoil your career.

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In and Out in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

SKTC in Carrollton, Texas said: You are an assistant!! Become the dentist, if your bitching. You people are just lazy.

Please don't generalize all dental assistants as lazy. Yes we are just the assistant but remember Dentist can't provide quality service without us!!! Without an assistant a dentist would probably see one patient every 2 to 3 hours! Gee, imagine having to take fmx then develop before the dentist can even being to evaluate a treatment plan. Oh, then set up for the procedure, OH,yea and make sure to keep patient's tongue out of the way while drilling!! Clean room, sterilize instruments etc. etc.
A Dentist can work alone, but how many actually do?????? They say Dentistry is a very stressful career, imagine it without any ASSISTANTS!! Have a nice day SKTC.

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dentalGURU2009 in Genoa City, Wisconsin

51 months ago

Tip for being the best assistant - Learn the mechanices BEHIND everything.Not just hand the guy something b/c he wants it. WHY DOES HE WANT IT?? ie, band comes off - trim the sharp edges off , does it have flash?? Then he'll want a blade . Stuff like that.... They won't respect a cleaning lady. They will respect and assistant that is the "peer" and knows their stuff.

You know the guy respects you when they ask you if you see decay under a lingual cusp that he cannot see....and takes your word for it!! or when he looks at a difficult case and asks your opinion. You offer it, and they listen and take into consideration all your points.

Be a super assistant. Be the "guru" Nobody likes mediocre.

They will love you- if you love dentistry too.

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Belle in Fairfield, Alabama

51 months ago

I know an assistant that did just that when she was asked by the dentist..... " where was her seat in dental school, because at his school he didn't remember seeing her...... Good Luck.......

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