Job Title: Dental Assistant
Type of Company: I work for a school of dental medicine.
Education: BA, Sociology UMass-Boston
Previous Experience: I worked part-time in private dental offices for nearly thirty years. I am now working full-time at a dental school.
Job Tasks: I work in a post-graduate dental school. I work with students who are already dentists, but who've decided to specialize in periodontics, a field that comprehends gum work, perio surgery and implant dentistry. I help them with all aspects of treatment. We take photos of all their cases and forward some of these to other dentists. I also assist them on the surgeries they do, suctioning, handing them instruments and retracting the area of the mouth that they are working in.
I help set up the room and the instruments for the cases and I break the room down when the surgery is over. At other times, I assist in the implant center that's located on a separate floor. We may place as many as 8 implants in a single patient. I deliver the post-op instructions to the patients, telling them what to do after their surgery.
I enjoy my work. I like to work with people and with students. I find it rewarding to comfort a patient and help them through their dental work. Many people have dental fears and I try to get them through those.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the hours. I no longer work nights and week-ends the way I did in private practice. I also enjoy working with the students. The part I don't like is that, working with students, our procedures take longer to do. That means that we can run late on our appointments..
Job Tips: Find the type of dentistry that you enjoy doing and follow it through. Find a group of people you like working with. It can be a long day at work if you are working with people you do not get along with. Find a job near home. You don't want to travel too far to get to work.
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