According to the American Dental Association, 67.7% adults reported that they visit their dentist for procedures, consultations, and check-ups. Because of this, dental assisting roles are becoming increasingly important and needed as more people understand the importance of oral health care.
Dental assisting careers are projected to grow by 19 percent from 2016 to 2026 according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. Find out what dental assistants do, and why this career field is in such a high demand.
What's the Role of a Dental Assistant?
Dental assistants are a vital part of a well-functioning dental office. Because dentists themselves often do not have the capacity to handle the influx of patients without additional help, offices require the skilled help of a dental assistant.
On any given day, dental assistants will perform administrative and clerical work like greeting patients, scheduling their appointments and managing records and billing information. Aside from these duties, dental assistants will also sterilize equipment, process X-rays and dental impressions, construct temporary crowns and bleaching trays, and offer chairside surgical assistance to the dentist.
Why is Dental Assisting a Growing Field?
There has been a greater need for dental services in recent years as research has shown that oral health can affect your overall health negatively if not for preventive care. The Mayo Clinic recently reported that poor dental hygiene can escalate and lead to serious issues like cardiovascular disease and endocarditis.
An aging Baby Boomer population will also require more comprehensive dental work. Since more seniors have kept their teeth intact, more will require frequent dental care to avoid gum disease, root decay, and dry mouth.
Another aspect of the rising need of oral health care has been the desire for cosmetic dental procedures. On average, Americans spend about $2.75 billion annually on cosmetic dentistry according to the American Academy for Cosmetic Dentistry and that number is expected to grow with the onset of Baby Boomers and popularity of procedures like teeth whitening.
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