Getting Your Foot in the Door of the Dental Industry

Everyone knows that it is a tough job market out there. As the population grows, all industries are becoming more competitive and dental careers are no exception.  In spite of this; the Dallas area has a huge need for dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants. Surprisingly, there are only three dental schools in the Dallas area.

If you are thinking about getting into the field of dentistry then you may be wondering, “Where do I start?” There are so many options and so many factors to take into account. If you have children, are a single parent or cannot afford to stop working then you may think that your dream is unattainable.

However; there are faster and simpler options to pursuing dental careers other than becoming a dentist or even a hygienist. Both dentists and hygienists go through lengthy and difficult schooling that may not be an option for you at the present time.

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I know that unless you have actually been working in the dental industry, asked questions or researched; then you probably don’t understand who is who in the office. I know that I don’t.  I thought that there was a receptionist, some secretaries and billing people…maybe an office manager, some hygienists and the dentist.

Apparently, there are also dental assistants. Personally, I can hardly tell the difference between a hygienist and a dental assist. I liken this to a law office; where the paralegals and legal assistants do the exact same things with the exception of the fact that a paralegal went to a specialized school for two years.

A dental assistant in Texas performs x-rays, takes impressions, performs whitening services and is the Dentist’s other set of hands during all procedures. I had no idea that the person performing suction and passing instruments (and usually keeping me calm) was a dental assistant!

It seems that the best way to get into the dental industry, especially for the working “non-traditional student” (which essentially means anyone over the age of twenty-five) is to become a dental assistant.

A dental assistant in the Dallas, Fort Worth area makes an average of about $35,000 dollars a year and can make up to $50,000, a salary that is hard to come by these days for entry level jobs. But how to become a dental assistant?

The national average amount of time it takes to become a dental assistant can take between nine months and two years. However, do not be discouraged; there are schools that have fast-track programs. One such school is right in the Dallas Fort Worth area and is one of few in the entire state of Texas.

The accelerated Dallas dental assistant school is a ten week program that also includes CPR certification and all training that is required to become a registered dental assistant. A parent could complete this program during the children’s summer break. It is that quick and simple.

For me, time is precious. A ten week program is a drop in the bucket to begin a lucrative and exciting career in the dental industry.