What r the pros and cons of being a dental assistant?

Answers:    First of all I was surprized to find this question under the Dental category where it relates to health not careers. Anyway, I will tell you my story about dental assisting and make it as brief as I can. The first answerer was right on the money. Way back in 1986 I didn't know what to do with my life and so my family/relatives talked me into going to school to become a dental assistant. I went to school for 2 years and eventually worked in that field. One of the dentists I worked for was one of the worst persons I have ever met. He said I would have a lunch hour and instead he made me work through any lunch I would have had. I was very pissed that he didn't keep his word and I get low blood sugar and couldn't take it. I had it out with him about his deception, cried alot and finally quit after two weeks because it was so awful. The next dentist I worked for for 9 months. He also was very hard to get along with and I could not feel good watching the dentist only wash his gloves between patients and not change them. He would use the same gloves on two patients before changing them, washing them between patients. I got very sick at one point and had to take two weeks off work (I thought I got mono from a patient but it could have been the flu and during this time the dentist "let me go"--I really disliked him). I disliked having to cope with all the anxiety and fear people have when they go to the dentist. People are very fearful about it. This made taking x-rays difficult like they felt it would hurt them or something when it doesn't. People would grip the chairs and had such difficulty relaxing. It was also very gross to see how rotten some people let their teeth become. The work is quite tedious and you are cooped up in a small room and it can be quite tense. I also disliked wearing uniforms every day. I missed being able to wear normal clothes. About the only pro I can think of is that you can finish school in two years and hopefully get a job and it pays fine. I know a friend of mine I went to school with got a job with an orthodontist and seemed happy doing what she was doing. I believe I came across some information about dentists being suicide prone; could be they tend to be perfectionists and their occupation is stressful. Dental assistants don't do the teeth cleaning like some people seem to think, dental hygienists do that. In school we learned how to polish teeth. The job consists of taking x-rays, developing x-rays, cleaning tools, getting patients into the room and ready for the dentist, preparing for the procedure, preparing filling material, suctioning people's mouths, cleaning the room after a patient, and sometimes making molds of teeth.
con--nearly all dentist think they are the greatest being on earth and look down on those that can't earn as much as them.

you must be a humble person to be a dental assistant.

pro-- would be good job security with reasonable pay.
Cons: 1. Why becoming an Assistant if you can become a Dentist? 2. Spend the rest of your life cleaning teeth or assist the dentist!!

Pros: 1. A human has a lots of teeth, so you have a job forever.
2. As long as we have teeth, we need someone to clean them at leat once or twice each year. 3. The salary is usually good 4. You may marry the dentist (if you want)
I'll wait for our resident assistants chime in with the reasons, but.

I had one assistant who worked for a local dentist from 1962 to 1966 and then for my dad from 1965 to 1969, when she left to have a couple of children. She came back and worked for me in 1986 for 18 years before retiring at age 62, when she could start getting some social security benefits. She still comes in to cover for vacations and stuff. I have another DA who is passing the 17 year mark this month. They must find something good about it, or they would not stay with it for so long. I just started another who has been a CDA for 15 years, but the guy she was working for retired.
Pros: I feel a great sense of pride at the knowledge that I have obtained in this field. It feels really good when you are around family and friends and they all want your opinion on dental problems. It is hands on. Hard to get bored in this field.

Cons: It is true that you sometimes have to work into or through your lunch hour. I have done it so many times that I could never count them all. I have also worked late many times. Pay varies by dentist, so I wont comment on that one, other than to say that the pay is usually bases on your skill level, not amount of time in the field.

I personally wouldn't change fields. But I will say to you exactly what I have said to every new assistant I have met. Dental assisting is not for everyone. Just because it is what you want to do, does not mean you are cut out for it. I have seen so many assistants with the desire, but they didn't have the abilities.

Just had to correct the guy who kept referring to assistants cleaning teeth. They don't do the cleanings, that is a hygientist.
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