Everything you need to know about becoming a dental assistant in Australia – Part 3December 11, 2014
Career options for dental assistants in Australia
There are numerous opportunities for dental assistants in a wide variety of dentistry work settings. Take a look at some of the career options you can explore after you qualify:
General dentistry practice
General dentistry practices are the most common work places for dental assistants. These could be solo practices where they work alongside one dentist or group practice where they work alongside two or more dentists. As a dental assistant in these settings you could work with a variety of dental professionals including general dentists, dental hygienists, dental technician, specialist dentists, dental prosthetists, and dental therapists.
Specialty dentistry practice
This type of dental practice focuses on a specialised area of oral healthcare, which could be orthodontics, paediatric dentistry, prosthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics or endodontics.
Hospital dental clinic
Hospital dental clinics usually provide dental care for community members who have special needs including those dealing with medical, chemical, physical or mental challenges. Dental assistants working in these settings need to be highly sensitive to the needs of others. They also need to have a lot of patience as they try to get the necessary information from the patient.
Community or school-based public dental health clinic
Community dental clinics in rural and regional areas provide routine as well as emergency dental services for adults who meet specific eligibility requirements.
The goal of school dental clinics is to ensure that children have the opportunity to reach adulthood with good oral health. In this setting, dental assistants work as a team with dentists and dental therapists to educate the community on the benefits of preventive dentistry and teach them to be responsible for their own oral health.
Dental research is about exploring and gaining new knowledge and information on all sciences pertaining to dentistry and to the oral cavity and associated structure. Dental assistants may be employed by research facilities and universities on a contract to help with collecting dental records and delivering efficient dental care in clinical trials.
Highly experienced dental assistants can apply the skills and knowledge from their work experience in teaching dental assistant, dental hygienist, and dental therapist students in their respective training programs. This dental career avenue can lead toward advanced qualifications and degrees.
Dental treatment coordinators
Dental treatment coordinators are in great demand. The job involves working one-on-one with patients to ensure that all of their questions are answered with regards to fees involved and dental treatment options. They also help schedule appointments. This role is best suited to dental assistants who have outstanding organisational and communication skills along with a high level of confidence and enthusiasm.
Dental sales representatives
Dental assistants make excellent dental sales representatives for dental product or service companies because of their extensive working knowledge of dental products. They are also responsible for promoting the company’s products to dentists and other dental professionals.