Career Definition for a Periodontist Assistant
Periodontology is a type of dental care that focuses on the soft tissues of the mouth. Periodontist assistants help periodontists with daily clerical, procedural and laboratory tasks. Duties may include cleaning and sterilizing equipment, preparing instruments, taking and developing x-rays, maintaining patient records, assisting with examinations and procedures, preparing casts and making temporary fittings. Clerical duties generally include answering phones, scheduling appointments and surgeries, greeting patients and calling in prescriptions. In some states, assistants may be required to administer local anesthesia.
|Education||Certification from a dental assisting program|
|Job Skills||Good reading, listening, and speaking skills, social awareness, time management, and good customer service|
|Median Salary (2017)||$37,630 (for dental assistants)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)||19% (for dental assistants)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Certification from a dental assisting program at a trade school, technical school or community college is required for a career as a periodontist assistant. Most programs take a year or even less to complete. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a dental assisting program generally provides a combination of classroom, laboratory and preclinical instruction, as well as practical experience in dental schools, offices and clinics.
O*Net Online lists the required skills for a periodontist assistant, which include equipment maintenance and selection, active learning, active listening, reading comprehension, speaking, coordination, social awareness, time management and instructing. Customer service skills and proficiency in using computers are also important.
Career and Economic Outlook
The BLS states that the demand for dental assistants will likely increase by 19% between 2016 and 2026. The BLS lists the 2017 median annual salary for a dental assistant as $37,630.
Alternative Career Options
Similar careers to a periodontist assistant include:
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A medical assistant may have a high school diploma or post-secondary certificate or diploma. On-the-job training is common, and medical assistants can pursue professional certification to improve employment prospects. The BLS reports that medical assistants are expected to have positive job growth at a rate of 29% from 2016-2026; this occupation paid a median salary of $32,480 in 2017, per the BLS.
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