Top Places and Settings Dental Assistants Work

Dental assistant assisting dentist working on patient

Dental services are comprehensive and routinely needed by patients. Dentists rely on dental assistants to increase procedural efficiencies and help them provide quality care. Dental assistant jobs exist throughout the healthcare industry and are in high demand in many top workplaces. Aspiring dental assistants in Bridgeview, IL, and the greater Chicago area can earn a certificate from Northwestern College and find work in the following settings.

Dental Practices

You may imagine your own dentist’s practice for reference, but that’s probably only one type. Dentists may operate as a single owner of the practice, or they may join with colleagues in a group practice. In the latter case, the dental assistant has an opportunity to work with several dentists, adapting to their different styles and approaches. Within the broad category of dentistry, there are several opportunities for dental assistants to advance and refine their skills. They may work with specific patient groups or specializations, such as:

  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Oral surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Periodontics

Military Services

Those who serve in the armed forces need a wide variety of dental services. Treatments for preventive care, cavities, tooth removal, dentures, crowns, and gum disease are just a few of the procedures performed on this large and varied population. When service members are injured, dental care also may be necessary. Dental assistants may work as civilians with dentists whose office location or expertise leads them to care for armed service members, or they may choose to enlist and work as dental assistants as a member of the armed forces. For example, the U.S. Army Dental Corps includes nine specialties, including maxillofacial surgery, prosthodontics, and oral pathology.

Insurance Companies

Dental assistants may use their valuable expertise and information about dentistry and dental practices at insurance companies. They examine dental claims submitted for payment and determine whether the procedure is recorded accurately. With the insight gained from training, certification, and experience, dental assistants can assess whether equipment, supplies, and medications were properly used and whether the claim should be paid. Dental assistant jobs in the insurance industry may require knowledge of the coding used in billing, as well as dental procedures.

Hospitals and Research Institutions

Dental care settings in hospitals and research institutions encompass many specializations and patient groups. Dental assistants who enjoy serving an underserved community may work in a public health clinic, helping to provide dental care to families who can’t afford private dentists. Universities and other research settings may bring in pediatric patients who have dental anomalies that they measure and track while providing care. Patients who undergo advanced reconstruction also may require specialized dental care. Dental assistants in these settings can acquire specialized skills and further their education.

Dental Supplies and Manufacturing

As you might imagine, companies that manufacture dental supplies and equipment need expert advice for research, development, and testing. Dental assistants who enjoy working with teams that create better dental equipment, engineers who plan the manufacture of dental tools, or dentists who test these innovations find satisfying work in dental supply and manufacturing companies.

What’s Your Top Place to Work?

As an important member of every dental care team, dental assistants have a wide choice of places and settings in which to work. Finding a top place to work depends on the individual’s talents, interests, and preferences. With a certificate in dental assisting, graduates in Bridgeview, IL, and the greater Chicago area, can explore several dental assistant job opportunities. For more information, contact Northwestern College.