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An exclusive interview with one of EON Clinics dental assistant, Isabel.

1. What advice would you give someone considering a career as a dental assistant?

“I would tell them that the first step is to attend an accredited college or university, which provides certification upon completion of their course and would place them in either an internship or a job. Experience in the field will go a long way, and education will help one gain the experience.”

2. Can you provide an hour-by-hour breakdown of your average workday as a dental assistant?

“Generally, an hour by hour breakdown varies, but as a general rule it would consist of:
1. Checking the schedule
2. Having a morning huddle
3. Making sure you have all of the necessary parts needed for the patients coming in that day
4. Setting up all of your treatment rooms
5. Seating patients with their charts into room
6. Assisting dentist/surgeon with procedure
7. Doing paperwork for each patient, that includes detailing what happened at the day’s visit and what should happen next.
8. Bring them out to checkout

11. At the end of the day check the schedule a week in advance to be sure we have everything for upcoming appointments”

3. What is/was unique about being a dental assistant in your city (that is specific to your city)?

“Regarding Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, the biggest factor that sets it apart is choice. The multiple options available to patients is an incentive to make us stand out by providing excellent patient care. Additionally, both employees and employers have many choices. This means that even once a job is secured, in regard of job security and advances in this field, we as Dental Assistants need to go above and beyond.”

4. What is the biggest misconception about dental assistant and how can it be fixed?

“By far the biggest misconception is that this job isn’t very exciting, in nearly 20 years I have had only a handful of boring days, and those consisted of paperwork.”

5. What are/were some of your favorite perks of being a dental assistant?

“Solving problems is the biggest perk. Additionally, giving people a new sense of confidence by improving their smiles, as well as appreciation from co-workers and management are huge perks.”

6. Why did you decide to become a dental assistant over other professions?

“I have always been interested in the medical field and this particular position did not require as much education or training as other fields. If someone does not have the time or money to invest in a medical career, particularly those with dependent family members, this is a great way to be involved with the very field that one is passionate about, without having to sacrifice too much.”

7. What are your most-visited websites relating to a dental assistant?

WebMD and Mayo Clinic

8. What separates a great dental assistant from an average one?

“Truly caring about patients, like any other job: how much you put in will be how much you get out of it – greatness can only be achieved by the amount of effort put in.”

9. What are strategies for advancing your career as a dental assistant?

1. Don’t keep score
2. Do your best every day
3. Learn as much as you can
4. Be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. With that, advancement will follow. Those kinds of things are noticed by both management and patients.”

10. What materials are you typically asked for when applying for a job?

1. Resume
2. Certification
3. References from school and previous employers