By the year 2026, employment opportunities for Dental Assistants will increase by nearly 20%. Why such a dramatic increase? Let’s look at the factors that will lead to this increased demand for Dental Assistants, as well as why joining this fast-growing and in-demand field might be for you.
More health-focused patients
For decades, people only went to the Dentist for check-ups and to deal with cavities, root canals, and to fix other dental problems. However, over the past few years, there’s been more and more research that indicates there’s a strong link between dental health and the health of our bodies as a whole. In fact, there are connections between gum disease, tooth decay, and:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes and diabetic complications
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Sleep apnea
As people have begun to understand the true importance of their dental health, they’ll be making more and more dental appointments. More Dental Assistants will be needed to assist Dentists and Hygienists as they work with more and more patients.
More older patients
People are living longer than ever before. Currently the expected lifespan in the United States is nearly 80 years. In addition to living longer, people are doing more to stay healthy as they age. That includes going to the dentist. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy as you age enables you to continue eating the foods you love and feeling confident about your appearance.
This increase in older and health-conscious patients will just add to the demand for qualified dental professionals like Dentists, Hygienists, and of course, Dental Assistants.
In 2017, there were about 6,200 new dental school graduates. Compare this to 2016 when there were around 5,900 new graduates. And there’s no signs that this increased rate of dental school graduates is going to slow down. Over the next decade or so, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects overall employment of Dentists to increase by over 20%.
What does this have to do with Dental Assistants? As more dentists are put to work,they’ll need the help of experienced Hygienists and Dental Assistants to get the job done. Dental Assistants will be in especially high demand, as their duties continue to expand to meet the needs of the growing number of patients visiting the Dentist.
More high-tech treatment options
Part of the reason why dentists are playing a more significant role in their patients’ lives is that there are simply new advancements in dental technology. 50 years ago a dentist was limited to little more than filling cavities and extracting teeth. Today, dentists can offer preventive treatments, fix cosmetic issues in a patient’s smile, and cure gum disease. As technology advances and even more treatments become available, Dentists will rely on Dental Assistants to help prepare for and complete these high-tech procedures.
Bonus: Increased demand in related occupations
Hygienists, dental insurance specialists, and other dental health careers are also expected to be in high-demand in the near future. These positions often require additional education and/or specialized training. However, by getting your foot in the door as a Dental Assistant today, you’ll be more prepared to transition into another dental career.
Fast facts about Dental Assisting careers
Without fail, our graduates love working as Dental Assistants. For many it’s their first career in healthcare and often their first career outside of working in retail, sales, or similar positions. Here’s what students who’ve studied to become a dental assitant at Pacific Northwest Dental Assisting School like about being a Dental Assistant:
- Predictable 9-5 weekday schedules with weekends off
- Starting salaries as high as $40,000 annually
- Opportunities for growth and advancement
- Knowing that they’re helping people and making a difference in their lives
Keep reading and learning about Dental Assisting careers
Pacific Northwest Dental Assisting School gets you ready to hit the ground running
Because Dental Assistants are in such high demand, dental practices are looking to hire Dental Assistants who are ready to start working and contribute as soon as possible. At Pacific Northwest Dental Assisting School, we offer both classroom study and hands-on training. This includes a Dental Assisting Internship at our affiliated and on-site dental practice. You’ll learn how a dental practice works and you’ll be ready to start working as soon as you complete our program.
During your internship, you’ll work with an experienced Dentist and alongside Hygienists to learn to:
- Sterilize a treatment room
- Perform mouth rinses
- Take and develop dental x-rays
- Create a temporary crown
- Make custom mouth-guards and tooth-whitening trays for patients
- Assist dental staff with advanced procedures, including root canals, oral surgeries, and denture placements
Let’s talk about your future as a Dental Assistant!
If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a Dental Assistant at Pacific Northwest Dental Assisting School, contact us today. We’ll answer your questions and invite you to come visit us for a tour, talk to students, and meet our experienced staff.