How To Become a Dental Assistant

There are a lot of jobs in medicine that most people never come into contact with. However, almost everyone has seen a dental assistant at some point in their life. Almost every dental office needs them in order to succeed. This explains why there is a large demand for them, especially now that many practices are beginning to reopen after the pandemic.


Unlike other medical professions, dental assistants do not require attending a higher education institution. The majority of programs last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. During these programs you will learn the different softwares that offices use such as Eaglesoft and Dentrix. Additionally, some schools will have their own equipment and dummies to work on so that you will be able to smoothly transition into an office setting. What makes transitions even easier is that many programs require some amount of clinical hours in order to graduate. This not only allows you to be better prepared but also means that you get your foot in the door with a dental practice even before becoming certified. However, you don’t actually have to become certified or have previous experience. That being said, most dental offices highly prefer someone with proven chairside skills.



There are a multitude of titles out there, but the two most common are registered dental assistants (RDAs) and certified dental assistants (CDAs). The main difference between them is that becoming a certified dental assistant allows you to practice nationwide while RDAs can only practice where they have completed the state-specific requirements. In fact, some states do not even recognize RDAs at all and therefore must obtain a certification in order to work. If you are interested in beginning a program, make sure you also know the difference between being a certified dental assistant and having a certification in dental assisting. While sounding basically identical to each other, they are not the same thing. Any program can give out a certificate for completing it, even if it is just a week long. To become certified you must take the Dental Assisting National Board’s (DANB). Most accredited programs offer this at the end of the education, however not all schools are accredited so do your research before enrolling in one. If the school is not accredited or you were just trained while at a practice it is still possible to become certified once you complete two years of work.https://www.traditionrolex.com/36


As a dental assistant, you will have some interaction with the patients, however not as much as a hygienist. Assistants often prep rooms, sanitize equipment, room patients, and of course, assist the dentist when needed. There are both regular dental assistants as well as expanded function dental assistants. Expanded function assistants can do everything a normal assistant can as well as place sealants and certain types of fillings. As you might expect, you must first become a certified dental assistant before moving on to an expanded function assistant. Additionally, you must work for two years as an assistant before becoming licensed as an expanded function DA. Another thing to be aware of is the existence of both 4 handed and 6 handed dentistry. This, however, should not affect how you go about becoming a dental assistant. There are few differences between them.

Earning Potential:

Like hygienists, dental assistants are extremely important and in demand which is great news. Even better, the average salary for an assistant is $18/hr but may vary depending on location. Considering that education does not take years to complete nor will you come out thousands of dollars in debt, it is a great option for people who are looking for an alternative to the standard 4 years of college. Combine that with a competitive salary and a growing field, becoming a dental assistant is a great choice for a lot of people. If you do the math, you can make back the tuition cost of many assisting programs in just a few weeks to months. If you are in the Chicago area, make sure to check out the Dental Assistant Academy of Chicago. Not only are their facilities top notch, but they also have an extremely high placement rate. 


5 Industry Changing Events the Pandemic Has Had on Dental

Much of the world hit pause when COVID-19 began spreading in early 2020. Unfortunately, even as medical professionals, many dental offices had to temporarily close their doors to their patients. As a new normal became evident, some offices have been able to reopen with precautions in place to protect staff and patients. However, not all practices have been so lucky. Many have closed down for good and others still sit by, waiting and hoping for their chance to get back into business.

Precautionary Measures

Due to the innate close proximity that occurs during dental work, there is an increased risk for both staff and patients of transmitting the disease. This has led to temperature checks, pre-visit screens, and countless other measures taken by offices in hopes of returning back to their normal work flow. On the dentist side, unfortunately standard surgical facemasks are not effective at preventing the spread of submicron particles like that of COVID-19. The top concern for dental professionals coming back to work is whether or not they will have adequate PPE so that they can go home to their families safely, knowing that they were protected. Therefore, most providers have transitioned to wearing plastic face shields, N95 masks, and goggles. All of these can prevent the spread but can be uncomfortable and intrusive when wearing for the entire day.

The Dental Office Reimagined

In addition to personal protective equipment, some offices have had to rethink their layout. As the virus has proven to be transmitted via aerosol particles, the air flow and ventilation of a dental practice can also be important. Some practices are not adapting properly to the necessary changes and dental assistants as well as hygienists are unhappy. No one wants to be forced to work in an unsafe environment. If you are finding yourself in this situation, don’t be afraid to look around for other openings. Some practices are expanding and actively looking to add to their team.

Expect a Changing Workforce

When it comes to the workers in the dental office, many people are hesitant to come back to work. During the early stages of the shutdown, many practice members were furloughed. Now as offices start to open back up, there has been an increase in open positions. However, some workers believe that they should be paid more due to the increased health risk which has led to some tension. Many practices are still trying to recover from the several months of no income at all. This has led some previous employees to look elsewhere for work. While this is unfortunate, a new market for people straight out of school or those with little experience has arisen.

Managing Health Disparities

While things are changing within dental offices, there have also been some changes with the patient base as well. Similar to other statistics, coronavirus has sadly increased the disparities of oral health between socioeconomic classes. Minority and poor populations have significantly less access to proper oral health care. Without insurance, these populations are unable to pay for proper care out of pocket. Even before the pandemic, there were statistically more instances of tooth decay and oral cancer among these groups. For many, they must choose between their health and putting food on the table. In addition to limited access, going into public spaces, including the dental office, has become a dangerous activity for many people who are at increased risk of infection. This has led to significant developments in a relatively new field: telemedicine.

The Increasing Need for Teledentistry


Unlike some other medical fields, dental can not easily be transitioned to virtual. First of all, it is basically impossible for us or a dentist to see clearly inside our mouth over something like Zoom. Additionally, almost every service a dental office provides requires specific tools, and more importantly are very hands on. However, due to the pressure to maintain business, there has been progress in the success of teledentistry as practices have been forced to adapt. This can have implications even after COVID as it may provide a cheaper and more readily accessible alternative for underserved communities. While some dentists may be reluctant to try teledentistry, it can be beneficial for everyone moving forward. At the very least many offices have begun incorporating virtual triaging so that patients do not enter the office until they are ready to be seen. Don’t think of being asked to wait outside as rude as it helps keep everyone safer so that the dentist can provide better care.

Everyone is adapting to a new normal and that includes the dental field. After several months of being closed down, offices are slowly coming back but facing many challenges. The workforce is shifting and precautions are becoming standard. It is important to be open to changes so that practices can continue to provide care for as many people as possible.


Why You Should Be Using a Staffing Firm

While we are a staffing firm connecting dental offices primarily with dental assistants and hygienists, there are agencies that cover just about any field imaginable. Whether you are a job seeker or an employer, you know that the hiring process sucks. For companies, it can be expensive and time consuming. For applicants, several aspects make the situation extremely stressful as well as time consuming. This is where staffing firms come in. They help both sides by streamlining the process and making sure everyone’s time is spent as efficiently as possible regardless of which side of the table you sit on.

Employer Benefits:

Companies can save time and money by using staffing firms. These agencies have an ever-growing network of candidates that they can use to help quickly fill positions. Additionally, they are well versed in the hiring process as it is their job; it’s what they do every day. If done independently by businesses, employers take the long, tedious path to hire the correct person, often without the knowledge or resources needed to ensure efficiency. On top of that, this means that the business is actively drawing a team member’s time and energy away from other responsibilities.

No matter what the professional field is, the first step in hiring is forming a description of the open position. Not only does it take time to write up an attractive job post, but it’s crucial to find the correct place to post it. Many of the online places where job openings are put do not have a specialized applicant pool, especially the free ones. This means that there will be more resumes to comb through and fewer qualified applicants. That being said, businesses also have the ability to pay to post their jobs. Whether that means putting them at the top of the results for a general site or allowing them to be seen on specialized job boards, this can quickly run a company hundreds of dollars for just one post without a guarantee of quality candidates.

Ok, sure it’s tough to get applicants, but now that you have them the rest of the process should run smoothly, right? The unfortunate truth is that there are many people out there who are qualified candidates but are not responsive. This means that even after paying for a specialized post and vetting through hundreds of resumes, businesses still have to go through the hassle of contacting the applicants. Staffing firms bypass this massive headache by only connecting you with the most responsible, qualified, and professional candidates.

But how can staffing firms save a company money if they charge them a fee for their services? Well the hiring process is not what it was forty years ago. There are a lot of steps and expenses associated with hiring someone. In a 
study done in 2016 it was found that companies spend on average about $4,130 to hire a single employee in 42 days. These costs can easily go up if the wrong person is hired causing more problems in the long run. Staffing firms can not only help bring that number down but also make sure that the business is getting as much as possible out of the money that they do spend. Over time relationships between companies and staffing firms can strengthen, giving businesses confidence that they will get the best results. 

Job Seeker Benefits:

Looking for a job can be time consuming. There are a million different job posting sites out there so how do you know where to look? On top of that, some businesses don’t even post on these sites and you have to find their openings some other way. It can be stressful not knowing whether you are seeing all the open positions, especially with the varying requirements and filters used on the sites. This often leads to people applying to any job they can possibly find, regardless of relevance to their skillset or preferences. One of the best ways to make everything easier is to use a staffing firm.

Constantly looking for and applying to new positions can seem futile, especially if you never hear back from the hiring company. Staffing firms can help find more positions that better fit you as they likely have more knowledge about the job search process than your average applicant. When using these agencies, you are not limited to applying to each job one by one. Rather it is their job to look through hundreds of jobs that may be possible fits. What is important is that when they do finalize the positions for you, you’ll know that you are a truly competitive candidate for each one.

When you use a staffing agency, you add to the number of people working in your corner. In order for them to get paid, they need to provide companies with quality candidates that fit their requirements. Therefore, they don’t just want you to succeed, they need you to. The quicker and more appropriate place that they can place you, the better for them. This is done by getting to know what you are looking for and what your background looks like.

It’s difficult to not get lost in the pile of applicants. Staffing firms provide the chance to be put on the top. This can be because of either the relationships they have with specific companies they are partnered with or just the reputation of being a staffing agency. This gets your resume viewed quicker and by far more businesses than if you were to apply by yourself. Many of these firms also provide some sort of help with interviewing and polishing up your resume so that when you do get matched, you have the best chance of getting placed.

TLDR; Staffing firms can save hiring companies time and money whether large or small. On the job seeker end, you have the ability to be placed at more positions as well as only being matched with places that fit your preferences and needs. In general, the entire hiring process is streamlined for both sides.


Which Intraoral Scanner is Best for You?

Organizing the Mess – Our Criteria

By now there are a lot of intra-oral scanners on the market and little to no reviews on them. The only “reviews” are from the manufacturers themselves touting their own scanners while forgetting to mention the pros and cons of each and everyone. We’ve decided to rank them all from the best value to the worst value so that you know what intraoral scanner would be best for your practice.

With so many scanners on the market, it’s hard to figure out what scanner is best fit for your practice. Here, we will rank all the scanners based on 6 criteria:

(1) Scan Quality

(2) Build Quality

(3) User Interface

(4) Ease of Use

(5) Unique Features

(6) Price

We aren’t affiliated with any one company nor are we endorsed by any. These are our opinions on what the best scanner would be for your practice.

Straight to the Point

The 10 most popular intraoral scanners on the market are:

Dentsply Sirona’s Primescan

Medit’s i500

3shape’s Trios

Planmeca’s Emerald S

Carestream’s CS 3700

Itero’s Intra Oral Scanner

GC America’s Aadva

Straumann’s Virtuo Vivo

Midmark’s True Definition

Shining 3D’s Intra Oral Scanner

The question is… which one will be the best investment for your practice? We’ll outline it here for you so you can make the best informed decision.

#1 Best Intraoral Scanner – The Medit i500

(1) Scan Quality – 5/5

The scanning quality of the i500 Medit rivals that of the big brand names like Trios and Dentsply Sirona. From single unit crowns to multi-unit bridges to partial frameworks and implants, the i500 Medit can scan it all in a speedy fashion. At this point in time, all scanners should be able to scan a full arch without any trouble. The i500 Medit is no exception. Color and shading match is accurate to a point. Sometimes the end user may need to adjust the computer generated shade matching; however this is seldom the case. The digital scan itself is highly accurate with precise measurements.

(2) Build Quality – 4.5/5

Although not the most premium feeling scanner on the market, who really cares? The scanner is light, durable, and sleek. Made out of plastic material, this scanner is probably the most simple scanner you can get on the market without losing quality and speed. The product comes with 4 extra scanner tips, which last around 100 scans depending on how you sanitize the scanner tips after every scan. The scanner also comes in many small boxes in an Apple like design. The scanner may not be made out of the best material, but it still feels good in your hands while you scan.

(3) User Interface – 5/5

Their Medit Link computer software is Free. No Annual Fee. No Monthly Fee. No Dongle. Is there any more to say? The software can easily be downloaded on any compatible computer and you can start scanning and creating digital files right away. You don’t have to worry about changing dongles or having an account code number associated with your scanner. The scanning user interface is intuitive to use and really easy to teach assistants to maneuver. Medit usually updates the software every couple of months or so and does not charge for it.

(4) Ease of Use – 5/5

There isn’t much else to say here. The scanner is fast, small, and captures accurate information. Doctors’ who already have the Medit barely complain and the scanner rarely has any issues in terms of use.

(5) Unique Features – 3/5

Needless to say, intraoral scanners are just cameras on a wand. There’s not much else to it. Some other scanners have unique features, but nothing in the Medit i500 is unique to its own. Everything the Medit does, everyone else can do. The Medit can do A.I. Abutment & A.I. Scan Body Matching. It can also do Margin Line Creation, Pre-Operation Scan, Impression Scan, High Resolution Scan, Occlusion Analysis, and Scan Replay. Again, nothing fancy here except for the basic features you should expect in a scanner.

(6) Price – 5/5

The dental world makes it hard to find the best and most accurate prices for any sort of dental equipment. However, with our research, the i500 Medit goes for MSRP of about $18,000-$20,000. That’s not bad considering you get the quality and speed of the high end intra oral scanners without breaking your back for one.

Cons – Because of Medit’s late entry into the intraoral scanner market, there are still some kinks that need to be fixed with the software. Sometimes, the scanner misreads and creates a double layer of an impression causing the doctor to start the scan all over. Although it is rare, it is definitely something to note when buying the scanner because patient time and your time is precious. Additionally, the scanner does not come with a computer, stand, or touch screen.. so if you want the luxury of looking really cool in front of your patient or mobility, you will not get it with the i500 unless you retrofit a DIY stand.

Who this Scanner is for – It’s for the doctors who want to have the highest quality scanner they can get without breaking their bank. The Medit i500 scan quality rivals that of Trios and others but doesn’t charge you so much for it. It’s a great starter scanner or it can be the scanner you embrace. Regardless, this is the best scanner for your buck. From no annual fees to simple ease of use, it’s no wonder the i500 Medit has been selling like hotcakes.