Being a Pediatric Dental Assistant is similar to being a regular Dental Assistant, except that all of your patients will be under18 years old.
Most of the kids you help will be quite young, so they might need some extra support and attention during their visits.
It’s really important for Pediatric Dental Assistants to stay relaxed and calm if their young patients feel scared or nervous, or sometimes they may even cry. Working with children and helping them feel better can make you feel really good.
In this article, we will know everything about a Pediatric Dental Assistant.
So, let’s begin.
The Role of a Pediatric Dental Assistant
Pediatric Dental Assistants work closely with Pediatric dentists. They help the dentist make sure everything goes well in the dentist’s office for children.
They have many things to do that help the dentist perform various tasks and ensure the comfort of young patients, such as:
Patient Interaction: The major role of Pediatric Dental Assistants is to interact with young patients who visit the dental office along with their parents. They are also responsible for explaining the dental procedure in a very simple way so that it can be easily understood by young children.
Getting Things Ready: Before the dentist works, the kid teeth helper gets everything ready. They make sure all the tools and things the dentist needs are ready to use. This helps quicker completion of the procedure and the clinic running smoothly.
Assisting the Dentist: When the dentist is working on a particular patient, the Pediatric Dental Assistant helps the Pediatric Dentist pass tools and dental instruments. Performing this duty helps in the effective treatment of the patient without facing problems.
Managing The Patients: Sometimes it can be observed that children feel uncomfortable and nervous during the treatment. The Pediatric Dental Assistant is responsible for helping them stay calm.
They might offer entertainment in the form of a cartoon show or toys so that the children keep busy. This can help children to make them feel comfortable during the treatment.
Oral Health Education: A Pediatric Dental Assistant educates young patients and their parents on how to maintain oral health. They guide them on brushing techniques, diet, and other related things.
This helps young children know how to take care of their teeth.
Keeping Things Clean: It’s very important to keep everything clean. It’s not only about the dental office but at homes as well.
A Pediatric Dental Assistant is responsible for cleaning tools and surfaces within a Dental office. This stops germs from spreading and keeps the environment safe and healthy.
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Pediatric Dental Assistant Skills
To be a good Pediatric Dental Assistant, you need to know certain things and have a specific set of skills. Here are some important qualities of being a successful Pediatric Dental Assistant.
Caring and Calm Nature: When you work with children, you need to be patient and calm. You have to understand their feelings and concerns and be kind to them when they visit the dentist.
Effective Communication: You must talk to children in a way they can understand. It’s important to explain things clearly and make them feel comfortable.
Adaptability: Children are all different, and every visit they make can bring new challenges to them. You must be able to adapt according to the situation so that you meet the requirements of the children.
Attention to Detail: You have to pay close attention to details so you can help the dentist do a good job. When we talk about attention to detail it means you must be able to enter the details and maintain patient records properly.
How to Become a Pediatric Dental Assistant
Becoming a Pediatric Dental Assistant involves a combination of education, certification, and gaining relevant experience. Below we will discuss how to start a career as a Pediatric Dental Assistant:
Also know: Dental Assistant Job Description
High School Diploma or GED: You can start by obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent.
Dental Assistant Program: Enroll in a dental assistant program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Look for programs that offer courses on pediatric dentistry. These programs can be found at colleges, schools, and institutions.
The program typically takes around 9-12 months to complete and includes both classroom instruction and clinical training.
2. Obtain NELDA Certification:
After completing your dental assistant program, you can pursue certification to grow your career prospects. NELDA stands for National Entry Level Dental Assistant, and it’s a certification that is offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Let’s know the eligibility for NELDA.
Eligibility: To be eligible for NELDA certification, you need to complete an accredited dental assistant program or have some experience.
Examination: The NELDA certification exam tests your knowledge and skills in dental assisting. It covers topics like infection control, dental anatomy, radiography, and clinical procedures.
Passing the Exam: Once you pass the NELDA exam, you’ll earn your certification for national entry-level dental assistant, which can help you stand out when applying for pediatric dental assistant positions.
3. Gain Experience:
Pediatric Dentistry Experience: Look for opportunities to gain practical experience specifically in pediatric dentistry. You may consider internships, externships, or part-time positions in dental offices that specialize in treating children in your region.
Pediatric Dental Assistant Salary
The average annual salary for a Pediatric Dental Assistant is around $43,751. And hourly mean wages are $21. However, these figures may vary depending on the geographic location and experience you hold as a Pediatric Dental Assistant.
Read more: Dental Assistant Salary
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