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Career Profile: Dental Assistant - Christopher Beadle

Career Profile: Dental Assistant - Christopher Beadle

Christopher Beadle, Dental Assistant, Dental Technician Second Class, Naval Post Graduate Dental School, Comprehensive Dentistry, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland

National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Education

I chose this career because…

I chose to become a dental assistant after entering the Navy and undergoing testing to identify my skills and abilities and determine where they might best be applied.

My typical workday involves…

My typical workday as a naval dental assistant, involves seeing a patient every hour for restorative dentistry.

My tasks are to:
• Prepare the examination room, making sure to control infection with sterile supplies and techniques
• Have appropriate materials ready for specific procedures: bonding agents-silver and amalgams for fillings, etc.
• Complete administrative responsibilities such as filing records and scheduling appointments for the dentist
• Take dental impressions of patients and pour into stone models
• Make prostheses such as orthodontic retainers

After completing the additional training of an expanded functional assistant I also:

• Make sports mouth guards, trainer trays, and temporary crowns
• Assist with surgical periodontal procedures such as setting up a sterile field, irrigation of the mouth, suction, and sutures
• Scrub and assist the dentist directly with the patient

More on Dental Assisting

Salary: $9.87/hr - $20.69/hr
Min. Education: Associate's
Related Careers: Dental Hygienist, Dental Laboratory Technician

What I like best/least about my work…

What I like best about my work is the customer satisfaction that I receive from the patients that I help treat. I also appreciate the fact that the dentist, whom I assist, values my work. I have come to realize that my training as a dental assistant is a good steppingstone into the healthcare field, that will lead to many other opportunities.

What I like least about my work is that I am so busy that I don’t have enough time for myself. I also dislike the occasions when procedures take longer than expected which results in delays for other patients.

My career goals are…

My career goals are, at present, to complete my training as a surgical assistant in Portsmouth, Virginia at the Naval School of Health Sciences. The training will take about 9 months, and is another step toward achieving my other goal of becoming an anesthesia nurse.

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