Between studying for exams and making it to labs on time, thinking about climbing the career ladder may not be the first thing on a dental assisting student’s mind. We asked seasoned dental assistants what they think students should know before they head into the dental office.


1. Be part of the community

My advice to students entering this career (and it is a career) is to make trusted relationships and not to give up! Change can be made with an incredible amount of hard work.  One dental assistant should never stand alone.
-Dixie V. CDA, COA


2. Stick to your goals

It’s easy to say that you want something better for yourself. The hard part is successfully accomplishing the goal. You have to be able to create a team of people that are there to help out when needed. It’s essential especially when you have kids and are single. In the end the career that you desire will be well worth the sacrifices. I am a proud Certified Dental Assistant!
-Kate C., CDA


3. Play the field

My advice to anyone in the dental career field who is interested in taking their career to the next level is to give yourself the opportunity to try different aspects of the field.  It’s just like anything else — too much of the same can attract boredom and negativity.
-Kristin A., CDA


4. Work your way around the office

To anyone looking to take the next step in their career, my advice would be to visit and experience offices from as many aspects of dentistry as possible.  These experiences will help you greatly to understand the big dental picture!
-Brandy W., CDA


5. Earn certification

The best advice that I could give a student is to get CERTIFIED and take all the continuing education classes you can. Take pride in yourself and ALL you have to offer. Having that CDA certificate on the wall in our operatory tells patients every day that I care enough about them to be the absolute best that I can be.
-Deborah H., CDA