Whether you’re new to the profession or are a seasoned dental assistant, you’ve probably looked back fondly, grateful that you’ve found your way to a rewarding, fulfilling career. In hindsight, how did you become a dental assistant? Here are some reasons you’ve shared with us about how you came to the profession.


A dental assisting program piqued my interest.

Some dental assistants enter the profession by completing a formal dental assisting education program. They realized they had an interest in dentistry, and attending a dental assisting program was the route that led them to a new career.

“The summer after high school graduation, a new dental assisting program opened in town. This was a much better option than moving out of state!” — Mary H.

“My mother had seen a newspaper article about a pilot program for a new dental assisting program that was interviewing prospective candidates and signed me up for an interview. Ultimately, the one-year program accepted me.” — Bonnie B.


I responded to a job ad.

For other dental assistants, an ad in a newspaper or on a bulletin board caught their eye. What might have started by chance evolved into a rewarding career.

“I remember it like yesterday. I saw a help-wanted ad in the newspaper: Dental assistant needed. As someone who had braces as a child, I wanted to be a part in helping to transform smiles. So, I applied to the ad, even though I had no dental assisting experience. I also put a copy of my report card in with my resume.” — Guinevere J.

“In my second year attending a community college, I saw an advertisement for a part-time dental assistant position posted on the classroom bulletin board, to which I applied and obtained my first job in dentistry — as well as my first job, period.” — Carolyn G.


Someone thought I would be perfect for the job.

Maybe a guidance counselor, a teacher or a dental professional recognized your potential. For some dental assistants, they entered the profession at the recommendation of a trusted friend or colleague.

“In 1970, during the first weeks of junior year in high school, I filled out these postcards with a list of different careers on them. There also were boxes to check. I checked ‘veterinarian assistant,’ then ‘assistant for a dental office and other medical offices.’ The guidance counselor called me to the office and told me that one of the local dentists in town was looking for part-time help and was wondering if I would be interested. I had an interview the following day.” — Deborah F.

“I became a dental assistant almost by accident. After high school, I worked many jobs. One job was being a nanny for an amazing woman who happened to be a dental hygienist. She encouraged me to attend a dental assisting program. I have never regretted it!” — Rebecca H.


I took a temporary job that evolved into my career.

A few dental assistants thought their time in the dental office would be short-lived — but their temporary role led to a full-time position, and the rest is history!

“I originally applied for the job, intending it to be a temporary situation while I figured out what I wanted to do ‘when I grew up.’ I discovered that I loved working with patients.” — Laura R.

“I started working in a dental practice between my junior and senior year of high school, because I needed a part-time job. I was going to be a schoolteacher, but I fell in love with dentistry. It was exciting to me! After working in a dental office and finding it rewarding, that’s what I decided to do as a career.” — Cora K.


How did you become a dental assistant? Leave a comment, and let us know!