A great thing about working as a dental assistant, is the amount of advancement that you will be able to take if you choose to keep studying and advancing. The next steps that you could possibly take are becoming a Dentist, or a Hygienist, which get paid a whole lot more than a dental assistant does. If you do want to pursue a career as a Dentist or a Hygienist it is not absolutely necessary to become a dental assistant first, but it is recommended.
In order to become a Dentist you will need four or more years of school, that can be a long time to get the status of a profession that you may not even like. It only takes about 12 months to learn how to become a dental assistant through programs and schooling, considering that you can pass the exams first time around, which a lot of people are not able to do.
By becoming a dental assistant first, you will already have your foot in the door in the dental field. You will also be getting more hands on training than the students that are in college for being a Dentist or Hygienist, although you will still need to complete the schooling requirements and degrees, you still have the ability to learn new stuff every day at work, along with the amount of hands on training you will be performing while you are at work.
You will also have a better look at everything that goes on in the dental world, you will know exactly what to expect when it comes to procedures, complications, surgery etc. Dental assistants cannot perform certain procedures that a Dentist or Hygienist does do to qualification and licensing laws, but they will have a great amount more of information than the student does, as you will have seen it performed many times. This will also make the entire process of the Dentist school or the Hygienist school much more easier than the student that has no experience nor has any dental assistant training.
Dentists and Hygienists love to build great work related relationships with their assistants, and they would be more than likely able to work around your schedule so that you can go to school. You will also have access to a tutor if you are having any problems, or have any questions about what you are learning in school! Some offices may even offer to pay for some or all of your schooling to become a Dentist or a Hygienist upon completion.
Along with having a great advantage over many people wanting to become a Dentist, you should also look into any programs that your state may offer, from making the plunge to becoming a dentist or a hygienist from a dental assistant. More than likely you not have to complete as many courses as the fresh student either, since dental assistants already know the basics, it is the first step in advancement and to making more money in your career.