What Dental Assistants Schools Can do for you!
Dental offices count on dental assistant schools for qualified prospective employees. Dental Assistants have been making dental patients feel comfortable from the first day somebody went to the dentist for the first time. Dental assistant training prepares you to become one of these very important parts of the field of dentistry.
You accredited education will prepare you for a multitasking job. Some of the tasks involve direct patient care, office work, and many dental lab duties.
Upon completion of your dental asst. program will allow you to be eligible to become the bridge between the dentist and their patients. You will learn the core duties of how to help make a patient feel comfortable in what is widely considered an uncomfortable setting, how to prep them for their dental treatment, how to efficiently obtain their records, and finally to assist the dentist as they see fit.
Dental Assisting Career Overview
While going to the dentist usually does not involve seeing only the dentist. Oral health-care is done by a variety of different professionals, each with a individual role to play. And one of the biggest roles is the dentist’s dental assistants. They are what lubricates the whole operation. Yeah, it may not happen without the dentist but no dentist’s office is functioning without its assistants. As dental care has risen is popularity over the years and with the rise in population, dental assisting becomes increasingly relevant and important.
Requirements for Dental Assistant Programs
Most dental assisting programs and schools have minimal requirements for admission. You must have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. It is important to remember that admission is based on high school grades or individual test scores. So if you have a history of not doing particularly well in school do not be turned off. You can still make that change and become a dental assistant!
Dental Assistant Titles and Acronyms
While there is currently not a national standard for all dental assistant job titles, descriptions, designations, and certification. So depending on where you live there are differing ones. We have listed them below:
- Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)(see below)
- Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)
- Expanded Duties Dental Assistant (EDDA)
- Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA)
- Dental Auxiliary
- Qualified Dental Assistant
- Licensed Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary
Read More About Dental Assistant Courses and Programs!
Dental Assistant Training Will Promote Career Growth
The field commands a competitive salary with tons of room for growth!
|Dental Assistants||Data per bls.gov|
|2012 – Median Salary||$34,500|
|2012 – Median Pay Per Hour||$16.59|
|Is Entry-Level Education Needed||Yes – Postsecondary non-degree award|
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation||N/A|
|On Site Training||N/A|
|Number of Total Jobs – 2012||303,200|
|Job Outlook Increase Through 2022||25%|
|Total Employment Increase Through 2022||74,400|
Accredited formal training in this field can also lead you to a vast selection of job opportunities as mentioned above. According to bls.gov’s latest statistics, there is an expected 25% growth in the demand for dental assistants over the next decade! To begin your quest for a great career, find a dental assistant training program right now!
What Dental Assisting is
The position of a dentist’s or dental assistant is a very hands-on job in the field of allied dental health-care. They are trained to assist a dentist in the chair-side work on patients and assist in the performing of various tasks that are related to the patient’s care and any of the office administration duties within the dental practice itself. Also, they may possess a variety of titles over a career depending on where they live and what level of certification they carry. We covered the differing titles above.
Dental Assistant versus Dental Hygienist – Differences
Though they do both work in dental practices and offices. And they may be under the same supervision of the dentist, carry interactions with the same patients, but the similarities pretty much stop there. They both have roles to play and they are coexistent but not overlapping or even very similar.
As the dental assistants will be helping patients feel more comfortable and work side by side with dentists during procedures. They are there to provide support to the dentist. The tasks and duties required by the dentist are to help get the procedures done effectively and comfortably.
The dental hygienists, has one on one work with patients directly where many think they are dentists. Because they are the ones usually doing the preventive dental care in the office. That may be in the form of cleaning or polishing teeth, and probing the teeth and gums for what may be signs of any disease that needs to be seen by the dentist. The dental hygienists typically have seniority due to their advanced training and clinical knowledge.
Job Responsibilities of the Dental Asst.
Here is a list of some of the duties a dental assistant may do on the job:
- Sterilizing equipment and instruments
- Prep dental trays and lay out instruments and materials for patient treatment
- Prep patients for their procedures
- Record and update dental records of the patients
- Work with dentist in what are called “Four Handed” procedures
- Hand instruments to dentist during side by side chair work
- Keep throats clear and clean during treatment
- Keep patient calm during treatment
- Order supplies
- Instruct Patients on post procedure instructions (cleaning tips etc)
- Schedule appointments
- Perform Xrays (based on certification level)
Click here for a more detailed explanation of the job description. As a working dental assistant, what tasks and duties you can do depends on factors listed below:
- Your employer (Each Dentist Office is Different)
- The state where you live and work (Many States has Differing Requirements – See the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Website)
- Level of training
- Certifications earned
What is Taught in Dental Assistant Schools
Commonly, top programs include a combination of courses in dental theory, dental lab skills, and definitely chair-side skills. The best ones have externship or internship programs for your benefit too! Below we cover the core topics taught in training:
- Dental science
- Dental materials
- Medical emergencies
- Dental science
- Dental radiography
- Prevention and nutrition in dentistry
- Infection control
- Dental office management
Are There Dental Assistant Schools Online?
Yes there are many online dental assistant programs. You can take the core classes online but there is a required clinical portion that has to be done in person. For more detailed information on online options see our guide to online dental assistant training.