Making the decision to pursue a career as a dental assistant can really be an excellent choice and understanding what dental assistant training includes can help you start out in this rewarding career.. Even as we face a challenging economy with high unemployment, people will continue to require and spend on oral health care. As a dental assistant, you can expect to have many different responsibilities and should be prepared to adjust to the needs of the dentist and dental office you work for. One of the benefits of pursuing a career as a dental assistant is that you can really dive right in, as there are no training or formal education requirements to become a dental assistant. Let’s take a look at the pathway to becoming a dental assistant.
High school students interested in beginning dental assistant training should take courses in chemistry, biology and health. If you do seek to pursue further education after high school, the Commission on Dental Accreditation has approved some 280 dental-assisting training programs. These programs typically take one year to complete and provide a good mix of classroom, laboratory and clinical instruction. Those who complete these programs will receive a diploma or certificate. There are also two year dental assistant training programs that are offered by community and technical colleges which will result in an Associate’s Degree. Most dental-assisting training takes place through on-the-job training. The new dental assistant will learn about the following: Proper ways to interact and communicate with patients, appropriate dental terminology, daily tasks that must be completed, scheduling patients and the ways the dentist can be aided during various procedures that will be performed on patients. Working as a dental assistant will also require an ongoing learning process. As new dental technology continues to be introduced, dental assistants will be required to learn the new technology. A good dental assistant is someone who is excited by the idea of learning new things on a constant basis.
If you have decided to pursue a career as a dental assistant, you should feel confident knowing that you have chosen a career that has strong job prospects. After completing high school, you have the choice of completing a one year dental-assisting training program established by the Commission on Dental Accreditation or a two year program at a community or technical college. You can also opt to dive right in and apply for a position where you will learn about dental-assisting through on-the-job training. You should be prepared to learn many new skills in your dental assistant training and stay focused every day on the job.
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