Just like dentists, dental assistants play an important role in resolving the tooth- and gum-related issues of the patients visiting the clinic. Acting as amiably, their job is to relieve the patient’s anxiety while helping the main dentist with tests and treatments. They are also responsible for direct patient care apart from timely assistance to the dentist in the form of offering proper instruments and materials while examining patients.
Why go for a Dental Assistant Training
In school, you might have gained practical knowledge in labs having real equipment. However, that does not suffice to make you qualified for the post of dental assistant. This is because you still lack in preparing the patients for treatment, setting up the treatment tray, taking X-rays, offering postoperative instructions, and imparting knowledge for ensuring apt oral care. A proper training program covers these deficiencies.
Although it is possible to gain the desired assisting skills via on-the-job training, technical and vocational colleges have started offering formal and accredited training programs, the demand for which is more amongst the employers. According to the American Dental Association, more than 85% dentists offer compensation to their employees who enroll for training classes.
What are the Types of Programs on Offer
Most dental assistant schools are witnessing unbelievable influx of students because of the recognition for a smooth career ahead. Notably, dental assistant certification is on offer by the DANB or Dental Assisting Nursing Board. However, you can expect several state-based institutions such as the Certified Dental Assistants of British Columbia to design and offer such certification courses.
Moreover, online training is given in full force by different training schools. Usually, a typical program or training for dental assisting is scheduled for one year although the exact period might differ from one school to another, for increasing the chance of job pay. For the assistants who wish to continue with their training later, two-year programs for an associate degree is recommended.
Kindly note that a few states require the assistants to acquire license prior to operating any radiological unit or interacting with patients clinically. Nevertheless, two main types of certification programs are on offer for becoming a dental assistant in the US.
- Diploma for Two Years: Featuring prefixed number of credits by dental assistant schools, these courses are designed in an order, which you need to complete for attaining a degree. After the training, you need to pass a certification exam for taking any suitable career path.
- Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) in Dental Hygiene for a Year At Least: This program attracts those who prefer taking a research and teaching job.
Which Subjects are Covered?
Because the dental assistant courses are on offer by a variety of colleges, some subjects are common. You can expect anatomy, psychology, and physiology for comprehending the nervous and digestive systems influencing the teeth health, clinical practice for being in a medical environment to understand and execute better, communication, and dental material based courses to fulfill their responsibilities efficiently. There are more subjects but they are unique to the training institution.
How to Enroll for a Program Affordably
Right from financial aid to part time jobs, each training organization is offering all possible help to get through the program without any hassles. You can easily gain a scholarship such as the ADA Foundation Scholarship for pursuing a program in any area of the country without paying fees, Albert C Goerig Scholarship offering at least 1500$ per year after fulfilling a list of criteria, and American Nuclear Society Scholarship providing 1000$ at least depending upon the ability of students.
How Your Career will Be?
Once you complete a recognized training program, you can easily grab one of the alluring career options. Right from the minor positions to high leadership roles, you can choose from remarkable dental assistant careers in hospitals and clinics, such as that of a Dental Office Supervisor or Dental Assistant Supervisor. These jobs get you an income of at least 48,000$ per annum. If you are an experienced professional, you can easily gain 60,000$ per annum.
If you choose the AAS program, you can grab a teaching position in schools of dental assistance, research positions in research institutions, and private tutoring. These jobs can pay around $50,000 in the beginning itself.