Dentists often employ assistants to help them. So assistants are responsible for completing tasks that could include assisting in treatment of patients, educating patients on aftercare, lab work, or management of office duties.
Dental assistant training can lead to great careers with a very short period of classwork and on-the-job experience. Many students considering educational opportunities and professional adults considering career changes alike can find fabulous, great-paying careers working as dental assistants. The need for these skilled professionals is expected to continue to grow consistently, providing many great jobs across all areas to meet the ongoing needs of patients and their dentists.
In general, there are not much of training requirements for being an entry-level dental assistant. If you are a high school student and thinking about taking dental assistant as a career, then you should take courses like health, biology and chemistry. And if you wish to get more education in this area, you really need to consider the training programs that include laboratory, classroom and pre-clinical instruction and its related theory.
In the dental office, students get to learn the real-life work by watching the dentist and the assistants performing daily duties and learn the terminology, the proper way to interact with patients and some office management like scheduling appointments, filing and billing that help to run the business smoothly.
Basically, most training program prepare you to do the following: help the patient get ready for treatment, take X-ray by portable dental x rays unit, keep dental records, disinfect dental instruments and tools, set up the tray, provide instruction for the patients after the treatment and educate them about oral care. And of course, there are some lab work needed to be done, too. For example, you also have to prepare materials to make impressions and restorations and process X-ray negative according to the dentist’s instruction.
Dental assistants are not licensed to perform certain procedures and treatments that either a dental hygienist or dentist are allowed to perform. Dental nurses is the name these assistants are commonly called. To become a dental nurse, the CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) exam must be passed after completion of a dental assistant training program. In order to become active for practice, all assistants must pass this four hour exam. Training programs offer many different paths for preparing for the exam.
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