If you are looking for a new career and you are interested in working in the dental field, you may be interested in dental assistant training. Working as a dental assistant is a great way to get started in this field. You can enjoy a meaningful and rewarding career as a dental assistant, or you can advance into other professions within the field. As you get started, it’s important to know what to look for in a dental assistant training program.
What To Look For in a Dental Assistant Training Program
The right dental assistant training program should give you the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to be successful in this field. It’s important to look for a dental assistant training program that provides this, and also gives you opportunities to meet others in the field and make connections. Here’s what to look for in a dental assistant training program, including specific knowledge and skills that will help you.
Knowledge to Look For
Though you do not need a degree to be a dental assistant, the dentist or another dental professional who hires you will require you to have some specific knowledge. Look for a dental assistant training program that gives you basic knowledge about the following:
- Anatomy of teeth and mouth
- Dental illnesses
- Dental instruments
- Dental procedures
- How to recognize a medical emergency
- Assessing and documenting patient information
- Bloodborne illnesses and how to prevent the spread
- X-ray machine operation and safety procedures
Skills to Look For
It’s also important to look for a dental program that helps you learn essential skills. A dentist or another dental professional hiring dental assistants will need you to perform these skills, and need you to be able to perform certain skills in an emergency, like CPR. Knowing how to perform these skills will help you get a job in the dental field, and it will also help you transition more easily into your new job. Look for a dental assistant training program that helps you perform the following skills:
- Assisting with dental cleaning
- Assisting with exams and x-rays
- Sanitizing and arranging dental instruments
- Filling out patient information
- Sorting and organizing patient information
- Reading and understanding insurance forms
Opportunities for Experience
As with any instructional program, your dental assistant training program will most likely take place in a classroom setting. You’ll gain important knowledge and learn new skills in a controlled environment to start with. Once you’ve acquired this knowledge and skills, the right dental assistant training program will also help you practice these skills under supervision. Look for a dental assistant training program that gives you opportunities to gather hands-on experience.
Once you’ve completed your dental assistant training program, it will be helpful to have connections in the dental field that will help you get a job. This might include introductions to dentists, dental hygienists or other dental assistants in the area. It might also include an electronic network, such as an invitation to an online job board or connections to other dental professionals in other areas.
It’s helpful to look for a dental assisting training program that is well-known and has a reputation for educating skilled and knowledgeable professionals. The reputation of the training program, as well as the reputation of the instructors and staff, is important. Working with a reputable and recognizable dental assistant training program will help give your resume extra weight when you finish the program and start your career.
The career outlook for dental assistants is very good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the median annual wage for dental assistants is about $41,000, or about $19.80 an hour. Also, the employment opportunities for dental assistants are projected to grow about 7% over the next decade, which is faster than average. If you are considering entering the dental field, this is a great way to get started.
You do not need to change your life to start training for this career. BDG Academy offers Saturday classes to train students to become dental assistants. In 11 weeks, you will have the training and education you need to get started in this career.