For many years already dentistry has been one of the most popular fields of healthcare. Many students these days look for their niche in this area. If you are one of them, why not consider becoming a dental assistant for starters?
Choosing this career, you will not only start practicing in a year or two after the high school, you will also prepare for continuing dental education if needed. To become a dental assistant you don’t need exhausting and expensive training. Your education won’t take long and you will be able to find a job with a certificate in assisting only. Here are some details on how to become a dental assistant.
As you may already know, your main duty will be to help a dentist during his/her job. You will not only deal with office documentation and phone calls, you must also prepare patients for a treatment and ensure their comfort. For that, you have to possess excellent communication skills. Manual dexterity at handling dental tools will be a great plus as well.
Dental assistants help with running the dentist’s office, keeping records of each case, and managing the appointment schedule. Still, if you want to fulfill some more complicated tasks, like providing assisting work during surgical operations, for instance, you have to take some extra training. This way you will be able to remove sutures, process X-rays and take the oral impressions that are used to fit crowns.
Dental assistants are required by most states to obtain certification within 3 months of completing a training program. Dental assistants who received on-the-job training cannot take the certification exam unless they have completed 2 years of such training. This requirement is in place to assure patients that all staff members are properly trained. Information about the schedule for exams to obtain certification can be obtained by checking online or with your dental assistant program instructor.
The certification exam is in two parts. It is comprised of a written part to test your knowledge, and a practical part to test your skills. The written portion of the exam is based on the basic fundamentals of dental care and sanitation issues. In the practical portion, you will be required to show your ability to properly cleanse and sanitize all instruments to the satisfaction of a state examiner. It is very likely that you will be asked to perform several tasks under the observation of the state examiner. This exercise is conducted in order to verify that you are able to perform what you learned in the classroom during training.
The time spent during dental assistant training is a good investment in your future, a future with a wonderful career in the dental field and many job opportunities. It is important that you choose wisely when selecting your training program. This decision can be the determining factor whether or not you will be considered a valued asset when you apply for employment. Dental assistants play an important and valuable role to the dental office as well as to patients. Very often they are the first person that patients come in contact with before and after their procedures. They can also help to put patients at ease who are afraid or nervous just before a procedure takes place.