Dental assistant training is quickly becoming a hot area of study for career-minded students. As a quickly-growing field, there is more demand than ever for qualified dental assistants, and many people are jumping at the chance at getting dental assistant training and entering the healthcare profession in a role that allows them to interact with patients and make a difference without the years of schooling and intense competition it takes to become a medical doctor or dentist.
Dental assistants perform a range of duties learned in dental assistant training in support of a dental office environment. Performing both clinical and administrative duties, their work is of great help to the dentists and dental hygienists, and the tasks they complete require specialized dental assistant training. Among their duties are
- Working to keep patients comfortable in the dentists’ chair and to help prepare them for treatments and dental procedures
- Using dental assistant training techniques to clean dental instruments after each use
- Preparing the work area for the next patient by setting out the appropriate instruments and other materials.
- Assisting dentists during procedures by handing them instruments and other materials, and using suction hoses and other equipment to keep patients’ mouths dry.
- Speaking with patients and advising them on matters such as proper dental hygiene
- Lab tasks such as processing x-rays, done under direction and supervision of the dentist.
- Keeping and maintaining dental records
- Scheduling patient appointments
- Billing and payments
As you can see, many of the duties of a dental assistant require close interaction with patients, and dental assistant training is very important to this process. Balancing these tasks throughout the day require the ability to shift gears and requires a solid sense of time management and prioritization, some of which can be learned through dental assistant training. Good organizational skills are also important, as is a fine-tuned attention to detail and interpersonal and listening skills.
Are you interested in dental assistant training?
If you’re interested in pursuing dental assistant training, there are a few things you need to know in preparation. One is the importance of licensure, certification and registration to dental assistant training. Some states require certification of its dental assistants, particularly those who perform clinical duties as a regular part of their job, or handle sensitive medical records. There are groups such as the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) who work to certify dental assistants through examination. Once successfully passing the certification exam, you will be a Certified Dental Assistant and eligible to work in your state.
Even if your state does not require licensure or certification, getting them as part of your dental assistant training could be a positive step in your career, and show that even after your dental assistant training is complete you are interested in developing and maintaining skills. It is, if nothing else, a sign of distinction and excellence in your field to pursue these certifications.
Why is dental assistant training a hot career?
Dental assistant training is, as many healthcare training programs are, in high demand because the healthcare field is expanding rapidly. There is a pronounced need for professionals in virtually all aspects of the healthcare industry, due to the rapidly aging baby boom population. This generation comprises a large percentage of our population, and as they get older they will be in greater and more frequent need of medical support. That need will put a strain on existing medical facilities and require that new ones open to continue handling the demand. This applies to dental care as well.
In addition, federal healthcare legislation is expected to increase the number of people with access to health insurance, which also will create a larger incentive for people to visit medical facilities. This too will increase the strain on existing clinics, doctors’ offices and other similar facilities and require additional dental assistant training.
As a result, more dental assistant training facilities are springing up around the country. This creates more openings and a greater demand for workers. This will attract more people interested in dental assistant training, and eventually should create more dental assistants to fill the positions to meet the demand.
If dental assisting is something that interests you as a career, you should explore the various dental assistant training options around. If you find a school that offers the type of education you find qualifies you for employment as a dental assistant, you should pursue dental assistant training there.