Dental Assistant Training Program
The Dental Assistant Diploma Program at Dorsey Schools is designed to prepare each student to become a professional member of the dental healthcare team and provide dental care to patients under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. Throughout our dental assistant programs, students have to meet various dental assistant requirements and skills.
Some of those skills include: administrative dental office procedures, electronic health records, dental anatomy and physiology, terminology, dental materials, preventative oral care, two-handed and four-handed chairside assisting, radiography, sterilization, instrumentation, pharmacology, dental specialties and laboratory procedures. Completion of our dental assisting program is designed to prepare students to challenge two components of a national certification exam. An externship component is included, which will allow students to assimilate knowledge used in the program into practical application.
What Does a Dental Assistant Do?
The dental assistant classes at Dorsey Schools in Michigan could be the bridge between you and starting an exciting new career. Dental Assistant classes included in the Dorsey Schools program are designed to expose students to a variety of topics. These include both clinical and administrative skills needed to perform dental assistant jobs. Dental assistant programs strive to teach their students the skills and knowledge they need in order to be prepared to pursue dental assistant jobs upon graduation and/or certification.
If a career as a dental assistant sounds like it may be right for you, a good first step is to pursue training. One may ask, how long is dental assistant school? This will vary from school to school, but generally speaking, dental assistant programs take about a year to complete. The dental assistant training program at Dorsey Schools is designed to be completed in just one year. In addition, class sizes at Dorsey are kept small to allow for more individualized attention. The dental assistant training program at Dorsey Schools also includes an externship. The externship allows students an opportunity to practice the skills they have been learning during class sessions in an actual occupational setting. For those in the Metro Detroit area who may be wondering, “where can I find dental assistant classes near me?” Dorsey Schools may be the answer you are seeking!
Training in this program includes:
- Instruction on how to become a professional member of the dental health care team and provide dental care to patients under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist.
- The opportunity to learn dental anatomy and physiology, terminology, preventative dentistry, two-handed and four-handed chairside assisting, radiography, sterilization, infection control, instrumentation, pharmacology and laboratory procedures.
- Coverage of administrative dental office procedures, including controlled records management, effective appointment scheduling, communication skills, and a basic foundation of bookkeeping.
- An externship component is included during the last module that will allow students to assimilate the knowledge acquired in the program into clinical practice.
- Training includes radiography and follows the Michigan Dental Association radiography training program.
How To Become A Dental Assistant
If you want to become a dental assistant, it’s natural to wonder how to become a dental assistant. As we’ve discussed, the first important step is pursuing dental assistant training. Locating the dental assistant school or program that is right for you can help you get on your way towards your new dental assistant career.
Beyond your training and education, one may wonder about their dental assistant career once they finish school. A dentist assistant career is a popular choice for many reasons, including job stability, quick entry to the workforce and the ability to help others. Whether scheduling appointments, taking X-rays or assisting dentists with routine or specialized procedures, dental assistants must have great levels of skill and attention to detail. Dental assistant jobs are most often found within dentists’ offices. Dental assistants work closely with dentists and hygienists.
Skills Needed to be a Dental Assistant:
Dorsey Schools’ Dental Assistant Program is designed to prepare students with necessary skills when trying to advance in the dental healthcare industry. Here are some examples of the types of things you can learn in our program:
- Instruct patients in oral hygiene and plaque control programs.
- Order and monitor dental supplies and equipment inventory.
- Fabricate temporary restorations or custom impressions from preliminary impressions.
- Make preliminary impressions for study casts and occlusal registrations for mounting study casts.
- Pour, trim, and polish study casts
Qualities of a Dental Assistant:
There are several important qualities that stand out in dental assistants, including:
- Interpersonal skills
- Listening skills
- Organizational skills
As you think about whether or not a career as a dental assistant is best suited for you, take an honest evaluation of your personal strengths and qualities, and choose a career that would complement them. If you are not particularly strong in the areas listed above, don’t worry. Improving on these qualities can be a major focus in your dental assistant training at Dorsey Schools.
Pursuing a Career as a Dental Assistant
A career as a dental assistant can be both rewarding and challenging. The first step towards becoming a valuable member of the dental healthcare team is to begin your training. Since dental assistants work closely with patients, proper training is essential in launching your new career, and it can be valuable to choose a program that offers hands-on training. In addition to evaluating your options in terms of training, it’s also important to look at any specific dental assistant requirements in the state you wish to work. In addition to state-specific guidelines, certain employers may have specific dental assistant requirements within their office or practice. As a general rule, it’s always a good idea to do your research in advance. There may be various dental assistant requirements in the state you wish to work or the place you wish to work.
According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 18% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.a In addition, according to the State of Michigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 4.4% from 2014 to 2024.b
Take the First Step in Pursuing a Career in Dental Assisting. Requesting information is easy and requires no long-term commitments or obligations. Simply fill out the form and a Dorsey Schools admissions representative will get back to you shortly.
Dental Assistant Job Description
Dental assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dentist in the delivery of quality oral health care and are valuable members of the dental care team. If you have strong communication skills, enjoy working with your hands as well as your mind and want a career with responsibility, dental assisting could be for you. The duties of a dental assistant are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office. The dental assistant performs many tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills. Although state regulations vary, responsibilities may include:
- Prepare patients and necessary materials for dental procedures.
- Take and record patient histories, vital signs and patient treatment information accurately.
- Instruct patients on oral hygiene and provide post-op instructions to patients that have been issued by the dentist.
- Order, maintain, and monitor dental supplies, materials, and equipment.
- Assist the dentist with dental procedures.
- Perform tasks around the office such as scheduling appointments, answering the phone, preparing bills, receiving payments, maintaining records, and completing insurance forms.
The Dental Assistant program is offered at the following Dorsey Schools campus locations:
Dental Assistant Program – Gainful Employment Disclosures
For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who have completed the
program, and other important information, please click here.
aBureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Dental Assistants, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm (visited July 11, 2016).
bMichigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, Long-Term Occupational Employment Projections (2014-2024) Michigan Statewide, Dental Assistants (SOC Code: 31-9091), http://milmi.mt.gov/Portals/137/publications/projectionsdata/LongTerm_OccupationalProj_2024_MI.xlsx (visited July 11, 2016).
NOTE: The Michigan Department of Community Health, Bureau of Health Professions and the Board of Dentistry, are responsible for the licensing of individuals who want to practice dentistry, dental hygiene and advanced levels of dental assisting. Students attending a course in dental assisting that is offered by a licensed proprietary school that is not accredited by the American Dental Association are not eligible for licensure by the State of Michigan. Dorsey Schools is classified as a licensed proprietary school and is not accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. Graduates of this program are not eligible for licensure as a Registered Dental Assistant. However, graduates of this program may challenge a certification exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. after completing 3,500 hours of dental work experience. Dorsey’s Dental Assistant Program includes the opportunity to sit for the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) and the Infection Control (ICE) certification exams, which are two components of the Dental Assisting national Board (“DANB”) Certified Dental Assistant (“CDA”) exam. Graduates of this program may complete the third exam component necessary for DANB’s CDA credential, which is challenged after completing “a minimum of 3,500 hours’ work experience as a dental assistant, accrued over a period of at least two years (24 months, if employed fulltime) to a maximum of four years (48 months, if employed part-time) which employment must be verified by a licensed dentist.”