Dental Assistants most often work in a Dentist’s office, under the supervision of a Dentist and closely with other members of the Dental Healthcare team. They perform many tasks, ranging from patient care and taking X-rays to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments, although specific duties vary by work location. In today's blog post, we're going to go through some frequently asked questions in the Dental Assisting field such as, "What does a Dental Assistant do?" and "What are some common responsibilities of a Dental Assistant?"
What does a Dental Assistant do?
Some of a Dental Assistant’s typical responsibilities may include:
- Ensuring that patients are comfortable and well informed in proper oral hygiene
- Preparing patients and the work area for treatments and procedures
- Sterilizing dental instruments
- Keeping patients’ mouths dry by using suction hoses and other equipment
- Processing x-rays and completing lab tasks, under the direction of a dentist
- Keeping records of dental treatments
- Scheduling patient appointments
- Working with patients on billing and payment
There are several possible paths to becoming a dental assistant. While, in some states there are no formal educational requirements, other states require that dental assistants graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam. These programs may be found at vocational schools, technical schools, or community colleges. Most dental assistant training programs take about 1 year to complete and lead to a certificate or diploma. Students who participate in these training programs can be exposed to classroom and laboratory work in which they may have the opportunity to learn about teeth, gums, jaws, and other areas that dentists work on and the instruments that dentists use. These programs may also include supervised practical experience.
The Dental Assistant Diploma Program at Dorsey Schools aims to prepare each student to successfully work as a Dental Assistant. Throughout the program, students have the opportunity to learn 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 this 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.
The Dental Assistant Diploma Program is offered at the following Dorsey Schools campus locations:
Does a career as a Dental Assistant sound like the right path for you? To learn more about the Dental Assistant Training Program offered at Dorsey Schools, visit us online at www.dorsey.edu, give us a call at 888-422-1188 or request info online
Dental Assistant Program – Gainful Employment Disclosures
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- Bureau 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 June 23, 2016)