The purpose of formal dental assistant training is to teach dental assisting students the skills they need to perform as professional dental assistants. This can include hands-on skills such as handling dental instruments, sterilizing equipment and assisting the dentist. But it also includes foundation subjects, such as healthcare basics, communication skills, and business skills for running a dental front office, as well as people-oriented skills for working with patients. At the right school, dental assistant training can be a varied, rounded education that prepares graduates for solid, lucrative careers.
Most training programs last from nine months to around two years, resulting in a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree. Training can be found at dental assistant schools including junior colleges, career schools and some universities.
Dental Assistant Training Program Topics
Individual training programs vary, but the course subjects students are trained in generally cover the topics below.
Patient Care and Comfort: One of the chief responsibilities of a dental assistant is making sure patients are calm and comfortable. Thus, dental assistant training usually covers courses on patient care. These courses are important in helping dental assistants learn to create a positive experience for the patient while keeping them safe. Dental assistants are trained to exhibit a calm, confident demeanor in the company of patients.
Safety and Hygiene: Dental assistants are responsible for ensuring patients to not contract an infection from a non-sterile environment. As part of dental assistant training, students learn to create and enforce infection control protocols to guarantee that patients are never exposed to contaminated materials. They are also trained to ensure fluids and substances that might be liberated by a dental procedure are cleaned, and that the patient space is sanitized before another procedure is performed.
Instructing Patients in Proper Dental Care: After a procedure is completed, dental assistants are often tasked with instructing patients on how to care for themselves at home. Dental assistant training includes instructing patients on how to keep their teeth in optimum health. Examples may be teaching patients how to brush and floss properly, how to properly apply vitamins and other medicines, and how care for sutures from oral surgery.
Office Management Tasks: Since dental assistants are essential for keeping a dentist’s office running smoothly, training for dental assistants may include classes in office administration and business management. Dental assistants often work with patients or suppliers on a number of tasks that require the use of computers. Some of these duties include scheduling appointments and deliveries, placing orders, or billing.
Working with X-Rays: Another important responsibility covered in formal training is the taking and handling of patient x-rays. Dental assistants must know how to operate complex radiological equipment, prepare patients, and record x-rays for the dentist to examine.
Benefits of Formal Training
Besides preparing students for the basic job skills of dental assisting, formal dental assistant training provides the background education and knowledge needed to understand dental work on a broader scope, and to manage the business side of dental assisting. The skills and background education received during training makes dental assistant program graduates more attractive to employers, and also gives them the foundation to move into other areas of healthcare if so desired.
Formal training also prepares graduates to pursue dental assistant certification, an additional, optional step that can lead to greater strength in the job market.
Dental Assistant Training Programs Enrolling Now
Arizona College prepares students to work in the “real world” of medicine. With the use of lecture and laboratory teaching, we provide our students with hands on experience. Arizona College also provides job placement services including interview techniques and preparing resumes.
Students at Arizona College can take advantage of many benefits. Arizona College students can get their resumes updated and receive job placement assistance at no charge. Whether looking for a part-time “survival” job while going through school, hoping for the right externship or looking for placement upon graduation, career development is available to help students through their search.
Seacoast Career School
Seacoast has become one of the fastest and most effective ways to begin a high growth career with excellent income potential. Seacoast has campuses conveniently located in Manchester and Sanford. Students are instructed with state-of-the-art, real-world technologies that today’s employers are seeking.
At Brightwood College, we offer accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience focused on helping you gain skills for your chosen career.
We keep education relevant by employing instructors with real-world experience in the field, who bring their career backgrounds to the classroom. Our programs are continually assessed by faculty, staff and members of the business and education communities to help ensure your studies align with your career goals. Programs offered by Brightwood College focus on local employment needs, in areas such as allied health, nursing and technical and professional programs.
Within the classroom, it is our mission to not only provide vocational training, but to help you develop the professional skills, values, attitudes and strategies that will enhance your potential for success on campus, in your career and through life.
The success of our students is our greatest success. Because when our students succeed, we’ve completed the job we set out to do: empower the courageous, and enable real and relevant change.
Thinking about a career change? UEI College is here to help! At UEI we offer training in a variety of programs including Medical Assistant Technician, Business Office Administration, Health Services Administration, Information Technology, Nursing, Cosmetology, HVAC, Medical Front Office and Billing, and more. Many of our programs can be completed in as little as 8-9 months!*
Our students receive hands-on training and participate in externships depending on their program of study. Our caring faculty and staff is dedicated to helping each student succeed. Need help finding a job? UEI’s career services department is dedicated to helping our students take the next step. During school and even after graduation, we offer interview preparation and resume building help.
If you’re looking for a school that is ready to offer you the tools you need to prepare for a brighter future, join the UEI family today and discover your potential!
If you don’t have your High School Diploma, ask us about your options! As a student in one of our eligible career pathway programs, you’ll have the opportunity to earn your High School Diploma while you complete your career training! Best of all, the opportunity to complete high school is available to you at no additional cost!**
Our schools are accredited and ready to get you started on your path to success!
**Not all programs are eligible.
Not all programs available at all locations.
*Timing varies by program. UEI – Houston and Phoenix are institutionally accredited by the Accrediting
Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
Lincoln College of New England
At Lincoln College of New England (LCNE), we offer everything you’ll find at traditional 4-year colleges: quality academics, a wide range of career-focused programs to choose from and a highly knowledgeable faculty. We pride ourselves on what sets us apart from traditional schools: a personal approach with strong emphasis on your individual success as a student.
Our personalized approach to academics has been LCNE’s trademark for success. We maintain a limited class size and employ dedicated college instructors to make this student-centric approach possible. This personalized academic route is what truly defines LCNE and sets us apart from other colleges. It gives our graduates the competitive advantage they need to set out into the workforce.
Lincoln College of New England offers students degree programs in the fields of Health Sciences, Business, Communications, Hospitality, and much more. All of our Bachelor’s Degrees, Associate Degrees, and Certificate programs offer in-depth curricula to help you excel in the career of your choice. Students can also take advantage of flexible class schedules and available on-campus housing. Whichever program you choose, count on success in your future career with the skills, confidence and credentials you’ll gain at Lincoln College of New England!