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
College of Westchester
Since 1915, The College of Westchester (CW) has focused on the career success of its students. CW’s academic programs are carefully designed to provide the skills and competencies most desired by employers. Our campus environment is highly personal and our culture centers on service to students. CW faculty is selected based on experience, credentials and a caring attitude to bring real world knowledge to the classroom. The College’s technologies and web-enhanced learning tools give students anywhere, anytime connectivity to courses, professors, classmates and services. The College of Westchester offers an exceptional experience that can lead to a lifetime of achievement and success.
American Career College
ACC’s faculty and staff are committed to helping students achieve their educational goals. Our faculty members draw upon their own experiences in the healthcare industry to provide our students with in-depth training and education. All programs are a blend of classroom and hands-on training, with many programs ending with an externship in a local healthcare facility.
American Career College also works closely with students beyond the classroom. The Student Services department offers new student orientations, student appreciation days, and advising/tutoring assistance for those who are interested. While in school and after graduation, the career services department offers programs for networking, resume writing, interviewing and other job search help.
Programs vary by campus. Program lengths vary by session and schedule. Financial aid available to those who qualify. ACC cannot guarantee employment. American Career College is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.
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Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.
At Keiser University, you will find a warm, friendly community with faculty and staff truly committed to your success. Our small class sizes, individualized attention, and one-class-at-a-time schedules create a positive learning environment where you can excel. Whether your goal is to prepare for a new career or to advance with your current employer, Keiser University is designed around your needs.
Keiser University Advantage
- Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs
- Day, Evening, and Online Classes
- Financial Aid to Those Who Qualify
- Job Placement Assistance Available
- Military-friendly, scholarships for qualified active duty personnel, Veterans, and dependants. Yellow Ribbon program participant, approved for Veterans training
Programs and delivery format vary by campus. Courses are subject to change.
Keiser University’s programs and curriculum remain in-line with technology and workforce trends, helping you develop the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in today’s job market. Our career-focused programs make it possible for you to graduate in less time than you may think.
Elmira Business Institute
Take the fast track to your future at Elmira Business Institute!
Learn how you can get the training you need to begin a rewarding career in a field of high-demand. Complete and submit the form and one of our Admissions Representatives will be in touch soon to tell you more.
Advantages offered by Elmira Business Institute include:
- Financial aid available for those who qualify
- Accelerated, career-centered training in a wide range of industries
- Flexible scheduling
- Tuition planning
- Lifetime career assistance
- Two convenient campus locations
- Financial Services
- General Business
- General Office Assistant
- Human Resources
- Small Business Management
- Medical Assistant
- Medical Coding and Billing
- Medical Office Assistant
- Business Administration
- Office Technologies
- Medical Assistant
- Medical Coding and Reimbursement Specialist
EBI holds Accreditation through the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
EBI is proud to support our country’s veterans and has been approved for veterans benefits.
Since 1946, Lincoln Tech has been helping students achieve professional success through personalized career support and hands-on, job-specific education. Our in-depth training programs are designed to meet the changing needs of today’s tough job market, and cover a variety of fields, including: Health Sciences, Information Technology, Spa & Cosmetology, Automotive Technology, Welding, HVAC and Electrical.
What sets Lincoln Tech apart from other schools? Quite a few things, actually; our training programs emphasize experiential, interactive learning activities – that means you’ll do the job before you take the job. Plus, our Certificate, Diploma and Associate degree programs are designed to accelerate your entry into the job market by offering a shorter length of training, so you may be earning valuable on-the-job experience before many of your peers do.
But our strengths go beyond that. Our Lincoln instructors possess a combination of seasoned teaching skills, subject matter expertise and real world experience. Plus, we’ve built working partnerships with important industry contacts in your area. So when you graduate, we’ll help you find a good position and start your career off right.
When it comes to choosing a post-secondary educational institution, keep this in mind: our dedication to your success sets us apart from the competition – and the specialized, career-focused training you’ll receive at Lincoln will set you apart from yours. Lincoln Tech offers flexible daytime and evening programs to accommodate your busy schedule. Financial aid is available for those who qualify and Career Placement assistance is available upon graduation.