“Employment of dental assistants is expected to grow by 31% from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.”– According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1How can your class be so short?
We’re a “hands-on learning program”. This differs a bit from traditional education. Our classes take place in a dental office rather than in a classroom. A majority of the learning is hands-on. Our classes begin with lecture/class discussion, but a majority of the time is spent in lab where students are in the operatories learning one on one with instructors to take impressions, pour up models, etc. When our students finish the program and begin working, they feel comfortable in the dental office because that’s the environment they were trained in.
- 2How can a short course be as effective as a longer program?
As a newly hired Dental Assistant, your employer will have an expectation that you will know the basic skills of assisting. It’s those fundamental skills that we focus on teaching our students. Our custom designed curriculum sets students up for success in knowing what doctors what will expect them to know.
- 3Will I be more qualified if I go to school for longer?
When you graduate from any dental assisting school you receive a certificate of completion. Many students ask if they can expect to make a higher starting salary if they attend a longer school. The answer to that is no. The starting salary for a Dental Assistant does not have anything to do with how long you spent in school, or how much you paid for your schooling.
- 1What are the job prospects after completion of this course?
As long as there are dentists, there will continue to be a need for qualified dental assistants. There are many opportunities for entry-level positions, but some dentists prefer to hire experienced assistants. Our program includes a 40-hour externship where students will get a their first bit of experience.
- 1What will my earning capacity be after successful completion of this course?
The mean annual wage for dental assistants was $16.86/hour or $35,080/year reported in May 2012 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- 2Will I be eligible for benefits with my employer?
Benefits vary by practice setting and may be contingent upon full-time employment.
- 3What is the Job Description of a Dental Assistant?
Dental assistants perform a variety of duties, including but not limited to assisting the dentist, setting up equipment, preparing patient for treatment and keeping records.
Dental assistants may prepare materials for impressions and restorations, take x-rays, make bleach treys, apply topical anesthetics to gums, and place dental dams to isolate teeth for treatment.
Assistants are responsible for making patients feel comfortable in the dental chair and preparing them for treatment.
During dental procedures, assistants work alongside the dentist to provide assistance. They hand instruments and materials to dentists and keep patients’ mouths dry and clear by using suction hoses or other devices. They also instruct patients on postoperative and general oral healthcare.
Dental assistants with laboratory duties make casts of the teeth and mouth from impressions, clean and polish removable appliances and make temporary crowns. Those with included office duties may schedule and confirm appointments, receive patients, keep treatment records and order dental supplies and materials.
Dental assistants work closely with and under the supervision of dentists. Additionally, dental assistants should not be confused with dental hygienists, who are licensed to perform a different set of clinical tasks.