It isn’t uncommon for dentists to tell new dental assistants or those in training that they don’t need to attend school and that they can learn the necessary skills on the job. However, completing a dental assistant school program in just nine weeks gives students more skills and knowledge.
Because of the number of patients in the office each day, most dentists don’t have time to give new assistants the personal attention they need. Many assistants who bypass schooling have to learn new skills by reading or watching videos on their own.
On the other hand, dental assistant school students learn things like tooth charting, dental terminology, anatomy, how to properly handle instruments, how to set up and clean a room properly, how to wear and dispose of masks and gloves properly, how to talk to patients and how to perform common tasks like X-rays and impressions. In addition, they are taught how to use both digital and manual scheduling programs.
Being in a school-like setting has other benefits as well. Students who want to work on certain skills can come in early or stay late to receive more training without any pressure. Many also form bonds and lifelong friendships that help support them through their professional journeys.
Attending dental assistant school can also help people figure out their career path. Some realizethey would prefer another profession. Others realize this is the beginning of their career and use their dental assistant training as a springboard to future roles as a hygienist or dentist.
No matter what path a student chooses, dental assistant school is an ideal place to learn skills, form new friendships and develop the confidence needed for a successful career.