How do I Choose the Best Dental Assistant School?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 February 2018
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There are four items to consider when choosing a dental assistant school: equipment, accreditation, faculty, and specialized programs. Dental assistant programs are widely available from community and career colleges. These programs are typically one to two years in length, and provide the training necessary to become a dental assistant.

A dental assistant is a member of the dental health services team. They are responsible for maintaining dental equipment for the office and assisting the dentist. Working closely with the dentist, the assistant provides the correct equipment as needed during a wide range of dental procedures.

The best dental assistant school will have all the standard dental office equipment available for student use. Computer simulation programs, practice sessions, and other tools can be used to help students gain valuable experience. Check the availability of the equipment at the dental assistant school to ensure that there are opportunities for every student to practice. Confidence comes with experience, so the more opportunities to practice in a school setting, the better.

When looking for a dental assistant school, check the accreditation status. An accredited school has been reviewed by an independent third party. Courses from an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary institutions. Only accredited schools are able to offer students access to government student aid programs. In addition, many states require dental assistants to complete a certification process. Only accredited courses are accepted to meet the academic requirements.

Review the qualifications of the faculty or course instructors with care. Most schools post a short biography of their course instructors on the school's website. Review this information and look for both academic credentials and working experience. Make sure that the instructors are trained in the latest equipment, so you are prepared to contribute to the dental practice from your first day at work.

It is important to note that technology is always changing and many dental assistants take continuing education courses to keep their skills current. Look for schools that offer short courses or certificates in the latest technology to students after graduation. These programs are typically available on weekends and in the evening, to accommodate working dental assistants.

Look for specialized courses for dental assistants. This may include new patient management techniques, such as working with small children or cancer patients. Take advantage and learn as much as possible from these programs. Although it may not be relevant for your first job after graduation, many students find these additional courses open up new opportunities when combined with work experience.



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