Get the training to become an excellent dental assistant. In the dental office there are several different positions that one can hold, such as the dentist, hygienist, dental assistant, patient coordinator, and the dental lab technician. As a dental assistant you will get to work with each of these positions. You can see what the day to day responsibilities are for each.
When students are applying for dental school to become a dentist they are required to have completed 100 hours of shadowing a dentist prior to applying to school. By becoming a dental assistant, they can get those 100 hours and more not just watching the procedures, they will be assisting alongside the dentist, getting their hands wet.
If a student is looking to become a dental laboratory technician, having assisting experience is vital. Assisting with various dental procedures involving preparations, and deliveries of prosthetics a student can become aware of the specifics and details the dentist is looking for in dental prosthetics created by lab technicians.
As a dental assistant you can assist the hygienist, learning the responsibilities the hygienist has and see if it is truly something they want to do. They will be helping set up the procedures and break down the rooms after treatment, expose radio-graphs, chart needed and completed treatment, place sealants, provide fluoride treatments and sterilization. This is a great way for a student to become familiar with instruments and dental procedures.
Many dentists prefer for their patient coordinators to be cross trained, so they can work either the front desk, checking in and out patients, or the back office completing the procedures. Understanding how the back-office works will make it easier to create an effective, and productive schedule for the office. It is integral to understand how long the procedure takes and the procedure steps. One of the most important aspects of a patient coordinator is effective communication. Patients will usually have questions regarding their appointment or treatment and will ask the coordinator, being a dental assistant working as a coordinator you will be able to answer those questions with ease.
Becoming a dental assistant is a great opportunity to get up and personal with the dental career you have been thinking of doing. Every team member is an integral part of the dental team. Finding out which one you prefer will help you decide which career is best for you.