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Why You Need Hands-On Training in Your Dental Assisting Program

Published: June 20, 2018 | Updated: October 26, 2020

Dental Assisting can be a pretty physical job. Whether you work chair-side with a dentist or in the front office, you will most likely be on the move and on your feet for much of the day. You’ll also need to know how to do a variety of tasks.

What You Will Do as a Dental Assistant

As a dental assistant, your work may require you to:

  • Assist the dentist with treatments and procedures
  • Prepare and sterilize equipment and tools
  • Take and develop X-rays
  • Record patient histories and vital signs
  • Help reassure and calm patients

4 Reasons You Need Hands-On Training as a Dental Assistant

1. You Can Learn Dental Assisting Skills Better by Doing

Do you learn best by doing, not just reading a book? A hands-on Dental Assisting program gives you the opportunity to get an in-depth understanding of the work that you will do because you can actually do it, learn by repeating it, and ask questions as you go. You will be able to practice procedures and experience what it’s like to cooperate with the dentist and co-workers. You’ll also learn proper procedures for work like sterilizing equipment and taking X-rays.

2. Some Dental Assisting Skills Require Live Demonstrations

You can read about procedures and tools and how to use them, but for a lot of Dental Assisting task, the only way to really learn what to do is to do it! For example, you may read and discuss how to use dental clamps, but it takes actually using them to learn how they should go on and what they feel like when properly applied.

3. You Can Make Mistakes in a Practice Environment

As you learn how to do your Dental Assisting job, you will probably make mistakes — everyone does! Hands-on training is great because it gives you the opportunity to put classroom instruction into action. It also ensures that any mistakes you make are under the supervision of your instructor before you begin work on an actual patient.

4. Hands-On Gives You Experience and Confidence as a Dental Assistant

Thanks to hands-on training, you will be able to walk into your first externship or job feeling confident that you know what to do. You will already have experience under your belt. What a great feeling!

Imagine using dental assistant tools like pliers, dental clamps, curing lights, and forceps for the first time ever at your first job. Scary, right? Now imagine that you’re on the job that first day, but you already know exactly how those tools feel in your hands, what the right pressure to apply is and what to expect when you use them. With hands-on training, your first day at your first Dental Assisting job won’t feel like a “first.” When you’re at ease with your work, you’ll be better able to focus on patients and help them feel calm.


If you’re want to prepare for a career in healthcare with some hands-on training, contact Charter College today to learn about our Dental Assisting program in Canyon Country, Lancaster, Oxnard, Fife, Pasco, and Vancouver. You could complete our program in as little as 10 months.*

*Completion times may vary, depending on the individual.