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What to Look for in a Dental Assisting Program

Published: September 1, 2021
 

Now that you’ve decided to become a Dental Assistant, how do you get into the profession? By enrolling in a Dental Assisting program, you’ll learn the hard and soft skills that will make you able, prepared, and confident to do your job well. But it’s not always easy to decide which program is right for you. There are so many options out there. A good program should teach you the clinical and administrative tasks you might be required to do on the job, in a setting and manner that fits you, your learning style, and your crazy life schedule.

Instruction in Both Clinical and Administrative Tasks

In your mind, you might picture yourself side-by-side with the dentist, handing off tools, reassuring a nervous patient, and watching some pretty cool procedures. And that will be a big part of what you do. But there’s so much more! You need to know all about infection control, how to prep a room before and after patient treatments, and what the tools of the dental trade are all about.

You also need to learn the administrative tasks you might perform in a dentist office. You’ll answer phones, send emails, make and confirm appointments, greet patients, file paperwork, and order supplies. So, the program you choose needs to introduce you to both sides of a dental practice: chairside assisting and front office procedures.

Professional Faculty

Evaluate your instructors before you sign up to learn from them. How do you do that? Check their credentials to make sure that they’ve worked in the field. Go on a campus tour and ask a lot of questions. Maybe you’ll even get to meet one. You’re looking to make sure that the people who will teach you not only know what they’re talking about but are also excited to teach you! Professionals from the field know the technical skills you’ll need, and they also know about the what-if scenarios you might encounter in the real world.

Blended Learning Mode

If you’re worried about the time commitment of dental assisting school, be sure to look for programs that offer some flexibility. After all, you might already have a job and a family—how much time will you have to study? With a blended learning format, you’ll take in-person and online classes, so you won’t have to spend as much time on a commute or in the classroom. You’ll receive hands-on practice in your in-person classes and expand your knowledge in the online portion, which you can work into your already busy schedule.

Institutional Accreditation

Make sure to attend an accredited college. Accreditation ensures that the institution has met certain educational criteria and is also a requirement if you intend to apply for federal financial aid.

Externship

Before you start your career, don’t you want some real-world experience so you can practice what you’ve learned in the classroom? Choose a program that offers an externship, which places you at a local dental practice, where you can gain experience under the supervision of a dentist. You’ll hone your skills and have something that will make your resume really stand out.

 

Where can you find a program that offers all of this? Charter College. We offer a Certificate in Dental Assisting that is taught by professionals from the field through blended learning. It also provides you with a 180-hour externship so you can gain experience before you get your first job. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.