Most students choose to enroll in a dental assistant training program at a post-secondary institution, such as a vocational school or community college. These training programs typically last between 9 and 11 months, depending on whether you earn a certificate, diploma, or associate degree. The curriculum consists of both classroom lectures and hands-on training in a clinical setting. Dental care education includes classes in oral anatomy, dental office management, dental materials, and dental radiography.
Unlike vocational training programs, community college programs also include general education classes such as English or mathematics. For example, Delta Technical College (DTC) offers a dental assistance program that provides students with entry-level theoretical and practical training in both basic clinical practice and routine and office tasks. This program equips the dental assistant student with the skills needed to perform in a clinical, laboratory, or office environment.
dental assistantswork with a dentist or oral surgeon licensed by the state in which they practice dentistry.
Dentists will continue to hire dental assistants to complete routine tasks, allowing dentists to work more efficiently. In short, an unlicensed dental assistant is never allowed to “enter the patient's mouth”, even if supervised by a dentist, nor is he allowed to do anything without the dentist being in the room. Dental assistants often act as the dentist's second pair of hands, meaning they must have a nuanced understanding of the patient's professional care and have an excellent attitude toward the dentist. Dental assistants typically record patients' medical histories, ensuring that dentists have a complete record of any previous surgery, current prescription, allergy, or pre-existing medical condition.