Dental Assistant School is the best choice if you want to pursue a career in dentistry without spending years earning a medical degree. Fortunately, dental assisting is one of Arizona’s fastest-growing and most rewarding career opportunities. For being a dental career aspirant, a dental assistant can be a way to change your life.
However, when it comes to dental assistant training, the quality of learning really matters. Your career, job stability, financial security, and even your whole future life depends on what and where you learn. We can understand choosing the best Dental Assistant school in Arizona from too many options can be truly challenging for you. Therefore, in this article, we will discuss 11 major things you should consider before getting enrolled in any dental assistant training school. So, let’s explore!
What is a Dental Assistant?
Before enrolling in a dentistry school, you need to know what dental assistants are and what they actually do. A dental assistant’s job is to assist dentists and care for patients. As a dental assistant, you have to help dentists and hygienists with operations, appointment setting, maintaining patient records, taking X-rays, and managing schedules. Among other various responsibilities, your main duty is to improve patients’ smiles and make them feel comfortable with the highest quality of care. Besides the fact that dental assistants need professional skills, quality education, and experience, it gives you a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction for helping others. That’s why dental assistants play a key role in the success of a dental office. Here are some dental assistant duties that you may expect;
1. Make sure that the dental chair is comfortable for your patient
2. Prepare the operating area for checkups and treatment
3. Sanitize and sterilize dental instruments
4. Help dentists by passing them dental instruments and assisting in the procedure
5. Cleaning patient’s mouth using suction instruments
6. Maintain a record of patients, bills, schedules, and dental treatments
Importance of Training in a Dental Assistant School
Becoming a dental assistant brings you a fantastic career opportunity that you can achieve in a fairly short amount of time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for dental assistants is expected to increase by 8% faster than the average for all occupations, which means 23,400 jobs will be added to the existing pool of 56,400 in the next 4 years. Moreover, dental assistance in Arizona is a lucrative career. You can earn between $48,000 and $65,000 depending on your location, experience, and performance.
Dental Assistant Training school gives you all the critical skills, training, and experience which you need to find the best employment in the future. These schools provide real work experience and learning opportunities under dental expert monitoring. Furthermore, you are given training in a clean, comfortable, organized environment where you only focus on your learning. Undoubtedly, an excellent dental training school teaches you all the vital skills that will let you stand out in the job market.
11 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dental Assistant Program in Arizona
Once you have decided to become a dental assistant, the next and most crucial step is to find a dental assistant school near you. Remember, your career relies on the quality of education you get from the dental training school. In other words, the program you choose will likely have far-reaching effects on the future of your dental assistant career.
And that’s the reason why you should closely review dental school options. You need to consider many important factors before enrolling in dental assistant training. Here are the 11 things you must consider in a Dental Assistant Program in Arizona to ensure the best choice.
1. The Duration and Schedule of The Dental Program
Different training institutions and schools in Arizona offer a wide variety in length of dental training programs. For instance, some training schools complete their course in months while others a few weeks. However, the thing you should take into account is the quality of teaching. For instance, if you come across a dental assistant school that completes its course in a few weeks, be sure they focus more on actual real hands-on training. A shorter program duration will likely focus more on providing practical, real-world experience to teach the necessary skills in a shorter period of time.
It’s worth noting that the length of the program alone does not determine its effectiveness or the quality of education. Instead, you should seek a program that balances theoretical instruction and practical application, regardless of its duration. So, it’s wise to find out and compare the duration and schedule of your desired course.
2. The Curriculum of The Dental Assistant Program
It’s important to seek what a dental training program covers, such as you may look for anatomy, hands-on lessons, oral health, and training with the latest instruments and equipment. You should compare different schools’ comprehensive and well-rounded curriculums to find the best program for you. For instance, dental anatomy, radiography, infection control, chairside assisting, and dental office management are some must-learn courses you may take for enrolling in a Dental Assistant school.
3. Requirements and Prerequisite Courses
Many dental assistant programs require a particular training or a specific course certificate before the commencement of the program. This is because they want to check your basic knowledge and skill. Therefore, you should read and consider the list of requirements and prerequisite courses before applying. So, when you are considering any dental assistant school, keep its preliminary courses and prerequisites in your mind.
4. Scope Of Your Desired Program
Before enrolling in a dental assistant training school, you should think about which specific area of dental assisting you want to specialize in. By doing so, you will not only have a clear idea about your goals, but also it will narrow down your list of programs. Next, keeping the course content in mind, seek the top programs that you will need to become a successful dental assistant. Furthermore, try to get more info about the scope of programs from experts, working dentists, seniors, and other aspirants. They will help you know a training program’s success rate and market demand. As it will further narrow your list, your decision-making process will likely become easier.
5. Hands-On Training Offered By The Dental Assistant Program
Every school has its distinct approaches to teaching. Some focus on classroom training, while others offer more practical training. No doubt, being a professional dental assistant, you need plenty of time to practice dental skills. So, choose the school that provides maximum opportunities for hands-on experience and real life training. It has been proven that when you are taught skills in a hands-on environment, you learn and understand better. For example, you may prefer practicing the skills on a live person rather than a dental model or dummy.
6. Job Placement Assistance
While choosing a dental training school, another important thing you should keep in mind is job placement assistance. A good dental school will also contribute to finding you employment when you complete your course. Put simply, you must seek a program which will help you find a job after completion of your course. Remember, completing a dental training course is just half of the battle. So, find the best program that assists you with resources like composing your resume, interview coaching and finding job openings.
7. Clinical Externship Opportunities
A good Dental Assistant Program offers clinical externship opportunities to its students. Here, it’s important to note that no dental school guarantees you a job after you finish your training. However, some of them allow you to spend a few weeks getting exposure to what it’s like to work at a dental office. These networking and mentorship opportunities can be invaluable to getting a good grip on your career. For this reason, you should always prioritize dental assisting schools that offer a real-world experience – externships. For example, your dental school can offer you an externship in the following work environment;
- Practice with a private dentist
- Assist oral surgery, orthodontics, and pediatric dental
- Join public health programs such as clinics
- Work at dental schools’ clinics
8. Costs and Financing Options
Never forget going through the fee structure of every program offered by a dental assisting school. Besides the quality of education and learning outcomes, cost considerations are also crucial. Moreover, some training centers charge an extra fee for practicing, internships, or connecting you with any other dental practice. So, be sure that you select a dental assisting school whose price range falls within your budget and provides everything to be successful.
9. Financial Help
It would be a win-win situation if your dental assistant school offered financial help. Suppose you are unable to afford the cost of your program, so you must consider that your school has enough funds to offer you a scholarship and financial aid. Remember, a great training center provides tuition fee concessions for its needy yet potential students helping them to complete their training.
10. Reputation of The Dental Assistant Program
Overviewing the reputation of the Dental Assistant Program is also important. This will make sure that you will receive standardized education while training in school. As mentioned earlier, you can get better job opportunities without much struggle if your dental school is licensed by the relevant dental bodies. Therefore, you may dig on the internet and ask working dentists, or other dental assistants, before picking a dental assistant school. Has the school been recognized or awarded for the way they teach?
11. Classroom Size
While considering a dental school, you should always look for a small classroom size. Yes, small-size classes! Enrolling in large, teeming, crowded classrooms means you can’t receive individual attention from lecturers. So, most of the time, you are distracted and unable to learn valuable skills from your teachers. Therefore, look for a dental school that provides attention in small-size classrooms with great student to teach ratios.
Remember These Red Flags While Looking For the Best Dental Assistant Program In Arizona
You deserve to educate yourself in the best dental institute. So, to make the most informed decision, let’s discuss some red flags for dental assistant programs.
1. Absence of License
As mentioned earlier, programs achieve a higher standard of quality when they are acknowledged by a state licensing agency. Therefore, it is advisable to steer clear of dental institutes that lack recognition or licensing from a state licensing agency.
2. Outdated Course Content
Never settle on a program whose curriculum isn’t up-to-date and relevant to the current dental industry. Only enroll yourself in dental school, which teaches the latest techniques and gives you the opportunity to learn modern technology in the dental field.
3. Lack of Standards and Reputation
While you are researching for the best dental assistant program in Arizona, you should eliminate all the options that lack standards and reputation. We advise you to ask the opinions of dental education experts, local dental society, or working dental assistants on the reputation of a particular school. Research reviews and if the school has received any awards in the industry for how they teach and conduct their school.
4. No or Little Hands-on Experience
It becomes evident that gaining practical, hands-on experience is crucial in conjunction with classroom lectures. Hence, it is imperative to avoid selecting a program that lacks the provision of real-life, hands-on experiences to practice dental skills. If you are not actively learning in authentic dental clinical settings, working alongside dentists on real patients, you will not acquire the necessary skills to become a competent dental assistant.
5. High Tuition Costs
Never forget to compare the tuition cost of different dental assistant programs. There are many institutes that offer a standard dental assistant education with very low tuition fees. However, programs with excessively low tuition costs often compromise crucial components such as practical dental clinical training with dentists experience. Hence, it is essential to seek a program that offers quality, personalized training while staying within your predetermined budget.
Best Dental Assistant School in Arizona: The American Institute of Dental Assisting
If you want to pursue a career as a successful dental assistant, you need to get enrolled in the best Dental Assistant training program in Arizona. And for the best Dental Assistant training program, look no further than the American Institute of Dental Assisting (AIDA). Located in Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona, we offer you the best-in-class as well as a real-life, hands-on dental assisting training program.
Moreover, our program is licensed by the Arizona Board of Private Post Secondary Education, ensuring that you receive a reputable and recognized education. And that’s not all! The American Institute of Dental Assisting offers a tuition cost that is as much as two-thirds less than other dental assisting schools in the area and including actual real life dental clinics. This means you can get top-quality education, customized curriculum, and unparalleled support, all while saving time and money.
So, make the smart choice and start your journey toward a rewarding career as a dental assistant today! Visit our website, American Institute of Dental Assisting, and take the first step towards a brighter future.
Fill out our contact form for enrolling now, or reach out to us directly at the American Institute of Dental Assisting. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn through real-life experiences, working in live dental clinics with experienced dentists guiding you in a supportive and empowering environment.