Dental school doesn’t merely involve reading textbooks on teeth. It also involves getting some real-world experience, which can be truly exciting. The hands-on dental training you get will prepare you to be a dental assistant starting from day one. Here are five real-world experiences in dental school that will prove rewarding in the larger sense of your career.
1. Cleaning dental equipment
This is a very important real-world experience you need to learn. Keeping instruments clean protects the patient. You’ll practice thorough hand-washing, heat sterilization, and equipment disinfection. This will involve experiencing how to operate a steam autoclave. You’ll also put into practice your knowledge of packaging instruments after you sterilize them and preparing the dental treatment room.
2. Performing administrative duties
Part of your job as a dental assistant will involve working the front desk. You’ll get to practice keeping the area clean and organized properly. You’ll gain the real-world experience of scheduling appointments, greeting clients in a friendly professional manner, and effectively communicating over the phone. It’s important that patients understand the details of their appointment, the costs of service, and any other questions they may need help answering.
Making patients of all ages comfortable will be your top priority. Did you know up to 84.6% of children between the ages of two and 17 visited the dentist in 2016? In between greeting and communicating with patients, you will be balancing all of your administrative tasks at once. This experience will ensure you’ll be comfortable doing this when you’re working full-time.
3. Applying first-aid
You may be surprised to read that applying first-aid is a part of dental college, but this is very practical dental assistant training. Emergencies can sometimes happen in a dental office. It’s important you have the real-world experience of knowing how to perform life-saving and support skills. You have to be able to know how to perform mechanisms to control bleeding and also know how to perform CPR. You’ll learn and practice all of this getting your first-aid certification, which is a requirement of all dental assistants.
4. Taking a dental X-ray
If radiography is something you’re planning on specializing in as a dental assistant, you will be trained to operate the machinery. You’ll practice detecting the location of the on and off control. In addition, you’ll practice making the necessary adjustments to the machine. This will include adjusting the voltage and exposure time. This hands-on dental training is critical for patient diagnosis and patient safety.
5. Operating the computer
As our world becomes more technological, you’ll need to gain familiarity with operating the computers of a dental assistant office. This means you will gain experience using Microsoft Office Suite and medical records programs, using the keyboard in a quick efficient manner, and other computer skills. This is important for managing insurance claims, transcribing notes, and properly organizing patient files.
There will be many other real-world experiences you gain in your dental assistant training. All of these skills you practice will be both challenging and rewarding. But as you gain the real-world experience, it will give you all the practice you need to be successful as a dental assistant.