Importance of Being a Well-Rounded Dental Assistant
Being a dental assistant doesn’t just mean being awesome at your clinical skills, but also having knowledge of proper terminology when it comes to the oral cavity and the head and neck as a whole. To the general public, a dental assistant is the one who “sucks spit” all day and helps pass “tools” to the dentist. It is our job as assistants to educate our patients, families, and friends that we do so much more than what they think! There is nothing more frustrating than feeling like your job is being undermined, which happens frequently in the dental professional if you are anything but the dentist. This is why we focus on producing well-rounded dental assistants from our program, not just the bare minimum clinical skills needed to succeed.
We have incorporated many topics into our dental assisting program to make our students and grads as successful as possible, and even show off a bit. That’s right – we go a little further in-depth than your typical assisting program about head and neck anatomy including bones and muscles and the function of them. We also talk about oral pathology, the immune system, the oral cavity, and salivary glands. After we get through all of the complicated stuff about the mouth, we break into the different specialties in dentistry.
There are so many different opportunities and settings to choose from in dentistry. The widest variety and most vast knowledge would probably be general dentistry. You will see the most diverse patients with so many different needs and never get bored. This is what most of our students choose. However, if you feel like there is just too much to keep up with and you want to focus on a specialty, that is a great option too. Do you love kids and love taking dental impressions? Orthodontics may be the right choice for you. We teach about periodontics, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, prosthodontics, oral surgery, and endodontics.
One of the biggest advantages in our Columbus Academy of Dental Assisting program to make our dental assistants well-rounded is our required 50-hour externship. This is where our students actually get out in the field, observe at several different dental offices and may even be able to assist while they are out! We have had students come back saying they assisted with extractions, got to seat patients and get practice with sterilization. The takeaway from this is priceless. They learn so much and it really makes the difference in our students coming out prepared and ready for the workforce.