Dental Assistant Schools
Classes Taught In Dental Assistant Schools
Becoming a dental assistant does not always require a great deal of formal education. In many states, on-the-job training is sufficient to learn the skills one will need for working in a dental practice and helping the dentist provide oral health care. However, in most cases, some formal education and training as a dental assistant can help one land a larger salary and make finding employment easier. Toward this end, we are going to take a look at some of the classes one can expect to be taught in dental assistant schools.
One of the first courses one should consider is dental radiology. This class will teach one about the art and science of performing dental x-rays, including how to position the patient to expose the film, positioning the films, operating the x-ray machine, how to develop and/or read x-rays. This skill is important to have in any dental practice. In some states, it is required that one be specifically certified as a technician to perform radiologic functions.
Another important course deals with chair side procedures. In the classroom setting, this involves learning to identify, handle, and sterilize various dental instruments. One will also be taught about how to properly position the patient in the dental chair, prepare the patient for the procedures to be performed, keep the mouth clear during the procedure, and how to properly dismiss the patient following the procedure.
For more detailed instruction in proper handling and use of equipment, as well as complete instruction on how to sterilize the instruments and prepare reusable equipment for the next patient, one will need to take a class that is geared specifically toward dental equipment use.
Laboratory procedures are taught separately, including procedures for working with prosthodontics, dentures, and implants. This will include proper methods for taking dental impressions and making casts that can be used to create these devices.
Of course, a study of periodontics is necessary to provide the proper knowledge of the gums, bones and ligaments, and other structures of the mouth. It will also help by providing knowledge of mouth diseases and treatments, as well as other conditions that can affect the progress or retardation of mouth disease.
A more general course provides the fundamentals of dental science. While it is not in depth enough to qualify one to practice alone, it provides the background needed to understand what assistance one can provide the dentist with during the treatment of patients.