Why a Dental Assisting Program?
For those of you who have done your research, you may have read that it is not legally required to have graduated from an assisting program to be a dental assistant. (At least in the state of Utah, different states have different regulations)
You may be debating the value of going to school, instead of straight into training on the job. It’s a good question, and that’s why we want to go over some of the pro’s of attending a program!
- School gives you a great framework of dental knowledge to build on. Every practice is a little different, every dentist will do things a little differently, so there will always be some form of on the job training, but that training will go more smoothly for everyone involved if you’ve built a solid foundation for that training add onto.
- Unless you have a direct connection to a job at a dental office, like your uncle or best friend’s husband is a dentist looking to hire, attending a program sets your resume a step above the rest. It’s a lot of work for the dentist and his staff to train someone from scratch, and if they can hire someone who has some experience and schooling to make an easier transition, they will jump at that opportunity.
- Having some dental experience may also be a tool to negotiate higher pay.
- Attending school is also a great networking opportunity. You get to meet fellow assistants, as well as dentists, and your instructors, all of whom have great connections to possible job opportunities in the dental field.
- School will give you confidence! Sometimes the biggest key to doing something well, is believing you have the ability to do it. School gives you a gentle setting to build up the necessary confidence to take you through the interview process, and into the job.
- You DO have to be radiology certified to legally take x-rays, and that certification will be a part of your schools curriculum.
- CPR certification is also included in an assisting program, which is not necessarily legally required, but is definitely recommended and will be a personal requirement for the majority of dentists.