Dental Assistant Schools and Colleges - Preparing for the Future
By Colin McLean
For many dental assistants, the ability to work in a career field that can help make patients smile is a strong incentive to pursue the education that can help make the dream a reality. According to O*Net Online (http://online.onetcenter.org/link/summary/31-9091.00) the Occupational Information Network developed in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, projected job openings for dental assistants may hover somewhere around 161,000 new jobs through the year 2018.
This means a lot of interested people may seek out schools and colleges that can provide dental assistant training and skills needed to pursue entry-level employment as job openings become available. While no job is ever guaranteed, an individual can make headway by his or her own hard work, degree of professionalism, experience and work attitude.
Accredited dental assistant schools and colleges are tasked with the responsibility of providing the learning environment, curriculum and equipment that can help students to become quite familiar with the following:
- Assisting and caring for others
- Communicating effectively with peers, supervisors and subordinates
- Accessing information
- Establishing and maintaining personal relationships
- Making decisions and solving problems
Dental Assistant Roles
Dental assistant schools and colleges are preparing students to fill a wide variety of roles in the dental office. Some of these duties include prepping patients for dental procedures, assisting dentists during procedures, helping to schedule appointments, and working to educate patients on the merits of maintaining good dental health. Knowledgeable and well-trained dental assistants allow a dental office to function properly and efficiently.
For those interested in pursuing a health care career, the first hurdle to overcome is an honest assessment of whether dental assisting is the right career choice. It is a job that requires specific skills and qualities, such as the ability to follow instructions, follow specific procedures, and pay close attention to detail. It is also a good thing if an interested candidate enjoys interacting with others.
Dental Assistant Career Outlook
There are perhaps an endless number of reasons why an individual would choose to attend a dental assistant school or college and pursue dental assisting as a career. Dental assisting is a career that is here to stay because at some time or other, everyone may need dental care.
Teledentistry - Today and Tomorrow
The dental assistant programs offered at dental assistant schools and colleges, like the health care field itself, can continue to advance as a result of emerging technology. Teledentistry, the term used to identify the practice of digitalizing and electronically transmitting drawings, diagrams and photographs, has the potential for helping dentists to provide a better quality of service for their patients––while increasing their own knowledge in the process.