How Can I Prepare for Dental Assistant Training?
Dental assistant training can be intimidating for aspiring dental assistants, but it can help to know how to properly prepare for dental assistant training before starting. With the proper preparation, dental assistant training is much easier, and the anxieties around the training are kept at a minimum.
Preparation for dental assistant training
There are various ways to prepare for dental assistant training to ensure you are ready for the course. The following is everything to know about preparing for training, including what dental assistant training is exactly, how the process of dental assistant training works and tips to prepare.
What is dental assistant training?
Dental assistant training is the process of becoming a dental assistant. A dental assistant is a member of a dentist office who provides support to dentists and is capable of assisting with minor dental procedures. There are certain certifications that need to be obtained before becoming a dental assistant. Dental assistant training is the process of receiving the needed certifications, which generally include one or more of the following:
- Complete an externship
- Complete a dental assistant program
- Complete state certification requirements
Dental assistant training includes passing a DANB exam. The DANB, which stands for the Dental Assisting National Board, provides state-specific dental assistant certification exams. After completing either an externship or dental assistant program, which is offered by many colleges and universities, the state certification test can be taken, although the requirements for each state may vary.
How does the process work?
There are two routes to completing dental assistant training. The first is to graduate from a dental assistant program and pass the necessary DANB exam(s). The other route is to receive on-the-job training through what is known as an externship, which is a training program offered by a dental office.
The length of time it takes to become a dental assistant varies based on the path chosen. For an externship, 3,500 hours of work are recommended. A dental assistant certification can take between nine months to a year to complete, and an associate degree in dental assisting (which is now less common) takes an average of two years to complete.
How to prepare for dental assistant training
Preparation for dental assistant training is different based on the path chosen. For an externship, dental assistant training can be scary for the first few days. Be sure to soak up as much knowledge as possible, be willing to admit what you do not know and do not expect to know everything about being a dental assistant on the first day.
When doing a dental assistant program, the key is staying ahead and not falling behind on assignments, especially since the courses tend to be fairly fast-paced. It is also very important to study hard for the DANB exam that is required. The DANB exam is necessary to become a dental assistant and is broken down into various sections. The exam asks questions on a wide range of dental topics, including chairside assisting, radiation health and safety and infection control.
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