McKayla Lentsch: Bringing Passion to Dental Assisting Instruction

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Born and raised in a small Minnesota town, McKayla Lentsch always knew she wanted to get out and see more of the world. With the support of her family, Mckayla decided to move to California while she was in school for marketing and journalism. But the sudden cost-of-living increase meant she needed to begin earning money quickly to pay the rent. On her dad’s suggestion, she took a temporary detour by enrolling in a dental assistant program so she could gain the skills for a career. 

McKayla Lentsch - Dental Assistant Instructor

“I ended up loving dental assisting so much that I quit marketing,” says McKayla. “I had no idea about dentistry, but it opened so many doors for me.”  

McKayla’s journey into dentistry was not just a career change; it was a life-changing experience. She worked with a variety of dentists after graduation and gained hands-on experience in cutting-edge procedures that deepened her interest in the field. Some dentist offices even allowed her to teach externs tasks like x-rays and coronal polishes. She didn’t know it at the time, but this sparked another passion: teaching. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the healthcare industry, McKayla found herself at a crossroads. With dental practices scaling back and supply chain disruptions affecting patient care, she shifted her focus to freelance marketing work from home. However, she missed her interactions in the dental industry.

“I missed the camaraderie and excitement of working in a dental practice, so I wanted to find a way to combine my passion for dentistry with my love for teaching,” says McKayla. 

It was this desire that led her to Charter College’s Oxnard campus, where began teaching their dental assisting program.

Hands-On Experiences and Visual Lessons at Charter College

McKayla says that Charter College’s smaller class sizes allow her to really get to know her students and provide individualized attention. She says she also emphasizes hands-on instruction to make certain her students grasp concepts and master skills effectively. 

“I believe in creating a dynamic learning environment where students can thrive,” explains McKayla. “Some classes even look like art school because we use model clay to shape teeth so students can understand the entire morphology.” 

Mckayla believes that visual aids paired with lectures, and student-led presentations, help her students understand the modules and prepare them for work in an actual dental office. 

“My program structure lets students get comfortable having conversations about dental science and education,” says McKayla. “In my experience, proper patient education is where a lot of dental assistants fall short, so I make sure they’re prepared by their externship.” 

One of McKayla’s favorite parts about the program is Charter’s simulated dental office, where students can practice the full scope of work they will perform in an actual practice.

“Charter’s dental office is our students’ playground,” says Mckayla. “It’s fully functional, so they get eight months of lab time to practice every single skill they want.” 

Another highlight of McKayla’s role is witnessing her students’ growth and confidence as they progress through the program. 

“Seeing my students start as novices and emerge as competent dental assistants is incredibly rewarding. Their dedication and resilience inspire me every day,” says McKayla.

Connections Beyond Graduation

McKayla fosters a sense of community and camaraderie among her students. She always encourages students to work together and help others when needed, and that helps students build strong bonds with each other. McKayla understands her students come from a variety of backgrounds and some battle difficulties outside the classroom, so she makes sure they have everything they need to succeed in the classroom.

“Our class becomes a little family,” says McKayla. “No matter how different we are, we all support each other. We’re all human and we’re going through this together.” 

Even after graduation, McKayla remains a dedicated mentor and resource for her former students. 

“I’m always here to support my students, whether they’re in the classroom or out in practice. I’ve had previous students who are now in practice come back to the lab to brush up their skills with me” she says.

McKayla continues to empower and inspire her students. Through personalized instruction, hands-on learning, and support beyond graduation, McKayla helps pave the way for countless success stories.

Would you like to hear more about the dedicated instructors at Charter College that can lead you to success? Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form.