What Classes Will I Take in Dental Assisting?

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A Dental Assisting program provides you with hands-on training in chairside procedures and patient care as well as knowledge and skills in basic office management. The goal is to prepare you to assist a dentist with oral exams and minor procedures, and to handle the administrative duties of a dental office. Your classes cover topics like dental science, dental care delivery and techniques, emergency procedures, and radiography. You learn how to set up an exam room, put patients at ease, and how to help with basic dental procedures. These are just a few of the courses you’re likely to take in your dental assisting program:

Introduction to Dental Assisting and Dental Sciences

Before you help an actual dentist or even pretend to in class, you need to understand the history of the profession and the role of the Dental Assistant. You will be introduced to the basic anatomy and physiology of the head, neck, and mouth. You learn about patient assessment, infection control, and blood borne pathogens. You also learn your legal and ethical responsibilities as a Dental Assistant.

Dental Office Administrative Procedures

Dental practices can’t be successful if the front office isn’t handled professionally. Your program should introduce you to the administrative side of a dental office. You learn how to schedule patient appointments, process bills, collect payments, and work with insurance companies. And you learn about inventory control, vendors, and how to keep office and medical supplies stocked and ready to use.

Orthodontics and Prosthodontics

Orthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on misaligned teeth and jaws, while prosthodontics is associated with false teeth. As you learn about these subjects, you can put your knowledge into practice through hands-on training in a lab. With mannequins and sets of false teeth, you can learn how to perform coronal polishing, seal fissures, and give fluoride treatments.

Dental Care and Preventative Dentistry

Preventative dentistry is how you keep teeth and gums healthy. This includes brushing, flossing, and gargling with mouthwash regularly. Eating the right foods and avoiding smoking and sugary snacks are also good habits for your teeth. The reason you learn about this in Dental Assisting school is because you need to teach your patients.

Dental Radiology

Through radiology courses, you learn to take and develop dental X-rays. You learn how to use the equipment, the proper methods to take X-rays, and the safety and infection control procedures to follow. You also learn how to take X-rays for patients with special needs, and techniques to prevent errors in the imaging. In the lab, you may be responsible for taking and developing full bitewing radiographs and evaluating the quality of these images for both mannequins and real patients.

Dental Pharmacology and Emergencies

You learn about the types of medications used to treat dental problems and how these medications could potentially interact with other prescriptions. You also learn how to assist in dental emergencies, including how to provide first aid and assist with the administration of anesthesia. And you’re introduced to the regulations that govern pharmacology and prescription writing.

Gain Real-World Experience Through an Externship

In addition to your courses, you may also be required to fulfill an externship at a local dental office. Under the guidance of a dentist, you apply the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom to work in a real-world setting. This gives you extra practice with patients and helps you become familiar with the operations of a dental office before you start your career.

If you’re ready to take dental assisting classes, contact Charter College today. We offer a Certificate in Dental Assisting that will prepare you for an entry-level career in the field. Classes are enrolling now. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form for more information.