As baby boomers become seniors—and potentially require more dental care—the need for skilled dental professionals will grow. That means if you are looking for a career with a chance for longevity, dental assistant training could be an option. With the right dental assistant training, you might be able to pave a bright new career path for yourself. Getting training is an important first step toward entering the healthcare field and contributing your abilities to the betterment of your community.
The Benefits of Dental Assistant Training and Expanded Functions Programs
There are many good dental assistant programs out there that give you the education you need to assist dentists with patient care. But to have a competitive advantage in the work place, it is recommended that you find a training program that teaches expanded functions as well. These expanded functions should include administrative, x-ray work and medical billing and coding. The extra functions could potentially make you even more marketable in the dental field.
A dental assistant training with expanded functions program can generally be completed in less than a year. In this time, you are taught the skills you need to support dentists, dental hygienists and front office staff. This includes sterilizing equipment to prevent the transmission of disease, setting up dental equipment and trays, scheduling appointments and communicating with and informing patients about their dental care.
As a dental assistant with training in expanded functions, you are expected to know how to:
- Work in clinical settings
- Support both dentists and hygienists
- Handle administrative front office work
- Support medical billing and coding
Extra skills often improve a job seeker’s marketability. Having an understanding of basic medical billing and coding gives you an added skill that may serve you even beyond the dentistry field and knowing how to handle administrative tasks can benefit you in just about any industry.
A good Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions program should include both hands-on and classroom experience as well as an externship at a local dental office to give you experience with dentists and actual patients.