If you are interested in dentistry, applying for the Dental Assistant Program at The Praxis Institute is ideal for entering the industry. This 11-month, complete diploma program offers students theoretical and practical instruction in relevant topics and provides them with 80 hours of externship to help build their experience. Our goal is to give students at our campuses in Miami and Hialeah, FL, high-quality training programs that empower them to be competitive in today’s job market.
What Are Dental Assistants, and What Do They Do?
Dental assistants work alongside dentists, aiding them with medical procedures and administrative duties. People sometimes confuse dental assistants with hygienists, but the latter role typically offers more autonomy. While dental assistants can perform some polishing or discuss proper dental hygiene with patients, they mostly work on tasks where the dentist needs extra help.
Multiple factors dictate the responsibilities a dental assistant has, including their location and the specific needs of their dentist’s office. The following activities are some common tasks you may encounter as a dental assistant:
- Administering X-rays and using similar equipment
- Preparing examination rooms by disinfecting operating instruments
- Handing dentists the correct tools during procedures
- Aiding with crowns, extractions, fillings, root canals, and other processes
- Discussing surgeries and follow-ups with patients
- Sterilizing rooms after procedures
- Taking dental impressions for tooth molds
- Scheduling appointments and managing patient records
Overview of the Dental Assistant Program
|Program Delivery||All theory component of this program’s curriculum is delivered via online/distance education mode.|
|All laboratory and practice component of this program’s curriculum is delivered via the traditional on-campus/face-to-face mode.|
|All externship component of this program’s curriculum is delivered via the traditional on-community/face-to-face mode.|
The primary objective of our Dental Assistant Program is to give students entry-level to industry-level knowledge in the skills necessary to work with dentists and perform numerous clinical and administrative tasks. Broad topics covered in the program include:
- Introduction to Dental Assisting: In these courses, students learn general anatomy with a special focus on the head and neck. They look at Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, sterilization, and infection control to better understand the legal and professional side of dental assisting. They learn dental charting and recordkeeping, specifically in terms of anesthesiology and pharmacology. Additionally, these courses introduce students to the administrative aspects of dental assisting.
- Dental Chairside Assisting: This section of the program teaches students dental terms and how to use dental tools and restorative materials such as amalgams, cements, and composites. It also goes over assisting procedures such as endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, and oral surgery.
- Dental X-Ray: Instructs students on developing, exposing, and mounting X-rays.
- Dental Laboratory: Students gain competency with using laboratory materials to create alginate impressions, and learn to work with bleaching trays, customs, and temporary bridges and crowns. These courses also show students how to pour and trim models.
- Dental externship: In this part of the program, students accrue 120 hours of practical experience in a dental office. Externship enables them to develop various new proficiencies.
|PROGRAM BREAKDOWN BY COURSE|
|DAP 100||Introduction to Dental Assistant||10|
|DAP200||Dental Chairside Assisting||290|
|DAP400||Dental Materials and Laboratory Techniques||140|
|DAP800||Preparation for Employment||10|
Since our Dental Assistant Program is accepted by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB), students can apply for the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) certification exam upon graduation. To earn this certification, graduates must pass the three following parts of the test:
- Anatomy, Morphology, and Physiology (AMP)
- Radiation Health and Safety (RHS)
- Infection Control (ICE)
They have a three-year window to pass all three component exams and apply for certification. Other eligibility requirements depend on the specific NELDA pathway the student chooses to follow.
Job Opportunities for Dental Assistants
Research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that a career in dental assisting can be quite promising. Positions for dental assistants are expected to increase 11% through 2030, with approximately 44,000 new openings on average each year. Most of these jobs will be in private dentist’s offices, but you may also find work in the following sectors:
- Public health facilities
- Military organizations
- State dental boards
- Correctional facilities
- Commercial businesses selling dental products
Enroll in the Dental Assistant Program
Individuals looking for high-quality and practical instruction in dental assisting should turn to The Praxis Institute for our Dental Assistant Program. We offer weekly enrollment periods for our diploma programs, and students enjoy flexible scheduling and competitive pricing. Financial aid is also available for students who qualify.
A focus on hands-on experience coupled with theoretical teaching grants graduates of The Praxis Institute tremendous success in finding rewarding jobs. Contact us today to get more information about our Dental Assistant Program and other diploma programs in Miami and Hialeah, FL.