Most dental assistance internships don't provide students with a comprehensive background. However, they can still offer valuable training from hygienists, dentists and other professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental assistant positions are one of the fastest-growing professions, so competition for these roles can be fierce. The Oral Health Student Chapter (SAID-ASDOH) of the Society of American Indian Dentists of the Arizona School of Dentistry is dedicated to recruiting and retaining American Indian students in dental schools and encouraging them to return to their communities to practice their profession.
Dental assistants have a busy daily schedule and are expected to take on a variety of roles in a dental office. Establishing a positive relationship with your local dental care program will ensure a lasting partnership between your office and the school. For this reason, many dental schools recommend that students complete an internship before graduating. The National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is committed to improving oral, dental, and craniofacial health through research, research training, and the dissemination of health information.
Completing a dental assistance internship can open up other career opportunities in the field of dentistry. Students may know of a dental office looking to hire a dental assistant, and they can also act as valuable professional referrals. As a leader in dental education, the Arizona School of Dentistry combines professional and technical education philosophies with an innovative curriculum that creates pathways for growth and succession for dental assistants. It's important to prepare for dental school by learning about current topics important to dentists and dental students.
In general, it takes three to four years of college education plus four years of dental school to become a dentist. The Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) works to promote dental health in the American Indian community; encourages American Indian youth to pursue careers in the dental profession; serves as a resource for American Indian students interested in dentistry; provides model leadership; promotes American Indian heritage and traditional values; and supports the unique concerns of American Indian dentists. You can find an up-to-date list of accredited dental education programs and schools here, as well as resources that will help you fund your dental education. Once you've completed your dental assistance program, you'll be ready to pursue a career as a dental assistant in Washington State.