The components of a dental care curriculum may include administrative and clerical tasks, maintenance of computerized dental records, medical terminology, communication with patients, infection control and sterilization techniques, preparation of restorative and printing materials, dental radiography, and CPR. Dental assistants are often the first people to interact with patients during a consultation. They may be responsible for asking about the patient's medical history, explaining a procedure, and teaching patients about proper oral care. Having good communication skills can help dental assistants build a strong relationship with their patients, measure pain levels, and obtain important information about their medical history that could affect the procedure or treatment plan.
Communication and teamwork are also essential for working alongside dentists, dental hygienists, and other members of the dental team. Thanks to Herzing's unique dental background, students have the option of earning their dental assistant degree in as little as 24 months and then continuing to earn a degree in dental hygiene while gaining work experience. This way they can quickly transition from dental assistant to dental hygienist. Similarly, as dental offices continue to expand, dentists will hire more assistants to help them with routine tasks such as preparing patients for procedures, ordering supplies, and billing patients.
Therefore, licensed dental assistants tend to have more varied, interesting, and challenging tasks than their unlicensed counterparts. Most dental assistants who choose to obtain a national certification take the National Dental Assistance Board (DANB) Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam. The role of a dental assistant may seem similar to that of a dental hygienist but there are important differences. In short, an unlicensed dental assistant is never allowed to “enter the patient's mouth” even if supervised by a dentist nor can they do anything without the dentist being in the room.
Dental assistants help prepare patients for exams while hygienists are primarily responsible for cleaning teeth and evaluating oral health. Dental Assistant Pro offers an educational program that combines real-life experience in a dental office with online lectures as well as time in the treatment rooms of the operating room laboratory and sterilization room. The school offers an excellent curriculum and additional review courses to help pass these exams. Becoming a certified dental assistant (CDA) assures the public that the dental assistant is prepared to competently provide dental care. When selecting a dental assistance program it is very important that you choose one that qualifies for licensure such as the NYSMDA.
In addition to helping dentists during exams and procedures dental assistants also take x-rays perform office management tasks and educate patients on proper oral care and hygiene. To become a licensed dental assistant in New York State you must graduate from a program that qualifies for licensure and pass all three qualifying exams to become licensed. This course is designed to teach students how to identify medical and dental emergencies in the dental office. The New York Professional Dental Assistance Exam (NYPDA) takes place after the fourth module and is the most difficult of the three exams.