If you are willing to pursue a career in dental assisting in any of the states of US, then the state of Arizona is one of the best places for you. Arizona is already showing the rest of the US as well as the world how to build up a reputed healthcare system. As a result, today it is one of the most sought after place for the medical students.
The state of Arizona has a number of reputed colleges which offer dental assisting program both theoretically and practically. Students who enroll themselves in this course are registered with the Arizona Department of Health Services after their course is completed. But in order to be a part of the program, the eligible students must possess a high school diploma with pure sciences as their stream. The state of Arizona has set this educational standard for the students willing to enroll in any medical program including the dental assisting program. This is to ensure that the students have the required professional and cognitive skills in order to pursue higher education.
It should be remembered that the medium of instruction is strictly US English. So, students who are coming from the overseas for this program must take the international language test whose score is counted during selection.
The dental assisting program provides extensive theoretical, practical, and hands-on training for the completion of the course. The state of Arizona has made it a point to include all the experts and the professionals in the dental program and assisting skills to be the faculty of the colleges. With their practical knowledge and experiences, they have successfully built up an effective classroom program. The faculties must either possess a doctoral degree with at least ten years of classroom teaching experience or knowledge of working in the dental field as an expert. The Department of Health Services has made it mandatory for the institutes to check the above mentioned in the credentials of the faculty. This is only to ensure that in no way they are compromising with the quality of the education imparted.
Let us focus on the topic we began discussing - the dental assisting program offered by many of the schools are similar in what they teach. The program not only aims to provide the students with relevant skills required in dentistry but also equips the students with skills required in conducting radiography and laboratory operations. The dental assisting program consists of wide-ranging dental procedures and administrative task carried out under the strict supervision of the expert dentists. The dental assistants are mainly required for the following program:
a. Assisting the patient and instruct them on how to take care of their dental health as per the doctor’s recommendation.
b. Prepare dental x-rays and ability to decode them afterward.
c. Carry out and administer periodical dressings of tooth and gum
d. Take out tooth impressions
e. Apply anesthesia and sealing of teeth gap
f. Carry out dental de-sedimentation program.
g. Schedule the patients’ appointments with the doctors and maintain dental records of the patients.
Other activities may include laboratory and clinical activities and administering, clerical, and official duties, tending the patients and often conducting substitute classes for the junior students when the professors are not available. They are either recruited for private and general dental practices and often for specialized activities like orthodontics, periodontics, pediatric dentistry and other allied specialized fields.
Due to this wide variety of fields under the dental assistance program offered by the Arizona schools, students are flocking in to study here. Emphasis is given on practical work as much as possible so that students learn through it.
The state of Arizona offers two programs in dentistry. The Associate in Applied Sciences in Dental Assisting and the Certificate of Completion equips the students with relevant skills required to perform x-rays, perform as a support or back-up of the dental experts in large scale dental procedures and operations, conduct laboratory experiments, managerial and administrative duties required in an office. Apart from that, they also give quality teaching to the patients regarding the dental health care. Other peripheral skills which are taught to the students include critical and cognitive thinking, managing information, personal and professional advancement in this field, developing communication skills and carry on the assigned work with responsibility. This means the dental assistant program offered in the colleges in Arizona believe in producing dental experts who have the eligibility to carry on a particular work with full responsibility. After this course is completed, the students receive a certificate from the concerned institutes or colleges. A recent survey has shown that by 2022, the percentage of dental experts in Arizona will increase by 25%. This statistic shows the demand of the dental assistant program in the institutes in Arizona.
In order to handle radiography apparatus, the students of the dental assistant program needs to have the following eligibility:
a. Qualify for the National Radiation Health and Safety exam conducted by the Dental Assisting National Board
b. Obtain the Arizona Radiologic Proficiency Certificate offered by the Dental Assisting National Board
c. Successfully complete the written clinical dental radiography exam offered by the US
Or, a student can receive the Dental Assistant Radiography Certificate offered by the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners
The above-mentioned certificates are required in case a dental assistant is required to operate dental x-ray, maintain and decode the x-ray, manage the equipment and perform other radiographic functions required for the dentistry. Since radiography is a very vulnerable area and cannot be maintained and performed by any random person, a student must be properly certified with the above-mentioned credentials in order to perform dental radiography.
The dental assistants work closely with the dental experts and professionals to learn every tactic of dental care and hygiene. They learn how to take care of the patients after operations when to take medicines and what foods they should consume for the time being. They also keep a tab on the health of the patients; whether there is any fluctuation in the level of blood pressure, their sugar, and others. They keep the medical record of each and every patient in case any future reference is needed by either the experts or the patients. This is a responsible duty that the dental assistants must wholeheartedly commit to.
The dental assistant program offers diverse career advantages.
1. A dental assistant is versatile by nature in general as the post and the duty require performing multifarious tasks. The dental assistant must be willing to carry out the duties.
2. The dental assistants are in high demand in the Arizona and the entire US region, and they are even hired for both part-time and full-time positions in a number of clinics and hospitals.
3. Moreover, the environment in which they work is very pleasant and offers a complete people-oriented ambiance.
Last but not the least; the dental assistant job is very pleasing in the sense that it offers complete job satisfaction to the assistants. The job involves interaction with the people of the highest level. And when this interaction culminates into something satisfying, and they realize that they have really helped some people with their valuable dental health services, it is really pleasing.
Since there is a scarcity of good dental assistants in Arizona, they are in high demand in the clinics and the hospitals. It is expected that the employment scenario of the dental assistants will increase manifold in the upcoming decades. Severe vacancies are available for general dentistry and specialized fields like coronal polishing, maxillofacial surgery, oral reconstruction, braces, endodontic, periodontics, pediatric dentistry and others. A dental assistant with the required qualifications has a good earning potential. How much shall a dental assistant will earn depends on how responsible he/she is in performing the allotted duty and the level of the importance of the job. If they perform well in their duties, they can earn well equal to other health care experts. Since preventive dentistry has prevented a number of oral diseases, people now a day have longer dental health. As a result, a tendency towards regular dental care has grown. Naturally, the demand for dental assistants has increased in order to meet the increasing demand for dental services in general. So, a number of assistants are recruited almost on a regular basis for the clinics and the hospitals.
The demand for the dental assistants is at an all time high currently in Arizona and as a result, it is also the preferred choice of enterprising and business opportunities. Students with managerial abilities and financial knowledge are opening their own dental assistant business and collaborating with a number of dental experts. They offer consultancies, lend their assistantship for a number of hospitals and clinics.
The dental assistants are required to perform various functions which need their interpersonal, cognitive, and technical skills.
i. Conducting and developing dental radiographic images.
ii. Testing blood pressure and pulse of the patients and keeping a record of the medical history.
iii. Assisting the dentists during major operations
iv. Keep tabs on the infection control, sterilizing the equipment, disinfecting the chambers and other infection control protocol.
v. Assist the patients before, during, and after dental operations and checkups.
vi. Educate the patients with valuable tips regarding oral and dental care after surgery or filling of cavities.
vii. Give the patients important suggestions regarding maintaining oral hygiene
viii. Visit different schools and other educational institutes and educate the pupils regarding the oral health care which includes timing and way of brushing, what foods to avoid in order to take dental care etc.
ix. Take out the impressions of the patients’ teeth for study casts.
x. Maintain the billing method, schedule appointments, and operations.
xi. Assisting the experts regarding what kind of dental operations shall a patient require.
xii. Provide direct patient care in specialized dentistry.
xiii. Processing dental insurance claims.
A question may cross your mind as to why you should become a dental assistant? Obviously, the pay scale is good, and there are multifarious job opportunities, but there are other benefits associated with the job.
a. Contribute qualitatively in the evolution of the oral health care programs. By delivering oral restoration program, providing dental care, removing pain, filling cavities, and others, they can draw immense satisfaction from transforming the patients’ oral health for the better.
b. Maintain a flexible work schedule so that the dental assistants can maintain the lifestyle of their choice.
c. Go for further academic and research opportunities in the field of health care and contribute towards knowledge development and advancement.
d. Can own their independent business. There are a number of professional fields attached to dental assistantships; the one who is willing to open a business can choose anyone among them.
e. Gives the dental assistants a number of opportunities to be creative in their field. They can team up with the dental experts, lab technicians, dental hygienists, etc. and offer valuable and diverse help.
f. Contribute effectively to the community development program by providing those services to the population which are neither easily accessible nor easily affordable by the common plan.
g. Educate the patients and visit the schools to teach the students about how to take care of their teeth by regular brushing, intake of nutritional diets, occasional flossing, and regular checkups.
The work of the dental assistants is completely patient-oriented in nature, and they must remember that it is the oral well-being of the patients that will matter most to them. They should always visualize on how to make the patient smile in which lies their complete job satisfaction. The main motto is to promote oral health in the state of Arizona and to take necessary steps so that nobody in the future suffers from acute dental problems.
So, we can guess you have learned everything about dental assisting? It’s time to kick-start your career with enrolling in a college with this program.