The Best Dental Assistant School in Missouri
There are so many benefits to becoming a dental assistant. From helping others to challenging yourself to learn and grow, dental assistant careers are extremely rewarding. VIP Dental Assistant School near St. Louis, Missouri, is dedicated to helping you launch your dental assistant career. Contact us if you are interested in our program.
WHAT IS A DENTAL ASSISTANT?
A dental assistant assists the dentist in performing his duties, which includes patient care as well as helping to manage the office (and possibly a bit of billing matters as well). As part of a dental team, you can be expected to perform a myriad of activities, such as sterilizing the dental equipment in-between patients, checking in patients, taking dental impressions, fabricating mouth guards, coaching on flossing and brushing, and calming anxious patients. The list seems to be endless as dental assistants are indispensable to the running of a dental office.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BECOMING A DENTAL ASSISTANT?
- Test the dental waters. A dental assistant gets to work with many people in the dental field, from the dentists themselves to dental hygienist as well as specialists such as periodontists and orthodontics. If you know you want to do something in the dental field but are unsure what, a dental assistant is a great way to gain exposure. You may decide being a dental assistant is indeed your calling, or you may decide you’d like to try being a dental hygienist or a dentist. Or maybe you’d like to combine your organizational skills with dentistry and work towards becoming a dental office manager.
- Duration of training. Attending dental assistant school is quite affordable and requires a small period of training (most dental assistant programs are less than a year to complete). Requirements are minimal (most dental assistant training only requires a high school diploma or a GED) to enroll and once enrolled, costs of equipment and course materials are low as well.
- Working environment. Being a dental assistant is indoor work. You’ll be in an office environment that is clean, comfortable, and professional. You won’t be required to stand for long periods of time, and you’re not stuck in front of a computer all day long. You get to interact with people from all walks of life and help them receive outstanding dental care. Besides working at a group or individual dental practice, you may work in hospitals, dental manufacturing companies, or even the armed services.
- Flexible working hours. Being an office environment, a dental assistant usually works normal business hours: Monday through Friday, 9 to 5. Weekends are not usually required for dental assistants, which means no more missing your son’s basketball games or your daughter’s soccer games. And no night shifts either. Part-time work for those who need it or want it (such as when your child is in school) is also commonly available.
- Positive career growth. Dental assistants are in growing demand. After you successfully complete dental assistant school, you should have very little trouble finding a job quickly. Being in high demand, dental assistants make good money and usually receive health benefits from their employers, as well as paid time off, holidays when the office is closed, and even a uniform allowance.
A dental assistant career is a rewarding choice. Good oral health care is imperative, especially as people are living longer and longer. Our teeth aid us not only in chewing, but also in speaking. Having clean, well-maintained teeth can be the difference in landing a job or being able to eat your favorite foods. As a dental assistant, you make a positive impact in people’s lives, despite the fact most of your patients don’t want to be at the dentist office and can’t wait to leave. Just don’t take it personally!
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
A lot of us don’t have a clear vision of what we want to do when we grow up. There are so many careers that we’ve never heard of or companies doing amazing work. Furthermore, with the growth in technology and other advancements, your ideal job may not even exist yet. VIP Dental Assistant School in Missouri understands it can be quite challenging to decide on a career path. What if attending dental assistant school isn’t right for you? What then?
The best part of attending dental assistant school is the chance to make a real difference in people’s lives. You’ll see first-hand how someone who may have poor oral health has been helped by a deep cleaning. You’ll see how a dentist can create a dental implant that matches a patient’s tooth and looks real, eliminating the gap from a missing tooth. You’ll see how people realign their teeth through orthodontics and the difference it makes in their everyday life. You may not be thanked or even recognized for the valuable service you perform, but you’ll know in your heart that you do matter to others.
BE A VALUED TEAM MEMBER
Being part of a team and working together to provide a service is equally as rewarding. Collectively, like a bundle of sticks, you can accomplish much more than as an individual. It may take two or three people to perform a root canal, and it definitely takes a team to handle medical billing and patient care. Working with people for a common cause unites us and gives our lives even more value and meaning than it otherwise would have.
ASSESSING YOUR CAREER VALUES
Everyone is different, and everyone’s values are different. Assessing your career values (the beliefs you have about what is important in your work, and what makes it meaningful to you) before enrolling dental assistant school is important. VIP Dental Assistant School near St. Louis offers the following tips to help assess your career values.
- What do you want from a career? Honestly, take some time, sit down, and start writing. Are you looking for prestige, a certain position like CEO of a company, independence, freedom from a schedule, career advancement opportunities, growth opportunities, customer service or no customer service, or high-income potential?
- Career satisfaction. If you want a satisfying and rewarding career, a career you love to go to work for, it must align with your values. If you’re working for an unscrupulous employer who takes advantage of people, if that doesn’t line up with your values, you’ll leave.
- Rank your values. Once you list all of your career values (work/life balance, diversity, creativity, autonomy, working with others, and location as examples), rank them. Consider lifestyle, interests, and your skill set as well.
- Self-assessment tools. There are an array of self-assessment tools available as well. Some include personality tests, such as Myers-Briggs, or work preference tests that assess what kind of person you are. These can give you great ideas and some insight as well on which direction to go.
We all have to work if we want to have a nice lifestyle where we get to enjoy our free time, doing the things we love to do with our loved ones. It’s important to assess your career values and find a career that will fulfill those values. Ultimately, if you’re not satisfied deep within, you won’t stay with your job and/or career. Being fulfilled inside is what matters most.
Being a dental assistant is a rewarding career with many benefits. It can lead to increased career opportunities and afford you a flexible work schedule, so you can be with your family. VIP Dental Assistant School in Missouri offers a flexible dental assistant training program, so you can still work and be with your family while training to be a dental assistant. Our dental assistant program is hands-on and condensed, meaning we pack in a lot of information in 11 weeks so you can begin your career soon. Contact us today to enroll!
As discussed above, we mentioned the many benefits to becoming a dental assistant. Below we’ll discuss even more benefits to dental assistant training that will have you signing up today.
LIFESTYLE BENEFITS TO BEING A DENTAL ASSISTANT
- Transform lives. As a dental assistant, you have the unique opportunity to help improve people’s health and quality of life. Good oral health prevents gingivitis and the build up of plaque. Gum disease also increases your risk of a heart attack, since bacteria from the mouth can enter your bloodstream and spread to your heart. According to the American College of Cardiology, gum disease can increase your risk of heart attack by nearly 50 percent. Gum disease also affects fertility, Type 2 diabetes, cancer risks, and your lungs. Being a dental assistant helps prolong the lives of people, while promoting healthy teeth and gums.
- Nurturing others. Doctors and dentists naturally cause fear in many people, mainly because going to them can cause pain, and humans are pain adverse. However, regular dental check-ups are essential to good oral health, so not going to the doctor or the dentist is really not a viable option in the long run. Dental assistants have the opportunity to help put patients at ease with their warm, inviting smiles and manners. Idle chit-chat can go a long way to taking a patient’s mind off any dental procedure. Sometimes holding a child’s hand during a cleaning is all that is needed.
- Developing lifelong relationships. Great dental assistants connect with patients and build trust. As the years go by, you’ll see the same familiar faces and get to know them a bit better. You’ll develop lifelong friendships with your patients, which helps them to keep coming back to the dentist.
- Educating others. One of the most important jobs dental assistants have is educating patients. Let’s face it, we weren’t born with the knowledge on how to brush properly, how to floss, and what signs to look for of anything awry. Dental assistants get to teach patients everyday these basic skills, as well as educate them on procedures and options for dental treatments. This also helps to develop the trust so crucial to a good dental office.
- Learning something new every day. Like all medical fields, procedures, treatments, and technologies are constantly being improved. With new machines comes new processes, which help to improve patient care. Continuing education is important for a dental assistant, who must learn new dental impression techniques for example as well as newfangled equipment and machines.
- Never a dull moment. Dentist offices are fast-paced, as patients are shuttled in and out, phones are ringing, emails and insurance questions are answered, lab results are in and need to be analyzed, and dental impressions sent off — and let’s not forget the all important Christmas cards to patients! From assisting the dentist to sterilizing instruments and applying other infection control standards and guidelines to keeping track of inventory, dental assistants’ days are constantly changing, making the day fly by. And when you are thanked at the end of the day, it’ll all be worthwhile.
Dental assistants have the unique privilege of touching people’s lives every day in a positive manner. VIP Dental Assistant School near St. Louis is privileged to teach offer dental assistant training. Our dental assistant certification program leads to a rewarding career as a dental assistant. Contact us today!
A dental assistant is a highly-skilled job, and not everyone can be a good dental assistant. Below we’ll discuss the qualities of a good dental assistant, so you can decide if you have what takes to become a stellar dental assistant.
QUALITIES OF A GOOD DENTAL ASSISTANT
- Administrative skills. Dental assistants must assume many roles, especially in a small, private practice dental office. You might be called upon to help with billing and coding, insurance claim processing, taking patient payments, answering patient’s billing questions, answering the phone and scheduling dental appointments, and fixing the broken copy machine. This is in addition to your daily dental patient care.
- Detail-oriented. There are lots of steps in a dental office that must be performed as well as protocols. Knowing the routine and the procedures will help the dentist in his or her work flow as well as prevent errors. This applies to billing as well because all it takes is one code to be imputed wrong and the dental insurance claim will come back as rejected, causing a delay in the vital revenue cycle of the dentist office. This also applies to patient rapport. Remembering the name of the patient’s new puppy goes a long way in customer satisfaction and creating long-term relationships that all dental offices strive for.
- Interpersonal skills. This is a broad classification that entails all interactions as a dental assistant. It’s important to be able to get along with your colleagues whom you work closely with day in and day out. Knowing the compassionate way to deal with patients who are in pain or the dentist who has had a long day of surgeries is critical to the success of the dental practice and patient care. Communication will be key here as well as working together as a team to accomplish the myriad of tasks a typical day brings.
- Organizational skills. Wearing the jack-of-all-trades hat, a dental assistant needs to be extremely organized if he or she is going to keep the dental office running smoothly. Having the dental tools cleaned and ready to go for the next patient is critical in preventing appointment delays. Knowing which cabinet the gloves are kept saves time. Having all billing paperwork organized as well as a processing system in place is helpful to maximize the revenue cycle. In essence, having a place for everything and maintaining an organizational standard will go a long way in both patient care and the success of the dental office.
- Dexterity. Dental assistants will be using their hands most of the day, from assisting dentists with cleaning and taking X-rays, to taking notes on patients and typing in scheduling information. Guarding against carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a numbness in the hand due to a pinched nerve in the wrist, is important as you go about your day.
- Initiative, integrity, and compassion. Being willing to help wherever needed is paramount to your job as a dental assistant. You may be required to do two jobs in a day if an office colleague is out sick. Showing integrity in all that you do, especially when it pertains to patient confidentiality, is vital to a dentist practice. Being compassionate towards others is the ultimate hallmark of an amazing dental assistant.
WHY VIP DENTAL ASSISTANT SCHOOL NEAR ST LOUIS IS YOUR NEXT STEP
VIP Dental Assistant School in Missouri is passionate about dental assistant training. A dental assistant is vital to a dental practice. A dental assistant keeps everything running smoothly and efficiently, and his or her attention to detail and compassionate patient care is key to the success of a dental practice.
VIP Dental Assistant School in the St. Louis area is passionate about training dental assistants who make a difference every day in dentist offices across Missouri. From alleviating patients’ fears to running the front office and taking X-rays, dental assistants’ days are varied, fulfilling, and rewarding. Dental assistants transform lives and become valued members of a team who work diligently to keep dental patients’ teeth and gums healthy. With a flexible work schedule and great pay, dental assistants around St. Louis and Missouri report high job satisfaction rates. VIP Dental Assistant School is offering a fast-track course soon. Visit our website and sign up to make a difference every day as a dental assistant!