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What are some helpful tips or advice you can give to someone that wants to learn the trade of being an Dental Assistant?

I'm interested in dental assistant or dental hygiene

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Kailie’s Answer

Hi! Awesome job in knowing what your passion is! Though this is not my field, I recommend looking up Ferris State University and their dentist hygiene program, it’s one of the best in the State of Michigan!
Good luck!
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Nimra’s Answer

The best way to understand your job as a dental assistant or dental hygienist is to shadow an experienced individual in the field. If this is not possible, then I would suggest enrolling into introductory courses offered by colleges to get an insight as to what will be expected of you in the dental field. Basically an introductory course to being a dental assistant. Having this under you belt will give you a better chance of landing someone to shadow for dental hygiene and may even help you get a job as a dental assistant. When you have your foot in the door, I would highly suggest to shadow and look around the office and familiarize yourself with equipment and supplies. Also take notes and pics (if your mentor says its okay) of setups for procedures. Furthermore, ask questions and don't be shy about asking. And when you do you can record your response in a journal or anything that will help you remember. Also, look at some programs online for dental assisting or dental hygiene and make sure you know what the prereqs are for each school. You can choose which school/program meets your needs and talk with advisors about what you're looking for. Not only that, but use Social Media to your advantage and look up dental clubs or groups that you can get involved in and ask questions.
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Elizabeth’s Answer

As a dentist I have had several assistants. Some went to school for assisting others did not. You do not need to go to school to be trained. You can be trained on the job. One assistant never went to school for assisting but was eager to learn. I trainer her on the job. She was great. One skill my favorite assistants had in common was that they were so caring and friendly. They knew how to make the patients comfortable by carrying on a conversation with them while I worked. They could do this without interrupting me. I could keep working and not worry about the patient's comfort. Assistants also need to anticipate what the dentist will need. They definitely need to be able to multi-task. I have heard of assistant paying thousands of dollars to get certified. I never cared about a certification. I'd say keep your money and see if you can get on the job training.
If there's anything I didn't answer please let me know.

I know I have seen ads on websites for assistant s wanted where employers will train on the job. Typically they pay a bit less but it's better than spending 6000 on dental assisting school. You can take the experience you gain and move on.
As far as dental hygiene, it's something you can do through a university or often a community College. The faster and cheaper routes would be community College. I would not necessarily prefer one over the other if I were hiring. Personality is much more important imo.
Hygiene pays better than assisting but both assistants and hygienist can get an EFDA certification which stands for expanded function dental assistant. This means they can place fillings. Usually it's more common for assistants to do this because hygienists' incomes will not increase much more with the addition certification.
Theoretically you can be an assistant for a year doing on the job training and get a letter of recommendation to an EFDA program and be an EFDA certified assistant in less than 2 yrs.
Some Hygiene schools will offer EFDA training as part of their program. This would be a nice combo yo have. You would be in demand. You could temp as a hygienist or EFDA or if you wanted you may be able to work a couple days as an EFDA and a couple as a hygienist. Some offices will pay for your EFDA training but require you to work for them for a year.
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Ogonna’s Answer

Learn your state's entry requirements and attend a training program affiliated with your state. It will generally teach you all the fundamental skills needed to pass the certification exam and most programs are package bundles; in which you learn the material and get 1 or 2 shots at the exam. If you're skeptical about your ability to learn the material I would say learn on your own first then apply the knowledge courses you apply for. Even if you don't pass or if you don't take the exam, a majority of jobs don't require you to pass, just training and a background in it! To kind of help you on your journey in becoming a dental assistant; I would say make friends who are also pursuing the same thing either online or through your training, these same people can help you learn what's on the exam and can make great study buddies! That's what I did, one of our classmates took the exam early and filled us in on what appeared the most on the exam. Another thing is YouTube university; when it comes to learning the foundations and principles of any topic YouTube has your back and Quizlet when it comes to studying specific material.
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