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What You Need to Know

Students at the Competitive Edge Dental Assisting Academy

What Do Dental Assistants Do?

Each state dictates what dental assistants are legally allowed to do but, in general, this is what you could expect to do as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA):
•  Seat the patient, take a detailed health history, and assure the patient is comfortable during dental procedures
•  Prepare and setup the work area for procedures
•  Hand instruments to the dentist during procedures and keep the mouth dry
•  Clean up the area and sterilize instruments
•  Help in documentation of procedures including X-rays and pictures inside the mouth, possibly assisting with notes
•  Fabricate temporary crowns and lab work

How to Become a Dental Assistant & About Our Program

The course itself lasts 11 days total, Friday of each week for 10 weeks with 2 classes (Friday class and Saturday Final Exam) on week 10. This is an accelerated dental assistant program and is considered full-time. Each class will be split between lecture and hands-on clinical learning and last from 7AM to 5PM, taking an hour for lunch, on premises. The coursework will include (but not be limited to) dental anatomy, CPR, OSHA, HIPPA, procedural setup, microbiology, infection control, how to assist during a variety of procedures, record keeping, medical history gathering, proper oral hygiene, patient communication, dental impressions, rules governing dental professionals, coaching to both stand out as a candidate to be hired and also tips to grow in your position. It is our goal to give you a competitive edge within the job market by being prepared and having knowledge to stand out.

As a requirement to graduate, each student will participate in 32 hours of externship in which the student volunteers to observe in a dental setting. The student will choose and schedule their own externship sites and hours. We highly encourage individuals to rotate through a variety of dental specialties including such as oral surgery, periodontics, pedodontics, endodontics, and orthodontics. These 32 hours must be completed by the final exam. At CEDAA, we take your education very seriously. The information you are learning is essential to your success as a dental assistant, therefore it is expected you attend class, be on time, dress and act professionally, and maintain an 80% or greater GPA within the program to graduate. We want you to have an edge on success.

After meeting the above requirements and graduating from CEDAA you may then register with the state of TN to become a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

What type of person excels in dental assisting? We want you not to just succeed as a dental assistant, but to excel! So we are going to share:

10 Personality Traits of Highly Successful Dental Assistants:

1. Excellent Organizational Skills – A dental office can be a very busy place with multiple things to do, where accuracy is very important so being well organized will help you stay ahead & keep the office running smoothly.

2. A Detail Oriented Personality – Health, safety, and a positive patient outcome largely depend on a dental assistant’s ability to concentrate and pay attention to details in order to sterilize, document information, and successfully complete tasks.

3. Ability to Prioritize, & Manage Multiple Tasks at Once – As a dental assistant, your duties run the gamut and very often you have to prioritize which tasks are most important at which time. You will need to prioritize and balance, for example, you may be juggling preparing rooms, assisting with procedures, and sterilizing equipment while also helping answer phones, patient and staff questions, greeting and escorting patients, and supporting teammates with procedures- all while keeping a smooth, calm demeanor.

4. Good Dexterity & a High Energy Level – As a dental assistant you will be picking up instruments all day as well as moving quickly throughout the office to complete multiple tasks so good dexterity & having a high energy level is a must!

5. Positive and Professional Demeanor – Your attitude and presentation are a reflection of the practice you work for so how you present yourself will reflect on the practice as a whole. Some qualities of being professional are being dependable, trustworthy, punctual, well dressed and well put together, taking your position seriously, and having a positive attitude in everything you do!

6. Good Communication Skills – Good communication is vitaly needed both with patients to find out their wants and needs as well as with staff to communicate changes on the schedule to keep the office running smoothly. You will need to polish initiating personal conversations and phone skills to speak with patients and explaining complex subjects in a simple way.

7. Being a Good Listener – Sometimes a patient may not always say what they need to communicate. Being able to relate to patients and understand what they want and need, especially if it is unsaid, is critical to an exceptional assistant.You will also need to be a good listener to follow instructions to help your team.

8. Compassionate Attitude – With over 60% of the population reporting anxiety going to the dentist, it takes a special person to calm them down and relax them during an appointment!

9. A Desire to Help Their Patients and Their Team – The MOST successful dental assistants take pride in doing everything they can to make their dentist and team successful during the day. This may mean helping the dentist, another assistant, the dental hygienist, or staff at the front desk at any given time in order to keep things running smoothly.

10. Resilience and Steadfastness – Having a hard work ethic and being meticulous will go a long way but there will be plenty of days that will be a challenge, despite your best efforts. There will be days that you are faced with running behind, unhappy patients, difficult problems to solve, and more. Being resilient and steadfast will help you brush it off, let it go, and bounce back with a smile on your face!

Have the right qualities? Now it’s time for hands on training! Sign up for our 10 week dental assistant training today!

Apply Now

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