Dental Assistant Instructor
There’s no one who can teach students of dental assistant program better than someone who has years of actual chairside experience. Have you had considerable experience as a dental assistant? If yes, then you fit this description and you may be ripe for a career as a dental assistant instructor.
Wondering what you need to do to become a dental assistant instructor?
Here are some qualifications you must have:
- Associate degree in dental assisting with academic units towards a bachelor’s degree. This is the minimum requirement. Some schools may require that an institution’s dental assistant program be accredited by the government. If you are planning to enrol in a dental assistant program, there are more than 250 of them approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation within the American Dental Association. The programs can be completed in two years or less.
- Bachelor degree in dental assisting. Some will require only an associate degree with enrolment in a bachelor degree program, but having a bachelor degree is, understandably, an advantage to have.
- Certification. You must be a Certified Dental Assistant as declared by the Dental Assisting National Board. This certification is valid in many states. (You can also be a Registered Dental Assistant or an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant).
- Dental assisting experience of several years, usually three. The required number of years of experience may be higher for those who graduated from a non-government accredited dental assistant program.
- Teaching license. Most states are implementing alternative routes to teacher certification to allow professionals from other fields of discipline to teach subjects or topics of their expertise. To teach in public schools, a state-issued license is needed. For more information, visit the National Center for Education Information or for the most complete information on Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification, go to: www.teach-now.org.
- Teaching experience. Not necessarily required, but applicants with teaching experience are usually ahead of those without.
- Other certifications and licenses. Usually, dental assistant instructor applicants are required to have dental radiographer license, CPR certification, first aid certification, x-ray certification. You can get CPR certification through the American Red Cross or American Heart Association or your local YMCA.
- Knowledge on how to use dental computer software such as Dentrix and/or Eaglesoft.
Have you been working as a dental assistant for a number of years and want to do something new? You don’t have to make a complete career shift to spice up your professional life. Instead, you can turn into teaching. Your experience in the field will be valuable in training new dental assistants. For a start, you can keep your full-time job and get a teaching work part-time in the evening or on the weekend. It’s a way to earn extra income.