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More and more people are discovering the benefits of hands-on education to prepare for this fast-growing industry of dental assisting. Hands-on training allows dental assistants in training who have never been exposed to dentistry before to learn how to perform all duties required of them with confidence. This blog post will explore why hands-on training programs offer an edge over online learning courses.

One of the most common misconceptions about dental assisting schools is that online learning can be just as effective. While it may seem like an easy way to learn, Hands-on training is superior in many ways and will give you a competitive advantage when looking for work. Here are some benefits from hands-on training:

Practice Dental Assisting Skills with Real Patients

Hands-on training lets you practice skills that might not otherwise be possible with online instruction, such as using the equipment and gaining confidence in your skills. The Pacific Northwest Dental Assistant School is unique because we offer real hands-on training with actual patients in a highly productive dentist office.

Hands-on experience provides dental assistants with the skills needed to provide quality care for patients in a clinical setting. Skills learned in a hands-on environment are more easily transferable than those learned through traditional methods of instruction, such as reading and watching videos about procedures.

Hands On Training Boosts Your Confidence

Dental assistants who have completed Hands-on training are more confident going into their first day on the job because they know what they’re doing!

Hands-on training is also better for building the confidence to work with patients. Online courses can be intimidating and cause you the fear of failure when it comes time to start working in an actual dental office. Hands-on learning allows students to learn and practice their skills, which builds up their self-confidence to prepare for any situation.

Hands-On Dental Assisting Skill Training You Cannot Learn Online

  • Preparing patients for dental work.
  • Assisting the dentist with treatments and procedures.
  • Sterilizing and disinfecting instruments, setting up instrument trays, and preparing materials.
  • Exposing dental x-rays and caring for dental x-ray equipment.
  • Comforting and relaxing patients.
  • Documenting patient treatment information in patient records.
  • Assisting dental hygienists with procedures.
  • Fabricating temporary restorations and custom impressions from preliminary impressions.
  • Applying temporary fillings and sealants.
  • Mixing, matching, and applying dental materials.

These are just a few of the practical skills you need to learn through hands-on training at a dental assisting school. Often, people choose to attend an in-person program because they want their skills to be put to use right away and so that they can get the most out of their time investment. 

Get Personal Attention From Live Instructors and Dentists

Instructors are available for help when needed, making it easier than trying to get assistance from someone over Skype, Zoom, or email. Hands-on training also puts students in direct contact with dentists, which is a huge benefit for those who want to be dental assistants.

Online courses might not provide enough help when you need it and can lead to confusion, frustration, or worse yet- failure! While online learning has some benefits in terms of convenience if it’s your only option, hands on instruction give students the skills and knowledge they need to pursue a successful dental assistant career.

Learn and Collaborate with Other Students

In-class discussions allow students to learn from each other’s experiences and develop relationships with their classmates outside of work. If you are struggling with a concept, ask your classmates what they think, and you may find the answer to your question! Meeting new people with similar interests can help build connections inside and outside of the classroom, which will help you throughout your career as a dental assistant.

Hands-on Training Blended with Classroom Learning is Highly Effective

Most dental assisting schools offer a blended learning experience that combines hands-on training with classroom instruction. Achieving this goal allows students to learn more than they would in either setting alone and develop the necessary skills for success as an entry-level dental assistant.

Pacific Northwest Dental Assistant School has two classes per week with mixed classroom and LAB classes for hands-on training. Students can learn more in a shorter timeframe, which means they are able to graduate and become dental assistants faster.

Dental assistants aren’t just taught how to work on teeth but are also trained in all aspects of dentistry which is an excellent skill for any job seeker. Hands-on training gives students not only what courses teach them but why it’s essential as well.

The Downside to Online Dental Assistant Programs

Online dental assistant programs are a good option for students who can’t commute or need a flexible schedule. But while online classes can be convenient, there is always a tradeoff in the quality of education when you opt for this type of learning. 

While some may find that it’s worth the time and money to invest in an online course, others may find themselves struggling with memorizing the information and progressing.

Students enrolled in an online dental assistant program get taught similar concepts as those who attend traditional classes, but without the hands-on training or live learning from instructors one on one, it can make online learning difficult for some students.

The benefits of attending hands-on dental assisting school far outweigh the pros of an online program. Hands-on experience in dental assisting schools can help people become more confident and knowledgeable as they enter the workforce.

Incoming Dental Assistants who graduate from hands-on programs are better able to work with patients, communicate verbally, and have a variety of other skills that transfer over into their day-to-day life.

How Our 12 Week Dental Assisting Program Can Help You

In order to help our students bypass the traditional dental assistant school route, we offer an accelerated program that incorporates real-world, hands-on instruction that allows you to spend less time in the classroom. With only 12 weeks and two days a week in class and lab, Pacific Northwest’s program gets you out into the workforce faster than any other program in the area and for less money in tuition costs.

A comprehensive dental assisting education should include both theory and practical work so that students are prepared with the knowledge of how dentistry works as well as the skills needed to do the job. 

Dentists have recognized Pacific Northwest’s dental assisting program for its unique hands-on instruction, which is why we offer a program that gives students the opportunity to learn both theory and practical skills that they can immediately apply so they can become valuable team members at any dental practice.

Our hands-on Dental Assistant Training Curriculum Includes:

  • 144 Hours of Classroom Study
  • 50 Hours Hands-On Internship
  • Hands-on Dental Assistant Skills Lab and Techniques Class with a focus on proper dental assistant techniques.
  • Clinical Supervision to help students learn how to work in the real world of dentistry.
  • Anatomy and physiology.
  • Dental charting and billing.
  • Dental equipment and technology.
  • The role of a dental assistant and how they work with hygienists, dentists, and laboratory technicians.
  • Sterilization, disinfection & treatment room care — learn to sterilize a treatment room, perform mouth rinses, and work with a variety of dental instruments.
  • Radiography safety & techniques — learn to take and develop dental x-rays. This course is Oregon board approved for radiation health and safety and makes you eligible to take the Oregon X-ray Test.
  • Cements & dental impressions — learn about handheld dental tools, burs, and handpieces. You’ll also be introduced to the use of dental adhesives.
  • Restorative dental care — discover the uses of amalgam and composite fillings, how fillings are restored, and how to create temporary crowns.
  • Assisting with specialized dental procedures — learn to work alongside a dentist during oral surgery, root canals, scaling, and denture placement.
  • Cosmetic dentistry & tooth whitening treatments — you’ll make a custom-made nightguard and tooth whitening tray and learn about other cosmetic dental treatments.
  • CPR certification — learn essential first aid skills and receive your CPR certificate from our experienced instructors.

At Pacific Northwest Dental Assisting School, we have made it easy for you to complete your 50-hour internship. For your convenience, our school includes hands-on training at our on-site dental practice.

You’ll work alongside one of the most experienced and trusted dental professionals in the Camas and Vancouver, Washington, Portland, OR areas!

Get Started with Your Dental Assistant Training Today!

If you’ve made it this far, then you are sure to see why hands-on training should be a necessary component of any dental assistant program. Why not get the best of both worlds and learn with actual patients? If you’re considering becoming a dental assistant, we want to help! 

Our 12-week Dental Assisting Program provides hands-on training in addition to classroom learning. You will work alongside live instructors and dentists as well as other students who are working towards their certification too! The downside to online programs is that there is no opportunity for collaboration or personal attention from an instructor. We can make sure your self study time isn’t wasted by providing personalized instruction when you need it most; during class time. 

If you’re interested in learning more about what sets us apart or want to take a tour of our dental assisting school, please apply online or call us today at 360-818-7273 to speak with our course director.