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Facts About Austin Dental Careers and our Dental Assistant Program

How can the program be so short? Will I really know what I am doing?

At Austin Dental Careers, we believe people can be trained in a relatively short period of time by focusing on the essential skills required to become a valuable member of any dental practice. While the classroom portion of our program lasts only eight weeks, it requires the same amount of externship hours as traditional dental assistant education programs.

The externship portion of our program provides 40 hours of hands-on experience here at our office or at an office of your choosing, and generally leaves our students feeling familiar and confident with dental assistant duties and the dental office workplace. Our students finish the program with the knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary to jumpstart their career in a dental profession.

What are my chances of getting a job after completing the program?

Students who complete the program at Austin Dental Careers have great prospects for getting a job in the dental assistant field. According to the United States Department of Labour’s website, employment for dental assistants will likely grow 25 percent between 2012-2022. This projected demand for dental assistants is much higher than the average in other industries. Many consider this accelerated increase in demand being a result of the links continuously being found between oral health and general health.

Austin Dental Careers has contacts call weekly looking for recent graduates to fill their open positions. Generally speaking, if our students want a job in the field, they have no problem finding one.

What do Dental Assistants get paid?

On average, dental assistants were paid $34,500 per year ($16.59 per hour) in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course, this salary is dependent upon where you live. Additional benefits of working in this field are that most dental assistants work standard daytime hours. 

What are a dental assistant’s duties?

Dental assistants’ duties vary depending on the office in which they work. In general, they support dentists by working directly with the dentist and patients, doing lab work, or performing office support tasks. Some workplaces require dental assistants to work in all of these capacities, while others may not.

At Austin Dental Careers, we prepare our students to interact with patients, starting with seating them and preparing them for the dental visit. The dental assistant’s role is an integral part of making patients feel welcome and comfortable during their dental visit.

What is the difference between a dental assistant and a dental hygienist?

The difference between a dental assistant and a dental hygienist begins with the required education. Dental assistants need to complete a dental assistant program at an accredited school and to obtain a license (in the State of Texas). Dental hygienists, on the other hand, must obtain at least an associate’s degree in the field before obtaining their license.

These two careers also differ in job duties. Dental assistants do manual work, such as preparing equipment, taking x-rays, teaching patients about oral hygiene, and assisting in dental procedures. Dental assistants may also record treatment information, clean supplies, and order and monitor dental equipment.

Dental hygienists work in a more specialized capacity, cleaning and examining the teeth and gums. They can also develop x-ray film, review and record medical history, perform fluoride applications to teeth, and provide other clinical services.

How many teachers work at Austin Dental Careers?

Austin Dental Careers is proud to have three lecturers for the classroom portion of our program. In addition, the externship portion of the program allows our students to learn from experienced professionals on the job.