The duties and responsibilities of an instructor are enormous. The first responsibility is to design a program of studies that specify the objectives of taking such lessons and the outcome. The burden of training the student to be a dental assistant is entirely on him so he has to make the daily routine of lesson giving and practical training. These courses mainly include the legal and ethical issues of dentistry, anatomy and physiology, preventive dentistry, chair side assisting, dental materials, dental laboratory procedures, and dental radiology. Office management, communications, and PC skills are also taught. He also estimates the cost of imparting training to the students and submits it to the management. Once the budget is approved, the instructor takes the responsibility for the ordering of materials and supplies. He should make the right estimate so there is neither excess nor shortage.
After the students have completed their training as dental assistants, the instructor prepares a report about the number of hours that the students have taken training and the skills he has gained. He also puts forward to the director all figures and information desired for bookkeeping and grade reporting. The instructor also arranges for good placements for the students.
The dental assisting instructors hold a meeting with institute's advisory committee that includes representations from the dental care supplier and representatives of various dental organizations to discuss issues related to instructions. He is also present at various staff meetings.
The basic requirement to qualify as dental assisting instructor is to become a dental assistant. To become a dental assistant, you must complete high school with science, biology, chemistry and mathematics as your main subjects. There are a bunch of dental programs provided by different institutes. Make sure that they are approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation through the American Dental Association [ADA]. You can also earn a certificate or a diploma that generally takes one year. An associate degree course, which could take up to 2 years is also very helpful to rise up in this career. During the program you will not only be enlightened on relevant theory and practice in laboratories, but you will also be assisting dentists and getting applied training. Dental assistants also need to complete courses on pit and fissure sealant and ultrasonic scalar courses as well as a safety course prior to the exposure of x-rays on patients. A qualified dental assistant should be a registered one. Many recruiters look for CPR certification through the American Red Cross or American Heart Association.
The dental assisting instructor should possess the knowledge of dental terminology and procedures like rubber dams, temporary crowns, alginates, x-rays, bleaching trays, patient education, amalgam, composites, and material. They should have the know-how of maintaining basic dental records, charts, and forms. He should be thorough with techniques applied by dental assistants in the dentist's office.
He should have good communication skills as well as leadership skills for instructing students and guiding them. He needs to have problem solving skills to find solutions to problems that his students may often encounter. He requires evaluating abilities to judge the understanding of his students.
The vocational diploma in dental assistance is to be followed by a minimum 5 years of chair side experience to graduate to a dentist assisting instructor.
The job prospects for dental assistant instructors are excellent. Employment in this field is expected to grow much faster than the average rate till 2016. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast that it would be the third fastest growing occupation.
The average salary which a dental assisting instructor receives is about $35,000- $54,000. They are also benefited with perks like sick leaves, holidays, vacation days, and life and business travel accident insurance.
If you have the will to make a difference in the lives of students by introducing them to the technical requirements of the Dental Assistant field, then this may be the right career for you.