Dental assistant instructors are responsible for training students who want to be dental assistants. They supervise and monitor students' use of tools and equipment. They also conduct on-the-job training or classes that demonstrate principles and techniques used in dental hygiene. Dental assistant instructors prepare reports and maintain records related to student progress, such as grades. Dental assistant instructors typically work at community and vocational colleges, although sometimes work in dedicated dental training clinics. Work in this field is generally full time and can either be during day or evening hours.
In general, these positions require candidates to have three or more years of experience in dental hygiene. Some businesses prefer instructors hold a bachelor's degree (or even a master's) in dental hygiene, public health, or a related field. In addition, candidates must hold current dental and teaching licenses and certifications, as well as any other documentation required at the local, state, or federal levels. It is common for employers to require certifications in x-ray technology and coronal polishing. Candidates must also be familiar with OSHA and HIPAA regulations governing their line of work.
To be a dental assistant instructor, one must have strong interpersonal and leadership skills. A professional appearance and demeanor is necessary to set an example for students. Strong verbal communication skills are necessary to successfully train students for their future careers, and strong written communication skills are needed for accurate record keeping. As with any teaching position, the instructor must be able to accommodate the different learning styles of students.
Dental Assistant Instructor Tasks
- Conduct on-the-job training, classes, or training sessions to teach and demonstrate principles, techniques, procedures, or methods of dental hygiene.
- Prepare reports and maintain records such as student grades, attendance rolls, and training activity details.
- Supervise and monitor students' use of tools and equipment.