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5 Tips for Students in Dental Assistant Training Studying Anatomy

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Knowledge of anatomy will help a dental assistant excel in their job in many ways. Among other things, it will support dental assistants in educating their clients about oral health as well as give them confidence when working chair side with dentists and hygienists.

Anatomy is the study of body structures and how they connect. For some it might be one of the more difficult subjects to learn as a dental assistant. It requires memorization and might feel like learning another language because of all the Greek and Latin terminology. While learning anatomy can feel like a daunting task, there are a few tips to make studying for your anatomy classes easier, and maybe even fun.

1. Write Things in Your Own Words

Are you having trouble remembering that ‘incisal’ refers to the cutting edge of the anterior teeth? Try rephrasing the information in your own words. It’s still important to highlight and underline definitions from textbooks and class materials. However, when you express something in your own words it provides a new way to access the knowledge. This strategy is based on the idea that your ability to explain something in your own words demonstrates understanding, which will serve you well on exams and in the long run.

Talking about anatomy in your own words will help you remember tough terminology

Talking about anatomy in your own words will help you remember tough terminology

2. Know Your Learning Style

When you do the dental assistant diploma program, you should pay attention to the learning stimuli that work best for you. For example, if you are a visual learner, focus on diagrams or look for videos that show images of the anatomy. If your style is kinetic, it will be important to draw diagrams and write out information yourself. For those who respond to kinaesthetic modes of learning, physical models or even toys you can hold and examine will help move knowledge into place. Finally, if you are an aural learner, saying the information aloud and making a recording to listen to later may be the most effective. It is likely that a combination of styles will work for you.

3. Review Your Mistakes

With all of these study tips, the hope is that you won’t make mistakes on your exams, but nobody is perfect. When you get your tests or assignments back, take a look at where you missed things and remember that mistakes are an opportunity to improve.

4. Make a Study Schedule

An important part of learning anatomy is to do it in a way that makes sure you retain the information. It’s true that you might be able to memorize a lot at once under pressure, but that kind of memorization is different from learning. In order to maintain your anatomy knowledge, you must schedule practice time to repeat and reinforce anatomy lessons. Each time you study, review what you did previously and things will move from your short term memory to your long term memory.

Organization will reduce stress whether preparing for a test or your new career

Organization will reduce stress whether preparing for a test or your new career

5. Form a Study Group with Your Career College Peers

One of the best things about going to a career college is learning alongside a group of people with similar goals. A study group will allow you to combine resources and will likely increase your confidence for tests. As is the case with other strategies, this may not work for everyone. However, there is an opportunity to share study tricks and tips, flashcards, and moral support. This kind of social learning may help keep you motivated for your own study time because you see others going through the same process.

Ready to begin dental assistant training?

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Thinking of a New Career? 4 Reasons Dental Assistant Training Is a Great Choice

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Want a career with plenty of rewards and room for professional growth? Then being a dental assistant might just be for you. Pursuing a new career as a dental assistant can be a fantastic option for the next step in your professional life, and there are many reasons why training to become one can be so fulfilling.

While at times challenging, becoming a dental assistant is an incredibly gratifying experience, and there are many reasons why it’s worth making the most of. Here are four ways a career as a dental assistant can be a great choice for you.

1. You Can Help Make Patients Less Scared of Visiting the Dentists’ Office

Patients often aren’t thrilled to go see a dentist—in fact, they can be quite scared of it in some cases. As a dental assistant, you can help calm those patients down and assist them in overcoming their fears, ultimately cultivating a more pleasant experience for them. Since you’ll be chatting with patients a lot, you can use your interpersonal skills and a relaxed attitude to help assuage their anxieties. That way, you’ll make them more comfortable as they wait for the procedure, which will ultimately encourage them to return to the dentist’s office to make sure their smile remains in good health.

2. You Get to Perform a Vast Number of Duties, Which Keeps Things Interesting

Dental assistants’ work days are ones with plenty of variety, and a number of tasks come into the equation. Among these tasks are sterilizing and transferring instruments, keeping and maintaining patient records, applying sealants, polishing the coronal area of patients’ teeth, and taking x-rays—all under a dentist’s supervision. This is especially pertinent as dental office procedures and radiography are important components of your dental assistant diploma program. Furthermore, dental assistants get to learn on the job, as trends, standards and techniques in the profession evolve over time. Given the diverse and hands-on nature of the job, there are rarely dull moments to be had while working as a dental assistant.

Taking x-rays on patients is one of many duties you could perform as a dental assistant

Taking x-rays on patients is one of many duties you could perform as a dental assistant

3. What You Learn in Dental Assistant Training Can Help You Educate Others About Oral Health

There are several major components of basic oral hygiene that cannot be stressed enough, with brushing and flossing chief among them. As a dental assistant, you not only get to teach patients the importance of oral health, but also show them how to brush and floss. To educate others not only about how important maintaining their oral health is, but how it can improve their morale and self-esteem, is a big part of what makes life as a dental assistant worth pursuing. You’ll have the satisfaction of know that you’re helping patients keep their mouths healthy.

4. You Can Not Only Help Improve Patients’ Oral Hygiene, But Their Quality of Life

To work in this profession, it’s important you have a compassionate personality and take great satisfaction in helping others. This is in addition to a desire to help improve their health. Not only does a dental assistant get to improve the state of patients’ oral health, but they improve their self-confidence and overall happiness as well. A healthy smile, after all, can do wonders for a patient’s sense of self-worth. With benefits like these, starting your dental assistant training can help you reap all kinds of professional and personal rewards.

Not only can you help improve patients’ knowledge of oral health, but also their self-esteem

Not only can you help improve patients’ knowledge of oral health, but also their self-esteem

Do you want to take career college courses?

Contact KLC College to find out more!

4 Job-Ready Skills You’ll Learn in Dental Assistant Training

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In your career as a dental assistant, you will work under the supervision of a dentist, performing an array of tasks and duties. Dental assistants need to possess a wide range of skills to be effective and successful in their careers. In your training program, you will learn many of these skills that you can apply directly to your first job in the field. From human relations training to radiography and infection control, practical skills will keep you successful and effective in your field.

Read on for some of the job-ready skills you’ll pick up in your program!

1. A Good Dental Assistant Diploma Program Provides Infection Control Training

Often, dental assistants are the point people for infection control in dental offices. It’s a big responsibility and very important to prevent infection and maintain proper safety, screening, hand hygiene, and protection. The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario has specific guidelines for standard of practice in infection prevention and control in dental offices.

Dental assistants prepare examination areas, develop infection control protocol, clean up after procedures, and sterilize equipment and instruments. Having infection control skills ready to go for your first job is crucial to your success, as the office may even place you as their infection control officer.

2. Human Relations Skills will Help you after Dental Assistant Training

Human relations skills prepare you to interact with different people effectively, manage and lead others, as well as make people feel comfortable and have positive interactions. As a dental assistant, you will probably be required to calm clients down who are feeling anxious and ensure that people who come into the dental office have a comfortable and positive experience when interacting with you.

Dental assistants often schedule appointments and help clients feel comfortable

Dental assistants often schedule appointments and help clients feel comfortable

Dental assistants are often responsible for interviewing patients, scheduling their appointments and providing customer service with a professional demeanour. Your effective communication skills from career training will help the office run smoothly and ensure that tasks get done.

3. Radiography Training from a Dental Assistant Diploma Program is Essential

Intra-Oral duties include technical procedures, for example dental radiography. Radiographs, or x-rays, are commonly used to evaluate dental health and will be conducted often in a dental office. Dental assistants who are qualified will take and develop x-rays, as well as maintain equipment and proper sterilization of the rooms and instruments used in the process.

Technical skills from your program will help you take and develop x-rays in your career

Technical skills from your program will help you take and develop x-rays in your career

Having training with this technology prepares you for the demands of a busy office with many scheduled procedures.

4. CPR and Standard First Aid will be Required after Dental Assistant Training

Dental assistants are required to assess emergency situations and need training in CPR and First Aid. Getting this training through your dental assistant diploma program is the simplest way to receive updated emergency skills and be qualified for your first day on the job. You must be able to recognize signs of a dental emergency so that you can keep people safe. These skills are also applicable to your daily life, as you can help others and yourself in emergency situations.

Are you interested in dental assistant training?

Contact KLC College for more information.

Nutrition and Dental Health: Advice to Give Your Clients When You Become a Dental Assistant

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The common saying ‘you are what you eat’ applies to more areas of your personal health than you may think. Good oral health is affected in part by your diet, because the food you eat gives you the nutrients your body needs to renew tissues and fight infection in your bones, teeth, and gums.

Intra-oral dental assistants work closely under the supervision of a dentist to maintain, treat, and ensure their client’s good oral care. They may also serve as a form of infection control, which means that they must be familiar with which personal behaviours influence a client’s oral health, including their diet. Sugary foods, fad diets, starches, and even supplements can all have a negative effect on oral health, and it’s important to understand how this can lead to a client frequently (or infrequently) coming in for treatment.

If you’re interested in entering a new and rewarding career as an intra-oral dental assistant, read on to find out what you should know about the role nutrition plays in oral health.

Dental Assistants Know Good Nutrition Helps Prevent Periodontal Disease

Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common dental problems you may see as an intra-oral dental assistant. Our gums—or gingivae—are tissues which help our teeth stay in place.

Foods which are high in carbohydrates, sugars, and starches can contribute to the buildup of bacterial plaque in our gums, which weaken the enamel of our teeth as well as the tissue of our gums, and can lead to cavities or infection if left untended.

Intra-oral dental assistants help clients take good care of their teeth

Intra-oral dental assistants help clients take good care of their teeth

In order to reduce the risk of periodontal disease, clients should try to limit the amount of sugary snacks, carbonated or fruit drinks, and acidic foods or beverages they consume, as these can all lead to plaque and tartar buildup.

It’s also a good idea to visit the dentist once every six months, as professional cleanings can help keep plaque under control and remove it from places which may be hard for a client to reach on their own. If you’re interested in learning the best techniques to tackle plaque and prevent periodontal disease, dental assistant training covers the finer points of good oral care, such as anatomy, physiology, infection control, and preventive dentistry.

Dental Assistant Training Can Teach You Which Foods to Recommend

The food a person eats has such a direct effect on oral health because the mouth is the first point of contact for the food and drinks they consume. Preventive dentistry is an important part of the job if you want to become a dental assistant, and practicing proper nutrition is one of the key aspects which can help clients avoid experiencing recurrent or frequent problems with their oral health.

Students at KLC College know that nutrition is an important part of oral healthStudents at KLC College know that nutrition is an important part of oral health

Students at KLC College know that nutrition is an important part of oral health

Empty calorie foods may be fun to eat, but they don’t offer much nutritional value. Candy, sweets, and fast food often contain high amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, and fats, which—as we’ve learned before—can cause the buildup of bacteria in the teeth and gums. Drinks like soda, lemonade, and sweetened coffee can create a sugar bath over your teeth as you drink them, which can hasten tooth decay as the sugar and acids weaken the enamel and surrounding tissues.

There are some foods, however, which promote good oral health. Dairy products such as plain yogurt and cheese have high amounts of calcium, and protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, and eggs contain good sources of phosphorus—two minerals which can protect and strengthen tooth enamel. Fruits and vegetables provide water and fiber, which can help clean the teeth by stimulating saliva production that washes away bacteria and neutralizes acid.

Are you ready to take the next steps towards your future career in dental health?

Contact KLC College for more information about our dental assistant diploma program.

Beginning Dental Assistant Training? Here’s Why Dental Records are So Important

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Anyone looking forward to a career as a dental assistant can expect to spend a fair amount of time retrieving, updating and reviewing dental records. These are the records of a patient’s past appointments and procedures, any recorded issues and any other information relevant to their dental care, and taken together, they form a clear picture of that patient’s dental health and history.

If you’re just beginning dental assistant training or considering enrolling, and are curious to know more about these records, here’s a quick guide that will help you understand why they’re so important.

What’s Included in a Dental Record?

The contents of a dental record will vary between patients, who each have their own unique histories of treatment, but some information like age, date of birth, place of employment and contact information will always be included.
Other documents or information that can be found in a dental record include a complete record of appointments, past treatments and complaints, allergies and medications, clinical and radiographic findings, copies of test results, consent forms for invasive procedures and anaesthetizing, and any other information pertinent to a patient’s dental health, including relevant comments from dental assistants such as follow-up instructions given after a procedure.

Students in Dental Assistant Training Know the Importance of Continuity of Care

One of the most important functions of a dental record is to ensure continuity of care for patients. This means that when a patient moves or decides to change their dental care provider, their new dentist can rely on an accurate and up-to-date summary of their dental history and any ongoing issues when making their diagnoses.

This can be particularly important for issues like periodontal bone loss, which progress over time. A dentist examining a new patient with periodontal bone loss needs to know how quickly or gradually it’s progressing, whether it’s still progressing and how long it’s been happening, for example. These are all questions that can be answered by a complete and accurate dental record.

Even if a patient isn’t changing dental care providers, professionals who have completed their dental assistant training know that this record-keeping can be incredibly important in identifying, tracking and accurately diagnosing these types of long-term or progressive dental issues.

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Dental records can be important in properly diagnosing long-term, progressive dental disease

Dental Records Can Be Important for Protecting Dental Professionals as Well

Not only do dental records ensure that patients receive the best possible care, but by keeping a clear record of treatment, dental practices can also protect themselves against complaints from patients and possible malpractice litigation. Documentation of a patient’s missed appointments or failure to follow instructions for further care, for example, can be important in accurately tracing blame for a subsequent issue, and protecting a dentist from liability for an issue which was not actually a result of any treatment they provided.

Dental Practices Have Clear Responsibilities Regarding Dental Records

Dental practices are responsible for keeping their patients’ dental records accurate and up-to-date. Patients actually own the information contained in their own records, and dentists are obligated by law to provide these records to other dental practices, or to the patients themselves if they request it. This is true even if a patient owes outstanding fees.

What this means for students in a dental assistant diploma program is that these records represent a very important element of a dentist’s legal obligations to their patients, as well an essential tool in providing them the best possible care, and so their proper maintenance, updating and storage is essential to the functioning of any well-run dental practice.

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Accurate and up-to-date dental records are essential for any dental practice

Are you interested in going to career college to become a dental assistant?

Contact KLC College today for more information about our program.

What is Preventative Dentistry? How to Answer This Question after Dental Assistant Training

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Like many other healthcare specialities, prevention is often better than cure in dentistry. While modern dental professionals can treat a wider range of complex conditions and issues than ever before, they are still careful to emphasize the importance of preventative dentistry to patients.

The idea of preventative dentistry is that dental professionals encourage patients to take active care of their teeth through healthy oral hygiene habits, regular dental visits and preventative treatments in order to limit the risk of developing serious dental problems. In doing so, they help to save patients a lot of time, money and discomfort.

Dental assistants play a huge role in preventative dentistry, assisting in treatments and helping to educate patients about proper dental health. If you are considering this career, keep reading to learn more about what preventative dentistry involves and why it’s so important.

Dental Assistant Program Grads Promote Preventative Oral Health Habits

One of the most important components of preventative dentistry is ensuring patients adopt a regular dental health routine. By brushing and flossing on a daily basis, they can dramatically reduce harmful plaque buildup which could cause tooth decay or gum disease.

In addition to encouraging regular brushing and flossing, it’s important that patients are educated in how to do it correctly. Brushing too hard or for too long can wear away tooth enamel, while flossing too aggressively can damage the gums. Dental assistants are often tasked with demonstrating the proper techniques to patients.

Professionals with dental assistant training can demonstrate proper brushing techniques to patients

Professionals with dental assistant training can demonstrate proper brushing techniques to patients

The Role of Nutrition in Preventative Dentistry

During their Level II dental assistant training at KLC College, students complete a module called Preventive Dentistry and Nutrition. The reason these two areas are grouped together is because they often go hand in hand. Dietary habits can have a huge bearing on how likely a patient is to experience dental problems.

In order to limit risks, dental assistants should encourage patients to limit the amount of sugars and carbohydrates in their diets, as these foods can increase the risk of tooth decay. They should also promote a diet that is rich in certain vitamins and minerals that can help strengthen teeth. Calcium is arguably the most important, as it strengthens tooth enamel, but Vitamin D is also crucial, since it increases mineral density and helps our bones to absorb calcium. Dairy products are an excellent source of both. Vitamin A, which is found in root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes, can play a big role in oral health too, because it helps to keep gums strong.

The Importance of Regular Check-Ups and Preventative Dental Treatments

While good oral health and nutrition will severely lessen a patient’s risk of developing dental problems, it is still important they have regular check-ups. This is a crucial part of preventative dentistry, as it allows dental professionals to identify any issues early, making them easier to treat.
A dentist will be able to catch the early warning signs of many dental problems through a physical examination, and can also use x-rays to spot issues which are not visible to the naked eye. Graduates of KLC College’s Level II dental assistant diploma program are qualified to perform dental x-rays in the province of Ontario.

Dentists may also provide a number of preventative treatments for patients, such as topical fluoride therapies, which can make teeth stronger and more resistant. For younger patients, dental sealants are another option, and help to protect the chewing surfaces of teeth from wear and decay.

Students learn how to take dental x-rays during their career training

Students learn how to take dental x-rays during their career training

Do you want to become a dental assistant?

Contact KLC College today to find out more about the career training we provide.

An Essential Student’s Guide to Dental Assistant Training Terminology

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Working as a dental assistant doesn’t just mean having a great smile, although that is a plus. There are also many phrases and terminology that are used every day to identify different areas and problems, as well as procedures involved in effective dental care.

According to the Canadian Dental Association, more than 70% of the world’s population is in need of appropriate and affordable dental care. Oral hygiene can contribute to a variety of complications and issues, and in order to properly address a patient’s needs, aspiring dental assistants need to be aware of the common terms and phrases that are used in their workplace. Read on for an essential guide to dental terminology.

Identifying Parts of the Mouth and Teeth in Dental Assistant Training

One of the first things to learn in dental assistant training is how to tell parts of the mouth and teeth apart. A good place to begin is with the maxilla and the mandible, which are the upper and lower jaws, respectively.

There are specific terms for components of the mouth, jaw, tooth, and tissue

There are specific terms for components of the mouth, jaw, tooth, and tissue

The maxilla and mandible both typically have 16 teeth each, and are protected by the palate, or the roof of the mouth. Our teeth are supported by periodontal tissues and held in place by the root, which is located within the tooth socket.

Inside the tooth itself, there are four major tissues. The enamel is the outermost layer and located near the crown of the tooth. Dentin, which supports the crown, is the substance between the enamel and the root canal which holds the connective tissue and blood vessels inside the tooth. The root itself is covered in cementum, a calcified substance that attaches the tooth to the bone.

Potential Dental Issues to Watch for

Teeth, as with any part of the body, can be subject to decay, disease, or injury. It’s important to learn the proper terms for dental issues during a career training program in order to be able to appropriately address problems that you may see in the dentist’s chair.

Cavities and gingivitis are the most well-known dental problems

Cavities and gingivitis are the most well-known dental problems

One of the most common complications is a cavity. This is when decay forms a large hole inside of the tooth. In order to check for cavities, dentists use an explorer, or tooth counter, which is only meant to touch the surface of the teeth.

Gingivitis will also sound familiar. Its name comes from the gingival portion of the gums, also known as the cervical area, and pertains to a swelling or inflammation caused by gathered plaque or tartar around the teeth, which are reserved buildups of acids and bacteria. These two problems, while unfortunate, are some of the most common complaints that a dental assistant will encounter, and have relatively simple solutions compared to more complex issues.

Terminology Used in Common Dental Procedures

Once the root of the problem has been addressed, there are a variety of reparatory measures which can be undertaken, with treatment generally depending on the severity of the underlying cause.

In cases of a cavity, many can simply be filled to support the tooth’s structure. Similarly, crowns, or artificial covers, can be put in place at the top of a damaged tooth. In the event that a damaged tooth is extracted or removed, spacers are placed to prevent tooth movement and keep the bite even.

An abscess, where bacteria have been allowed to grow and cause inflammation in the root canal, is a common complication of tooth decay. This means that the abscess must be drained of infected pus and material before it can be treated, and restorative dentistry may be necessary to repair the damage.

Are you interested in enrolling in a dental assistant diploma program?

Contact KLC College today for more information!

3 Tips to Ace Your NDAEB Exam After Completing Dental Assistant Training

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Since 1997, the National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) has overseen practical and written examinations for aspiring dental assistants. At the end of a training program, students are eligible to write the NDAEB exam to earn their full qualifications and begin their dental careers.

The NDAEB examination ensures a standard level of expertise among Canadian dental assistants, testing professional knowledge and critical thinking skills. The written multiple-choice exam, which is combined in some cases with a Clinical Practice Evaluation, assesses knowledge acquired at designated schools. Like all exams, this one rewards effective training and careful preparation.

Are you hoping to ace your NDAEB exam? Keep reading for some helpful tips.

1. Make the Most of NDAEB Materials While Preparing

The NDAEB offers important resources to students, helping them focus their preparation ahead of the exam. In particular, the Candidate Handbook provides crucial insight into the exam’s priorities and content. Once they become eligible to take the exam, students should plan suitable study time to go over the handbook’s information, which covers everything from exam sites to testing outcomes.

Students may find group-study effective in preparing for the NDAEB exam

Students may find group-study effective in preparing for the NDAEB exam

Perhaps above all, the handbook offers sample questions, giving students a sense of the content and phrasing they are likely to encounter on testing day. Students may want to do these sample questions mid-way through their preparation, as this will test knowledge while still allowing them time to adapt their studying if needs be. Aspiring dental assistants may also consult the NDAEB’s website for updates on exam resources and results.

2. Use Third-Party Resources Wisely After Dental Assistant Training

In addition to the NDAEB’s own material, students may find further assistance online. While these sources might prove helpful in testing one’s studying, it is important to note that the NDAEB does not officially recognize these alternate sources, typically sample exams.

While students should prioritize NDAEB materials after receiving their Dental Assistant Diploma, some further online resources might also help. A good way to evaluate third-party materials is to compare their content with the ‘Domain Descriptions’ in the official handbook. From ‘Dental Sciences’ to ‘Laboratory Procedures’, these eight domains give students a sense of what content their studying should cover – and thus a good basis for assessing any external help.

‘Patient Care Procedures’ is among the NDAEB’s eight domains

‘Patient Care Procedures’ is among the NDAEB’s eight domains

3. Develop Strategies for Multiple Choice Success

Effective exam preparation considers format in addition to content. Barring requests for special test conditions, the NDAEB exam allows students four hours to complete 200 multiple choice items. While there is no substitute for strong dental assistant training and careful exam preparation, students may benefit from multiple choice strategies that can enhance confidence, and maximize correct answers on the day. For instance, students should be careful to read questions one word at a time, allowing them to note subtle exceptions or negations that might change their best answer.

Moreover, some students prefer to cover all the answers while reading the question, developing an unbiased idea of the answer before searching for the closest option. In order to get to all 200 items, exam takers are also advised to manage their time well, not spending too long on any particular question. In fact, challenging questions should be skipped over and returned to once all known answers have been provided.

Are you hoping to launch a rewarding career with a Dental Assistant Diploma Program?

Find out more about what KLC College has to offer.