NE Dental Academy Blog

NE Dental Academy Blog

What You’ll Learn During Your Dental Assistant Externship

October 1, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — nedentacad @ 8:24 pm
a dental assistant being instructed by her teacher

Embarking on a dental assistant externship is a thrilling and pivotal moment for anyone aspiring to pursue a career in dentistry. It’s a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between what you learn from reading out of a textbook versus what you’ll be practicing in a hands-on environment, all of which is valuable. That said, you should approach your externship with an open mind and positive attitude, so that you can walk away from it more informed, better prepared, and undoubtedly excited for your new career in dental assisting! Here are four unique skills you can expect to learn and hone during this experience.

Real-World Application of Knowledge

Becoming a dental assistant is more than gaining knowledge from a textbook, slideshow, or lecturer; it’s about applying the things you’ve learned when the time is right. You might possess incredible theoretical knowledge about a certain dental instrument, sterilization technique, or procedure, but until you’ve practiced in a real setting, that’s all it is—knowledge in your brain that isn’t being used! Just a few of the skills you’ll perfect during your externship include things like instrument sterilization, tray setups, equipment maintenance, taking impressions, charting, four-handed dentistry, and more!

How to Interact with Patients

One of the most enriching experiences of a dental assistant externship is the time spent collaborating with not only the other students and dentists, but the patients themselves. Learning about the importance of empathy and practicing effective communication will pay huge dividends as you kick off your new career. Building trust with patients isn’t just a skill—it’s pretty much the entire cornerstone of quality dental care, and if you can do this well, you’ll be setting your future practice up for resounding success.

Teamwork & Collaboration

Even though a dental office is helmed by the doctor’s name listed on the front door, nothing would ever get done without teamwork and collaboration. From assisting the dentist during procedures to collaborating with hygienists and the front desk staff, aspiring dental assistants must learn the intricate dance that is working well with others; it is not a solo job by any means. There’s no better way to learn how to work harmoniously with others than by practicing—and throughout your externship, you’ll get to do just that on a daily basis.

Becoming a dental assistant is much more than merely gaining knowledge in a classroom setting; it’s all about applying that knowledge and performing your duties within an office setting! Without this valuable experience, you cannot hope to excel and thrive to the best of your ability.

About NE Dental Academy

Our talented team here at the NE Dental Academy has helped hundreds of aspiring dental assistant students learn the ropes and acquire the skills they need to succeed in their new careers! If you have any questions about the article or you’d like to request additional information about our program, feel free to contact us online or over the phone for assistance. Telephone: (508) 392-5314.