While your dental assisting training may have provided a foundation to assist in general dentistry procedures, like crowns, fillings, and dental prophylaxis, you may not have the training yet for specialties—like cosmetic dental procedures. As long as you have the proper training in your state, one cosmetic procedure you can definitely help with is teeth whitening. Read on to learn more about what's whitening training.
Where Can You Do Whitening Training?
The American Dental Association may have information on where you can find classes in your local area. If there isn't a class nearby, one great way to get certified is through an online tooth whitening training course.
What Will You Learn?
These courses may only take a few days, while others may take a couple of weeks depending on the breadth of the course and what you want to learn. Each course will have a different syllabus, but you may learn:
how to match tooth shades
how to use whitening technology
how to sell and market whitening products
As long as you are under the supervision of a licensed dentist, certified assistants can learn to apply bleaching agents, activate agents with anon-laser light-curing device, and educate patients on at-home care.
Why are Certification Courses so important?
While whitening is a very safe procedure and the side effects are minimal, it's still important to learn how to safely apply the bleaching agents so patients aren't hurt in your care. For instance, bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide can cause sensitivity and chemical burns on gum tissue if it isn't adequately protected. Your certification courses will teach you how to use dental dams, resin barriers, and other protective equipment to minimize sensitivity and tissue sensitivity.
Certification courses are important because you will learn how to identify contraindications before patients are treated. For instance, some patients may not be good candidates for whitening due to allergies, tooth decay that needs to be treated, etc. A patient may have stains that are intrinsic, which can only be treated by other procedures, like dental bonding. You'll learn how to go over a patient's history so that they can make the appropriate cosmetic appointment and/or get other necessary dental care before whitening.
Lastly, certification is important because you will learn how to educate patients on appropriate care after in-office whitening. For example, some patients may be prescribed at-home bleaching trays to maintain their shades, so they need instructions on how often they can safely bleach their teeth.
Can You Use This Type of Course for a C.D.E. Credit?
According to the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), certified assistants need to earn continuing dental education credits (C.D.E.) each year. A whitening course that's accredited can be a great way to earn C.D.E. Credits since DANB says that these credits can be earned in-person or online.
Reach out to a dental educator in your area for more information about an online teeth whitening training course near you.