Denisse Velez, 24, obtained her education at Lincoln Technical Institute and has been working as a Dental Assistant for almost a year in Metheun, MA. Denisse has developed a passion for working in the dental industry and interacting with patients. Our conversation explores how she became a Dental Assistant, her experience and what a day in the life of a dental assistant entails.
Juliana: What is a Dental Assistant?
Denisse: A Dental Assistant is the person who assists the dentist during any dental work. We also have jobs we can do on our own. We make temporary crowns, we polish teeth, we can apply sealants on to kids’ teeth, we work in the lab, etc.
Juliana: Why did you decide to become a Dental Assistant?
Denisse: It kind of fell in my lap, to be honest. I knew I wanted to go back to school, and I took a tour of the dental classes at Lincoln Tech and I just felt that it was right for me.
Juliana: How was school for dental assisting?
Denisse: I liked everything in school except, I didn’t think I’d like dental assisting, I thought I only wanted to work in the lab. I felt like I had to do dental assisting in order to get a job, and it wasn’t until 3 to 4 months in that I started loving it.
Juliana: What do you mean when you say you work in a lab?
Denisse: In our office we clean and sterilize instruments, pour models (we take impression of someone’s teeth and send it to laboratories where they make crowns and dentures).
Juliana: How many classes did you need to take?
Denisse: There were 8 classes. Each of them lasted 4 weeks. Most of the classes prepared you for an exam in either infection control or radiology. You needed to pass those to exams in order to become a dental assistant. There were a couple of other classes that were about professionalism, how to conduct an interview, etc. Topics that were geared towards helping you find a job.
Juliana: Explain to me the process of becoming a dental assistant. How long did it take?
Denisse: It took a about a year to finish everything. It usually takes 10 months, but it took me a little longer because I had a full time job. In order to get your diploma, you have to complete an internship. I graduated before I got my actual certification, because it took me a few weeks longer to finish my internship.
It is extremely likely that the phrase “toothbrush care” has a particular connotation among people of most ages; as soon as your toothbrush bristles are looking worn out, it’s time to get a replacement. If you’re following this handy tip at home, you’re already doing a good job keeping your brush healthy, and your mouth by extension. If you’re also remembering to replace your brush every three to four months regardless of how the bristles look, you’re actually doing a pretty fantastic job. Hooray for you! But even with the basics in mind, you may have some bad habits that are keeping you from being the true dental envy of your friends. Don’t be sad! We’re here to show you the path to a better brush. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Due to the nature of what a toothbrush is, where it goes and what it does, it makes sense that there is a potential for bacterial buildup over time. Mouths tend to have a lot going on inside them, and toothpaste is more targeted at keeping your mouth’s ecosystem happy than waging bacterial war, or even keeping itself clean. Keeping bacterial buildup to a minimum on a toothbrush is a smart idea, and it’s easier to accomplish than one might think. Two very important and easy steps are to always rinse and air dry your brush after use: rinsing thoroughly will remove most food and leftover toothpaste, and an upright air dry is enough to kill most bacteria. Always let a brush air dry before storing it away!
Cambridge, MA. Recent graduate of UMass Lowell, passionate about healthcare development.
Waltham, MA. Passionate about oral health and maintaining his squeaky clean teeth.