Info on Dental Apprenticeship Programs

A dental assistant or dental lab technician apprenticeship program gives students the advantage of gaining skills while actually working in the profession. Aspiring dentists may choose to complete a voluntary residency program to gain experience in an area of specialization. To learn more about dental apprenticeships and residencies, keep reading.

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What Are Dental Apprenticeship Programs?

Prospective dental assistants, dental lab technicians and dental equipment specialists may learn their trades through an apprenticeship program offered by employers, labor management organizations and employer associations Apprenticeship programs are also provided by the American Red Cross and some divisions of the military. Students can look for programs approved by the Office of Apprenticeship, a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This ensures that an apprentice receives quality training that meets the criteria of the DOL Registered Apprentice program.

Admission Requirements

In general, applicants only need to be 18 years of age to qualify for admission, though additional requirements may apply depending on the school or organization. For example, the Red Cross may require at least 75 hours of volunteer experience in order to qualify, while other organizations expect applicants to have prior education in the field.

What About Dentist Residencies?

Dental residencies are designed for prospective dentists who have completed dental school. Although a dentist is not required to fulfill residency requirements as a doctor does, dental residencies give an aspiring dentist the opportunity to learn the intricacies of the profession while earning a paycheck at the same time.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry administers a 2-year pediatric dentistry residency program that emphasizes clinical study and research. Residents learn about surgical procedures and advanced diagnostics in a clinical setting. They typically study child psychology, pharmacology, facial trauma, general anesthesia and oral pathology. The program is available in 38 U.S. states and Puerto Rico.

The Veterans Administration (VA) also has a dentistry residency program that gives a dentist several options when considering a residency. The VA offers residencies in endodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics, along with general practice residencies lasting from 1-2 years. Advanced education in general dentistry is also available. Hospitals, such as Rochester General in New York, York Hospital in Pennsylvania and Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx have dental residency programs.

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