The Pickens Technical College’s Dental Assistant program prepares students for their start in a much-needed and booming industry: dentistry. Dental care may be overlooked by many people in the state, especially in areas where access to dental services is difficult. Dental assistants are rightly regarded as valuable assets for any dental practice, and if you graduate from Pickens’ dental assistant program, you might find dentists and their staffs competing with each other to get you into their practices.
The beauty of being a dental assistant is that there are many lucrative and fulfilling career paths you can take with your degree. Many assistants become dental hygienists or work in other capacities to support dentists and dental offices. There is such a high demand for both health and dental services in Colorado that local dental insurance companies are trying new things to bring better care to more people.
The Birth of the Medical-Dental Integration Project
The Medical-Dental Integration Project is the brainchild of the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation which started the experimental program earlier this year. The idea was to place dental hygienists in 26 medical practices throughout the state to make it easier for patients to receive basic dental services like cleanings more regularly. This way, a patient could see a doctor and a dental hygienist on the same day at the same facility. That doesn’t seem like a very fun day, but it’s a much more efficient use of time.
The fact is that access to medical care can be dicey for many people covered under many different common insurance plans throughout the state. It’s not unusual, for example, to try to make an appointment with your primary care doctor and find you won’t be able to see them for another six weeks. One of the problems behind this is the lack of medical assistants who can handle basic screenings and check-ups for most patients.
Dental care is no different for many people. According to 5280 Magazine, roughly 40% of the 57,000 people who visited a dental hygienist hadn’t been to a dentist in over a year. Young patients, in particular, need better and more frequent dental care. More than half of the patients who were seen in the Medical-Dental Integration Project were younger than 18 years, and 27% were less than five years old. It’s been shown that getting a cavity in a baby tooth doubles the chance of problems with tooth decay in the future.
Preparing for Everything
As a Pickens dental assistant program graduate, you’ll be prepared to enter this project and help more people than ever before get the dental care they need. Everywhere you look in this state, as more people move here, the need for dental hygienists, dental assistants, and full-service dentists will only increase in the Denver area and throughout the state. Make sure you’re at the forefront of this huge opportunity to build a career and help people.