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The numbers speak for themselves. There is a critical need for qualified dental assistants in Maryland, Virginia and across the nation. The U.S. Department of Labor expects 75,000 dental assistant job openings each year, and as dentists take on larger patient loads, that number is expected to increase. Dr. Marvin Becker founded the Dental Assistant Training Schools (DATS) of Maryland and Virginia to address today’s shortage of dental assistants and to prepare students whether they are directly out of high school, considering a career change, or re-entering the work force for a rewarding career in a stable and growing industry.
Dr. Becker has 35 years of experience as a pediatric dentist and 20 years of experience teaching at both the Georgetown University School of Dentistry and the Children’s Hospital Residency Program combined with his passion for the Dental profession led to launch the first location of Dental Assistant Training School of Maryland and Virginia in 2002. Today there are a total of eight schools across the region. DATS also functions as the dental assistant teaching facility for a number of community colleges in Maryland including Baltimore, Cecil, Essex, and Hartford counties.
Dr. Becker cites three specific advantages to students enrolling in one of DATS training schools: preparation, convenience, and cost. Rather than focusing on theory, DATS students learn practical, clinical skills in actual dental offices. Dr. Becker says the focus on hands-on learning boosts comprehension and builds confidence.Students learn the entry-level clinical skills necessary to graduate and become productive dental assistants. Since I’ve been doing this for so long, Dr. Becker says, I know what the doctor is looking for, and we train to that criteria. Course topics include dental terminology and charting, basic instruments and equipment, sterilization and infection control, and CPR basic life support. Classes are capped at 10 students each, with a ratio of one instructor for every five students, so students get the individual attention they need to help them succeed.
The focus on practical experience allows DATS to offer students a fast, convenient option for starting, restarting, or redirecting their careers. Students are able to graduate from the 84-hour program in three months, and classes are held in the evenings, so that those who want a career change don’t have to interrupt their revenue stream to retrain. The program cost includes books, uniforms, and all materials and gives students an affordable option for training for a rewarding and rich career in a high growth and high-demand field.
One of the contributing factors to the nationwide shortage of dental assistants is the lack of training programs. The biggest reward for the DATS team is knowing that they have helped to change someone’s life. It’s so gratifying to help people at a critical time in their life to jump start a new career. After practicing dentistry for 35 years and as an educator for over 20 years I get tremendous joy in helping people find their way to a successful future in a field that I love, says Dr. Becker. Nothing makes me happier than celebrating our graduates getting their first new job as a Dental Assistant.
DATS has been issues a certificate to operate by the Maryland Higher Education Commission, and the radiology portion is approved by the Maryland State Dental Association, the Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners, and the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). For more information about the DATS program or locations, contact Dr. Marvin Becker at 877-777-8719 or go to the DATS Web site at datsmdva.com.