When you begin a career as a Dental Assistant, you’ll quickly learn that no two patients are exactly alike. Some are apprehensive, others may have a hard time sitting still, and naturally some do a better job taking care of their teeth between visits than others do.
Needless to say, Dental Assistants have to tailor how they support dentists and provide outstanding care to their patients because every situation is unique. And at Lincoln Tech in Lincoln, Rhode Island and three Massachusetts campuses, there’s a team member waiting to help you build skills for some of the critical responsibilities you’ll have when you enter the field. His name is Dexter, and he assists Lincoln Tech instructors in providing the most realistic Dental Assistant training possible as you follow your path to a new Dental Assisting career.
We recently sat down with Dexter to learn more about how he helps students build the skills they need to launch a career that’s growing across Massachusetts and projected to add more than 150 jobs in Rhode Island as well.*
Dental Assistant training: advice from an industry insider
Lincoln: Thank you for taking the time to sit down with us today for this interview. We appreciate all you do to help our Dental Assisting students!
Dexter: Sitting down today is no problem … sitting is my specialty. (Laughs)
Lincoln: We understand there’s a story behind your name – it’s not a name you hear every day. ‘Dexter’ – is that Scottish? French?
Dexter: Acronym. It stands for Dental X-ray Teaching Training Replica.
Lincoln: Our mistake. Tell us a little more about your role at Lincoln Tech. How do you help students build skills to enter the dental industry?
Dexter: By practicing their X-Ray and Radiography skills on me, future Dental Assistants gain real firsthand experience and learn what it’s like to work with actual patients. They can position my head and jaws just as they would a real patient, and I never complain if they don’t get the angle exactly right or don’t have the bite wing tabs positioned correctly. It’s much easier to correct mistakes now, working with me, than when they get into their externships and work with actual patients!
Lincoln: Would you say you’re more durable than a real patient?
Dexter: Most definitely. My plastic gums “give” a little so that my teeth don’t chip as easily. And my teeth come coated with a special layer of radiolucent, shock-absorbing material to minimize breakage.
Lincoln: What’s one thing our readers might not know about you that would really be interesting to them? Give us a “fun fact,” if you would.
Dexter: I’m the most advanced model of DXTTR available. More basic models come with plastic skulls, but my skull is comprised of tissue-equivalent material that looks exactly like a human skull through an X-ray. There’s no better way of building dental radiography skills than by practicing with me!
Lincoln: You sound like the ideal “patient” for our students!
Dexter: True, but I can also be extremely hard-headed about certain things … but I try to keep my opinions to myself.
Lincoln: What do you do in your down time? How do you like to relax?
Dexter: When you play such a large role in Dental Assistant training, you don’t really have a lot of time to unwind. But a few times a year, the Lincoln Tech staff is kind enough to send me to “camp” for refurbishing. It’s really a blast – we have spa treatments, field trips, black-tie events, and I come back to campus refreshed and ready to get back to work!
Lincoln: That sounds great. Dexter, thank you so much again for helping our students graduate as professional, in-demand Dental Assistants. We really appreciate your time!
Dexter: My pleasure. Always happy to help Lincoln students get a head in their Dental Assistant training!
* Source: careeronestop.org for the years 2014-2024.