There are currently over 125 dentists in the Central Louisiana area, and each of them usually staffs between two and five dental assistants. A dental assistant is the person working in the chair alongside the dentist during the examination and treatment of each patient. To help fill the need for well-trained dental assistants in our area, the Central Louisiana School for Dental Assistants (CLSDA) opened its doors to its first class in February of 2006. Since that time, over 169 students have successfully graduated from our program and entered the work force as dental assistants.
CLSDA is the first and only school in our area approved by the Board of Regents of Louisiana to train dental assistants. Classes are limited to around 20 students per 10-week session, which meet weekly on Saturdays. The small class sizes ensure more individual instruction as students learn basic dental skills, oral anatomy, tooth surfaces, tooth numbering, quadrants, instrumentation, sterilization, dental impressions, proper suctioning and safe x-ray operation. Each course day is broken into two segments—a lecture portion in the morning followed by hands-on skills training in the afternoon. Upon graduation, students will be ready to enter the workforce as a qualified dental assistant.
CLSDA will convene its next training class on September 11, 2010. The only pre-requisite for enrollment is a high school diploma or GED. Representatives from CLSDA are also available to speak to school groups, job fairs and workforce training organizations by appointment. For more information about Central Louisiana School for Dental Assistance, please call (318) 442-8017.