EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The dental field is gearing up for projected growth. Now, a new dental program is starting soon at a school in Scranton.

Jobs in the dental field are in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the field will add about 30,000 jobs by 2031.

Now a school in Scranton is offering a brand-new program to get students started in a career as a dental assistant. All you need is a high school diploma or a GED.

“We are very important in the dental field,” said Jones.

Melissa Jones has worked as a dental assistant for ten years, but starting next month she will be teaching students about the dental field here at the Fortis Institute in Scranton. The school is starting a brand new dental assistant program in November.

“There is nothing more inspiring than teaching the next generation,” added Jones.

The dental assistant program is less than a year in length and includes a combination of online and classroom instruction, plus hands-on lessons here in the lab.

“When they’re learning dental materials they’ll be pouring models, taking impressions on each other, making bleaching trays, mouthguards all those types of thing,” explains Jones.

Other coursework includes oral anatomy, dental office administration, dental pharmacology, dental radiography, plus CPR and first aid.

Inside the dental clinic at Fortis Institute, students learn a variety of job skills, everything from how to properly handle dental instruments to how to take a dental x-ray.

“We’re ready to prepare students to go directly into the field and do all the hands-on things they’ve learned,” says Anita Bendowski the dental programs director at Fortis Institute.

Upon completion of the program, students must become licensed by passing the certified dental assistant exam.

It tests knowledge of general chairside procedures, radiation health and safety, and infection control. and for those considering the field of dentistry.

“All you need is knowledge and skills, and you will be successful,” Jones Continued.

Classes at Fortis Institute start November 13. For more information or to register for the program go to the Fortis Institute website.