Yarmouth program hopes to take bite out of dental assistant shortage

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YARMOUTH — A dentist and his wife are offering a new dental assistant training program for people in the area, whether they’re young and new to the workforce or older and looking for a career change.

Brian and Marcy Boynton of Yarmouth Dental on Forest Falls Drive on Oct. 31 announced the launch of VIP Dental Assistant Training. Gov. Paul LePage was present at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to offer his support.

“This is absolutely the type of thing that I’ve been speaking of for months and years,” LePage said. “Entrepreneurs, job creators, people who give opportunities and take the risk.”

The program will begin on Jan. 2, 2015, and will run for 11 consecutive Fridays. The classes will run from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Yarmouth Dental, and students will be expected to study and pass exams to complete the program. The days will be spent learning through both lecture and hands-on lab work.

The Boyntons said they have wanted to create a program like this for some time because there’s a shortage of qualified dental assistants.

“It’s really hard to find a dental assistant that has the knowledge to work in a dental setting with patients,” Marcy Boynton said.

Brian agreed, saying that it is difficult to train someone on the job because it slows dentists down and keeps them from their patients.

“As an employer looking to hire people, it’s nice to have an employee who’s well trained,” he said. “It takes the stress off.”

Dental assistants, unlike dental hygienists, don’t need a degree or a college education. The requirements for the VIP training program include being at least 17 years of age and having a high school diploma or GED.

“In today’s society, where college is so expensive, this is a good option,” Brian Boynton said.

The tuition for the program is $3,960 and payment plans are available. The average salary of a dental assistant is $35,000 a year and the Boyntons said there are over 100 open positions in Maine. Marcy said it is a steady job that usually comes with good benefits.

“Several years ago when the economy took a hit, dental assistants still had jobs,” she said.

The role of a dental assistant is typically to help the dentist during procedures, assist patients before and after their appointment, take x-rays, sterilize equipment, take impressions of teeth, or work at the reception desk.

According to Forbes magazine, dental assisting is one of the “15 best jobs,” a “fastest growing job” for women and young adults, and a “best job for young people.” Marcy Boynton said the training program is “perfect for recent high school graduates, young men or women, or those who desire a better career and lifestyle.”

The Boyntons plan to take 18 students per session. Prospective students must complete an application, which can be found at vipmaine.com, and sit down for an interview. As of Nov. 11, there were only a few more open spots in the program.

The Boyntons said they are looking for people who are serious about the training and who will be invested in learning. They said students who spend time each week studying and coming in to shadow Brian, will succeed and will be more prepared to go into a career in dental assisting. 

“I think each student will take out of it what they want to,” Marcy Boynton said. “It’s only 11 days, but you can take out of it what you want.”

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Sidebar Elements


Dentist Brian Boynton plans on using the lab in the downstairs area of Yarmouth Dental to train students in dental assisting.

Gov. Paul LePage and Carolyn Schuster, the executive director of the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce, right, attended an Oct. 31 ribbon-cutting ceremony with Brian and Marcy Boynton for VIP Dental Assistant Training.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.