A dental assistant plays numerous roles that are crucial in delivering an overall satisfactory patient experience. They are responsible for many tasks around the clinic including laboratory duties and assisting the dentist in various procedures. In addition to these roles, dental assistants are heavily involved in patient care. The extent of the tasks they perform at a dental office is however limited and are heavily dictated by state. If you are looking for a promising career with only minimum time and money investment, becoming a dental assistant is worth serious consideration.
Dental Assistant Statistics
In the United States alone, there are about 303, 000 dental assistant positions made available all over the country. This number is expected to rise due to the increasing number of dental offices and similar facilities that are being launched in the United States. Dental assistants work under a certified dentist and work alongside dental hygienists as well.
Dental assistants most commonly work full time and may include working in the evening and during weekends. There are dental assistants that work part time while studying formal dentistry courses to pursue a career as licensed dentists.
Education Requirements for Dental Assistants
It was a common practice that those who desire to be dental assistants were trained on the job. However in recent years, some states require that dental assistant hopefuls undergo dental assistant short courses from schools that received accreditation from dental organizations. Typically, education institutions that offer dental assistant certification programs are community colleges as well as tertiary schools that offer allied health care courses. A dental assistant program is very short in that a student can take all subjects and pass all requirements in 12 months.
The organization which regulates dental assistant certification courses is the Commission on Dental Accreditation or CODA, that which is under the American Dental Association. If you are looking into taking up a dental assistant course, our website features a vast database of schools and colleges that offer this specific course. Simply type in the zip code and we will generate a list of education institutions near your location. To gain more qualifications which in turn enables a dental assistant perform more extensive and advanced tasks in the future.
For high school students keen on taking a dental assistant course in college should take courses in Biology, Chemistry, Health care, and office subjects. This will surely prepare them once they start on a dental assistant program in college.
Dental Assistant Roles:
- Responsible for cleaning and sterilizing equipment used for procedures
- Responsible for preparing the equipment and devices that are to be used for a dental procedure
- Responsible for preparing and briefing patients prior to procedures
- Responsible for scheduling patient procedures
- Responsible for documentation and making updates on patient records
- Assist the dentist during dental procedures
- They may also be directed to perform laboratory procedures such as processing of x-rays as well as preparation of materials for impressions and restorations to name a few
Dental Assistant Certification
There are states which require dental assistant course graduates to undergo an examination to be certified dental assistants. The minimal requirement across all states is that an individual should complete a dental assistant or dental technician course under an accredited school by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. You may want to check out if your state requires for graduates to undergo examination, as this will help you in finding the best school that offers dental assistant certification courses.
Aside from passing the license exam for dental assistants, a dental assistant hopeful should possess soft skills and outstanding interpersonal skills as their job involves speaking to patients before and after procedures. Dental assistants are responsible for answering patient inquiries and educate them about dental care after dental procedures and visits at the clinic.
Dental Assistant Salary
Fresh graduates of dental assistant courses and hold a license under their names enjoy a promising entry-level salary at $16.59 per hour or $34, 500. Of course, this can increase depending on the vast experience that a dental assistant may have from previous places of employment. Those who wish to improve their career can take a dental hygienist program, which in turn can increase their starting salary at $50, 000 per year.
Top Dental Assistant Schools:
- Apply At Fortis College Today! Explore the Career Programs.
- Dental Assistant Program
- Dental Assisting
- Expanded Function Dental Assistant
Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida, is dedicated to helping students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed. Drawing from over 30 years of career school experience.
- Dental Assistant Diploma
- Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Concentration in Clinical Support
- Medical Assisting Diploma
- And more...
The Metropolitan Institute of Health and Technology (MIHT) is dedicated to educating men and women to serve with confidence in the health and technology industry. MIHT provides career training for students to move forward in their chosen field of study, changing their lives for the better. MIHT strives to provide quality education with affordable tuition. Our staff works to determine the best financial options for students on an individualized level.
- Dental Assisting
- Clinical Medical Assisting
- Electronic Health Records
- Interested in Helping Others? Get Educated in the Medical Field.
- Medical Assisting, Nursing, Health Sciences Degree Programs and More From Top Colleges that Fit Your Needs.
- Build the Capabilities and Connections to Power Your Future.
- Find Schools Online or Near You & Get Info for FREE Today!
Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!
What Are You Waiting For?
- Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
- Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
- Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
- Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
- 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.
Maryville University is a private university in St. Louis County, Missouri. Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a comprehensive and nationally ranked private institution with an enrollment of more than 6,800 students.
Prepare for a Career That You Will Love … in Massage Therapy!
Do you want a career that offers the satisfaction of helping people and a work environment that is positive and exciting? With the education you will receive at the Virginia School of Massage, that career can be yours.
Classes start November 13!