How To Become an Dental Assistant

How To Become an Dental Assistant

Many individuals are drawn to dental assisting as a career option for several reasons, such as job security, rapid entry into the workforce, and the opportunity to make a positive impact by assisting others.


What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

The duration of a dental assisting program varies, typically spanning from nine months to two years, contingent upon whether it's a certificate, diploma, or degree program. Upon completion of their education and meeting any necessary certification criteria, dental assistants fulfill a range of crucial responsibilities. Administrative duties may encompass scheduling appointments, managing patient records, and procuring dental supplies. Clinical tasks involve assisting the dentist during treatments and examinations, sterilizing instruments, operating suction devices, handling X-ray processing, and creating impressions for dental appliances.

Dental Assistant Training Programs

If you're considering a career in dental assisting, you'll find various educational avenues available to you through dental assisting schools, with the choice typically hinging on your potential for further education. Diploma and certificate programs are ideal if you seek swift entry into the workforce and don't anticipate pursuing further education. However, if you're considering a future transition into dental hygiene, it's advisable to pursue an associate degree, as this allows for credit transfer to a bachelor's program if desired. Full-time coursework typically spans nine to 12 months, depending on the program's requirements, with classes typically spread across three terms, emphasizing heavier coursework during fall and spring semesters.

Finding Online Dental Assistant School

Numerous vocational and technical colleges, career schools, and community colleges provide online dental assistant programs for those seeking education beyond traditional campus settings. These programs offer certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees, enabling students to pursue their education without significant disruption to their schedules. Some institutions offer hybrid degree formats, combining online coursework with campus-based clinical components to provide hands-on experience. Alternatively, certain schools collaborate with students to find suitable local organizations where they can fulfill clinical requirements.

Dental Assistant Credentials

•Digital imaging techniques •Diet and nutrition for oral health •Advanced radiography •Dental care for infants

Dental assistants who have received certification from DANB must fulfill annual continuing dental education requirements to uphold their certification.