Dental assisting programs are educational programs that prepare individuals to work as dental assistants in a dental office or clinic. Here are some great schools with dental assistant programs.
Accredited Schools For Dental Assistant Programs
These programs can be found at community colleges, vocational schools, and other institutions, typically ranging from a few months to two years.
Through classroom instruction and hands-on experience, dental assistant programs teach students the skills and knowledge they need to assist dentists and other dental professionals in providing patient care.
Dental assistant programs cover various topics, including dental anatomy, chairside assisting, sterilization techniques, patient care, and more.
Upon completing a dental assistant program, students may be eligible to sit for the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam, which can help them advance in their careers and may be required for specific job positions.
CODA-Accredited Dental Assisting Programs
Dental assistant programs can be found at a variety of different types of institutions. You can apply to any of these schools to achieve your objective. Examples of dental assistant programs include:
Community colleges: These schools offer associate’s degree programs in dental assisting, typically taking two years to complete.
Vocational schools often offer shorter certificate or diploma programs in dental assisting that can be completed in a few months to a year.
Other institutions: Dental assisting programs may also be offered at private career colleges, technical institutes, and dental schools.
Some dental assistant programs may be offered in a hybrid format, which combines online coursework with in-person clinical training. Others may be provided online, although these programs may not be as familiar.
When choosing a dental assistant program, it’s essential to consider factors such as the length of the program, the cost, and the availability of externship or clinical experience opportunities.
It may also be helpful to research the program’s accreditation status and success rate in preparing students for certification exams.
Dental Assistant Program Length
Dental assistant programs typically take one to two years to complete, depending on the specific program and whether it is part-time or full-time.
Some programs may also offer evening or weekend classes to accommodate students’ schedules.
Dental assistant programs generally include classroom instruction and clinical experience and may lead to a certificate or an associate’s degree.
Dental assistant programs typically cover dental anatomy, chairside assisting, infection control, and radiography.
Upon completing a dental assistant program, graduates may be eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam, which is required to work as a dental assistant in many states.
To enroll in a dental assistant program, you typically need a high school diploma or equivalent.
Some programs may also have additional requirements, such as a minimum GPA or a certain number of high school science courses.
Some programs may also require applicants to take a placement test or submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, or a personal statement.
Once enrolled in a dental assistant program, you will typically be required to complete coursework in various subjects, including dental anatomy, dental materials, radiography, and chairside assisting.
You may also be required to participate in clinical experiences, which allow you to gain hands-on experience in a dental office setting.
In addition to coursework and clinical experience, you may also be required to complete a certain number of hours of supervised clinical practice.
Dental assistants are an essential part of the dental healthcare team, and there is a strong demand for qualified dental assistants.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.
This growth is expected to be driven by an aging population and an increasing emphasis on preventive dental care.
In addition to traditional dental office settings, dental assistants may also find opportunities in public health clinics, dental schools, and other locations.
Some dental assistants may choose to specialize in certain areas of dentistry, such as orthodontics or oral surgery, which may provide additional career opportunities.
Graduates of dental assistant programs may also consider pursuing further education to become dental hygienists or dentists.
Dental hygienists generally need an associate degree in dental hygiene, while dentists must complete a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program.
Dental Assistant Program Certification and Licensure
Certification programs for dental assistants are typically offered through community colleges, vocational schools, and dental schools.
These programs typically last one to two years and include classroom instruction and clinical experience.
Upon completing a dental assisting program, students are eligible to take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam. In addition to certification, some states require dental assistants to be licensed.
Licensure requirements vary by state but typically include completing a dental assisting program and passing a licensure exam.
Becoming a certified and licensed dental assistant can be a rewarding career choice for dental professionals.
Dental assistants enjoy a flexible work schedule, the opportunity to work with various patients, and the satisfaction of helping people maintain good oral health.
Hands-on Dental Assistant Training Programs: Curriculum
A dental assistant program typically includes coursework in topics such as dental anatomy, infection control, dental materials, chairside assisting, radiography, and office management.
The curriculum may also have hands-on training in a dental clinic or laboratory setting.
Dental assistant programs can vary, with some taking as little as nine months to complete and others taking up to two years. Most programs award a certificate or diploma upon completion, although some may offer an associate degree.
In addition to coursework, dental assistant training programs often include clinical experience, which allows students to gain hands-on experience in an actual dental office or clinic.
This can help students develop practical skills and gain confidence in their abilities.
Some dental assistant programs may also include externship opportunities, which allow students to work in a dental office or clinic under the supervision of a licensed dental professional.
This can provide valuable experience and help students make connections in the field.
In conclusion, dental assistant programs offer a comprehensive education in dentistry and provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their careers.
These programs also provide clinical experience, the opportunity to become certified and licensed, networking opportunities, and the potential for career advancement.
For individuals interested in pursuing a career in the dental field, joining a dental assistant program can be a valuable investment in their future.