Dental assistant schools prepare their students for a career assisting the dentist with patient care, as well as clerical tasks within the dental office.
Some top dental assistant schools include:
- University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
- Indiana University
- University of Alabama Birmingham
Dental assistant training prepares you for an average dental assistant salary of $34,140 or $16.41 an hour.
What to Expect
Dental assistant certification programs can be completed in about a year. After the coursework in our dental assistant program in a brick and mortar setting or in one of the many online dental assistant programs, you will want to take the Certified Dental Assistant Exam. This $300 test is a 320-question multiple choice test which will test you on infection control, chairside assisting, and radiation health.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Online dental assistant programs allow the most flexibility in terms of attendance, travel, and scheduling. Many people who are switching careers or moving into a career after staying at home to care for children opt to train online rather than attending a face-to-face dental assistant certification program.
Prior to the proliferation of dental assistant schools and more and more states requiring dental assistant certification, dental assistant hopefuls simply showed up at the dentist office door, high school diploma in hand and learned on the job.
This is not the case in today’s climate, however, without dental assistant certification and courses from one of the many dental assistant schools, your resume will go into the round file (trash can).
Do You Need to Get Certified?
A 2010 survey conducted by Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) showed that certified dental assistants make more money and have less turnover than non-certified dental assistants. Becoming certified allow dental assistants to be given more responsibility, which turned what could have become a mindless position into a career with dynamic energy and increasing responsibility.
Certification also granted dental assistants more benefits, such as vacation days, 401K, insurance, and even free dental care for themselves and their families.
What’s Included In a Dental Assistant Certification
The courses included in dental assistant certification programs includes
- Biomedical classes
- Clinical practice
- General students
- Infection and hazard control,
- Clinical procedures,
- Preventative dentistry,
- Radiography, and even
- Dental materials are standard
Coursework is typically laboratory, lecture, and clinical.
Can You Get Financial Aid?
Financial assistance is available for both traditional dental assistant schools and online dental assistant programs. Many programs require you to have taken the SAT and ask for a minimum SAT score as well as a minimum GPA in the courses you have already taken at the university or college where the dental assistant certification program is housed.
Many programs have a component requiring students to perform clinical observation hours of a dental assistant in a clinical setting (a dentist’s office), which requires you to wear professional attire.
How to Prepare for Your Education
Many dental assistant schools assess potential students with points. They get points for having taken certain courses in high school, courses they’ve taken in college, a certain GPA, a certain SAT score, and so on. Potential students need a minimum number of points to be granted acceptance to the dental assistant training program.
Getting into dental assistant schools is the first step toward a new career.