How long do you have to go to school to be a dentist assistant? Being a dental assistant is one of the fastest paths to getting into the health care field.
There’s a growing need for dental assistants and an outlook of growth for the future. This article will explain what schooling is needed to get into this exciting new career.
State requirements differ on whether you need to be registered or licensed as a dental assistant.
Also, many states require a radiology license, which can be applied for through the Dental Assisting National Board after passing an exam.
CPR is also a certification which may be required. Check with DANB.org for the specifics of your state.
With on-the-job training, you’ll be taught by the work staff and directed to get certification as needed. Many work places do prefer hiring someone with formal training.
Formal training can be acquired through academic programs of study at your local community college.
Many of the new pop up vocational and technical institute schools offer dental assisting programs. Local and national universities also offer dental schooling.
These programs can be from one to two years in length, and graduates will receive a certification or associate degree.
The mass sum of the programs takes from 10 month to a year and three months to complete.
There are accelerated courses of 4-6 months, but they’re not accredited. There are also online and distance courses.
A dental assistant can be hired without certification from the DANB, but their pay and benefits are lower.
To become a certified dental assistant, you’ll have to pass an exam evaluating your knowledge. You’ll be nationally certified when you pass the Dental Assistants National Board’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam.
For the dental assistants trained on-the-job or formally trained through a non-accredited program, they’re eligible after two years working full-time.
The Dental Assistants National Board certification meets the requirements of 37 states.
Some states will require additional certifications like x-ray, CPR and continuing education.
Many use this job to further advance in the healthcare field, so they continue their certifications and education anyway.
Being a dental assistant is a stable career choice with opportunity for advancement.
You’ll be able to help people and learn valuable skills, which will make you invaluable in the ever-growing health field.
Even though many of the dental assisting schools today provide hands on training in their classrooms this exposure still does not compare to an actual office setting.
Therefore, if you are serious about this career path speak with a few local dentists about shadowing them and their assistants.
This way you will be able to get a clearer understanding of what you will be doing. If possible, ask to shadow on days that the dentist will have more difficult procedures scheduled.
This will help to prepare you for the trauma cases that dentist and their assistants treat on an on going basis.