Dental assisting is a rewarding career, helping people with dental problems. If you are interested in becoming a dental assistant, you should consider getting dental assisting training. Becoming a dental assistant is easy.
What dental assistants do:
Briefly, dental assistants help the dentist with diagnosis, treatment of dental patients. Specific duties of dental assistants include gathering and updating dental records, clean and sterilize dental instruments and prepare dental treatment rooms ready.
Dental assistants help the dentist during dental procedures, getting dental materials and instruments ready to be used by the dentist, using suction to clear saliva and water out of the treatment area in the patient’s mouth, taking and processing dental x-rays, taking impressions of the patient’s teeth for mold-making, handle patient appointments and billing.
Where to get dental assisting training:
You do not need a formal training or education to become an entry-level dental assistant in most states. Some dental offices are willing to hire dental assistants with no training. You will be learning and training to become a dental assistant on the job. However, most dental offices look for dental assistants with formal training or experience.
Community colleges, trade schools and technical institutes offer formal dental assisting training programs. In general, you need to have a license or certificate to perform more advanced functions like x-ray taking.
There are over 250 dental assisting programs approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). These programs include classroom learning, laboratory work, pre-clinical instructions and internship in dental offices. Most dental assisting training programs take about one year to complete and lead to a certificate or diploma. Community colleges offer two-year dental assisting programs that lead to an associate degree. To enter these programs, you must have a high school diploma or GED.
Because different dentists have different ways of doing things, you should expect to go through a period of training in each dental office that you work for.
Dental Assistants Certification
To perform extended functions, dental assistants need to become licensed or registered. Dental assisting license can be obtained by attending an accredited dental assisting program and passing the required examination.
In order to maintain the license, dental assistants need to fulfill the requirements, such as attending certain number of hours of continuing education.
Licensing requirements vary by states, you should contact the board office in your state to learn what the specific requirements are for your state.
The National Dental Assisting Board (DANB) administers Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential. The CDA credential is recognized by most states toward meeting various requirements. To qualify for DANB’s CDA certification, you must have graduated from a CODA recognized dental assisting program or have 2 years of experience as a dental assistant.
Dental Assistants Advancement
After having dental assisting experience, some dental assistants become dental office managers, sales representatives for dental product manufacturers, insurance claims processors and dental-assisting instructors. Some dental assistants also attend dental hygiene schools and become dental hygienists.
Dental assisting can be a fun and rewarding career. If you are ready to learn more about dental assisting training, you should learn about your states requirements and search for a dental assisting training program near where you live.