Are you considering what career you would like to have? Becoming a dental assistant can be a great career.
If you are at the stage of thinking about your own professional interests, it helps to understand what being a dental assistant involves. One of the first steps on this career path is to train as a dental assistant to increase your chances of getting a job in a dental practice.
Here is what you need to know about becoming a dental assistant training, the components of a successful career, and the overall employment prospects.
What Subjects Should You Take?
What do you need to become a dental assistant? Subjects such as the health sciences, and office management provide background knowledge that prepares you for certification programs and to work as a dental assistant. If you are in California, there are many trade schools in California from where you can get the training
Some certificates can be obtained by students who have just completed a dental assistance program, while others require a minimum of relevant professional experience
A typical dental assistance program includes the following courses:
- Infection Control
- Restorative Dentistry and Preventive Dentistry
- Dental Radiology
- Administration of Dental Practices
- Dental Specialties such as Prosthetics
Students generally receive hands-on training, including hands-on lab work and application of the dental assistant’s skills in a wide range of environments.
Some colleges also offer a dental radiology seminar, which teaches students the basic principles of dental radiology and provides them with a dental X-ray certificate.
Participation in a dentistry program does not require formal training, but a university degree.
Students can choose to take the National Entry Test for Female Dental Assistants, which is run by the National Committee of Female Dental Assistants. Dental assistants are nontraditional jobs for men.
Alternatively, they can look for work as specialized dental assistants and undertake further certifications. Moreover, education makes a person a stronger candidate for the job and provides a lever to negotiate for a higher salary.
High School Requirements
High school students preparing for a CDA career should take lessons in biology and other science subjects. Common courses include office management, dental materials, and communication, x-ray, the sciences, physiology, and virology.
Schools such as the Indianapolis School of Dentistry of Purdue University, Indiana University, and the School of Dentistry of the University of Alabama at Birmingham have world-class dental assistant and hygiene programs. You can then graduate from this dental assistant program.
Dental assistants can either specialize or focus on a specific treatment area, such as geriatric, pediatric, or orthodontic treatment. Dental hygienists examine patients to clean teeth and provide dental care.
They usually have a university degree or bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene, which they earn by examining patients, brushing teeth, and providing dental care to all.
Vocational Schools and Adult Education
Most dental assistance programs are offered through vocational schools or adult education centers. Some schools also offer associate courses for prospective dental assistants. In some states, you can obtain a dental certificate or diploma. This is how to become a dental assistant.
How long such training takes depends on the dental practice. The formal training required to become a dental assistant can take between nine months and two years depending on whether it is a certificate, a diploma, or a degree. For example, the dental assisting program at Unitek can be completed in just 10 months.
If you choose to train and live in a state that requires that you attend school before working as a dental assistant, you can expect to spend at least a year acquiring your certificate or diploma. If a candidate completes a two-year program, he will acquire an associate degree. Some associated courses last up to around two years but these are rare.
Most accredited programs that enable them to obtain a certificate or diploma after graduation are offered by adult education centers, but there are also vocational and technical schools.
The curriculum consists of lectures in the classroom and practical training in the clinical environment. In accredited programs that enable them to obtain a certificate or diploma after graduation, students learn subjects such as teeth, gums, jaws, and tools dentists use.
A two-year degree simply covers the same material in the certificate and diploma programs, it just ensuring a more holistic and in-depth training.
Several schools offer hybrid study structures that allow students to complete the clinical component in a campus-based environment while gaining hands-on experience.
You may also be able to transfer a loan or send it to a Bachelor of Dental Hygiene or a related discipline of your choice. Those wishing to complete the certification process must complete some work experience. They must also pass an examination called The General Chairside Assist (GC).
Before embarking on a formal education or training program, it is important to review the requirements of the state. Students should research to ensure that they acquire the skillset they need to succeed in their field.
The courses should focus on the sciences and the body to prepare for specialized medical work.
Acquiring this level of training entitles candidates to national certification and qualifies them to perform complex dental procedures such as dental cleaning and polishing.
Students who have not passed the DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam can repeat the exam as long as they are not in a state that requires additional courses and complete further certification preparation courses or training modules and repeat the exam.
With 900 available points, candidates must achieve at least 400 points to be certified.
Becoming a Dental Assistant Can Transform Your Life
If you love helping people, promoting wellness, and eventually working as a manager, then becoming a dental assistant is the best way for you.
If you buckle down and make an effort for several months, this is an area open to everyone willing to spend time and effort.
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