How To Become A Dental Assistant: Degree and Education Requirements

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what degree do you need to become a Dental Assistant
majors for Dental Assistants

Dental Assistants

Other names for this job might include Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Registered Dental Assistant, Dental Aide, Dental Assistant (DA), Dental Nurse, Dental Office Manager, Dentist Attendant, Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA), Expanded Function Dental Assistant, Oral Surgery Assistant


  • $36920
    Salary
  • 74%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

B



Be A Dental Assistant: What You Really Need


In this requirements guide for Dental Assistants, you will find out what do you need to become a Dental Assistant and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Dental Assistant.



Degree required

Recommended degree level

Post-Secondary Certificate

Certificate
62.54%

Associates degree
11.99%

High School Diploma
9.42%

Some college courses
8.46%

First professional degree
5.7%

Generally, employers are looking for Dental Assistants who have a Certificate. They also prefer someone who is good in Active Listening and Reading Comprehension.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become A Dental Assistant or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Dental Assistants what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Dental Assisting/Assistant

There are several possible paths to becoming a dental assistant. Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass a state exam. In other states, there are no formal educational requirements. High school students interested in a career as a dental assistant should take courses in biology, chemistry, and anatomy. Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass a state exam.



Schools

schools for Dental Assistants

Interested in becoming A Dental Assistant? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

Click to start becoming a Dental Assistant




How long does it take

Difficulty
Medium

You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be A Dental Assistant.

For example: An electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

To become A Dental Assistant, you will usually need 1 to 2 years of training which includes both on-the-job experience and training with experienced workers.


How long does it take
9 to 18 months


Work experience
6 months to 1 year

6 months to 1 year
30.56%

1 to 2 years
28.35%

No experience
11.25%

1 to 3 months
10.64%

0 to 1 month
10.49%

Job training
3 to 6 months

3 to 6 months
33.12%

0 to 1 month
21.95%

6 months to 1 year
17.9%

1 to 3 months
11.7%

No training
11.25%

Most Dental Assistants have 6 months to 1 year work experience and 3 to 6 months job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.



License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Requirements vary by state


Some states require dental assistants to be certified; requirements vary by state. To obtain certification, dental assistants must pass the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam from the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). To take the exam, dental assistants must either have graduated from an accredited program or have a high school diploma, and complete the required amount of on-the-job training. Applicants must also have current certification in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Some states require that dental assistants be licensed or register with DANB to complete regulated tasks, such as coronal polishing, in a dentist’s office; requirements vary by state. In other states, there are no formal educational requirements to become an entry-level dental assistant. Contact state boards of dentistry for specific requirements.



Skills required

We asked other Dental Assistants if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Active Listening what does this mean
2.Reading Comprehension what does this mean
3.Speaking what does this mean
4.Critical Thinking what does this mean
5.Service Orientation what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Dental Assistants have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Cooperation and Attention to Detail.

1.Cooperation
2.Attention to Detail
3.Integrity
4.Self Control
5.Dependability




Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Dental Assistants you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Medicine and Dentistry what does this mean
2.English Language what does this mean
3.Customer and Personal Service what does this mean
4.Education and Training what does this mean
5.Psychology what does this mean

As A Dental Assistant, you may also be required to know how to use certain Electronic mail software, Medical software and Accounting software tools.

Email software (Electronic mail software)
Henry Schein Dentrix software (Medical software)
Intuit Quicken software (Accounting software)
Kodak Dental Systems Kodak SOFTDENT Practice management software PMS (Medical software)
Microsoft Excel (Spreadsheet software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for




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Related to Dental Assistants Requirements

Dental Assistants requirements, how to become Dental Assistants, degree required to be a Dental Assistant, Dental Assistants license and certifications, majors to be a Dental Assistant, is it hard to become a Dental Assistant and how long does it take

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm
http://www.adaausa.org/
http://www.ada.org/
http://www.danb.org/

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Dental Assistants
Written by: Stanley Tan
Dental Assistants assist dentist, set up equipment, prepare patient for treatment, and keep records.
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