How To Become a Dental Assistant

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Dental Assistants career information
pros and cons of being a Dental Assistant

Dental Assistants

assist dentist, set up equipment, prepare patient for treatment, and keep records.

$39770
Salary
74%
Job Satisfaction
Not Too Hard
Becoming One
High
Job Growth
Suitable Personality

How To Become a Dental Assistant

How long does it take, what degree do you need and more.


In this requirements guide for Dental Assistants, you will find out what do you need to become a Dental Assistant, how hard is it, and what does it take to become one.

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



What degree do you need

Recommended degree level

Post-Secondary Certificate

We did a survey to ask other Dental Assistants what degree they had when they became a Dental Assistant. Here are the results.
a Post-Secondary Certificate
62.54%

Associate’s Degree
11.99%

High School Diploma
9.42%

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Dental Assistants or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Dental Assistants what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Dental Assisting

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 ? 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?

View available schools





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How hard is it

Difficulty
Not Too Hard

You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be a Dental Assistant. For example, an electrician must complete 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.

Careers in this difficulty category will usually need 1 or 2 years of on-the-job training and informal training with experienced workers. These careers usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Similar careers include hydroelectric production managers, travel agents, electricians, court reporters, and medical assistants.


Related work experience required
6 months to 1 year

6 months to 1 year
30.56%

1 to 2 years
28.35%

None
11.25%

Job training
3 to 6 months

3 to 6 months
33.12%

Up to 1 month
21.95%

6 months to 1 year
17.9%



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




Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Dental Assistants are generally very knowledgeable 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



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