A dental assistant works alongside a dentist andprovides more efficient dental treatment, by preparing the patient for treatment, sterilizing instruments, passing instruments during the procedure, holding a suction device, exposing dental radiographs, taking impressions, and fabricating provisional crowns.
If this is a career path that you are interested in, then you will need to graduate from a dental assisting degree program. Therefore, you may be wondering, what do I need to be accepted to dental assisting school? What dental assisting courses will I take in dental assisting school? And what will I do when I graduate dental assisting school?
Why should I go to dental assisting school?
Most dentists will prefer to hire individuals who have completed dental assisting school and are certified by their local dental assistant association, and you will have an edge over those who do not have these credentials.
Being certified after graduation can also help you to negotiate for a better salary and benefits package from your employer.
What do I need to be accepted to dental assisting school?
Most dental assist degree programs are offered at a college-level. In order to be accepted into a dental assisting degree program you will need:
• A highschool diploma or GED
• Grade 11 math, biology and chemistry courses
• Grade 12 English
• You will need to pass a police background check
If you are interested in a specific dental assisting school, take some time to research their requirements to see if they have any additional requirements.
What dental assisting courses will I take?
As part of your dental assisting degree program, you will take the following dental assisting courses:
• Dental materials
• Dental radiology
• Oral health and preventing dental disease
• Business office skills
• Clinical techniques
Many dental assisting programs will also offer you the opportunity for an internship, or a co-op, in order to apply the skills you’ve learned in dental assisting school to “real world” situations.
What will I do when I graduate dental assisting school?
Once you have completed your dental assisting degree, you will be eligible for a job as a dental assistant in a dental office. You can also apply for certification with your local Dental Assistants Association following successful completion of the National Dental Assisting Examining Board examination. While this certification is not required to work in the field, as previously mentioned it has been recognized as a competitive advantage by many dentists.
Dental assisting degree graduates can work in dental offices, hospitals, and public health services.
Getting certified will also entail a commitment to ongoing education in your field, so keep that in mind.
The average salary for a dental assistant is $ 54,000 annually. This will of course be determined by where you are working, your years of experience, and your geographic location.