Dental Assistant Programs

The role of dental assistants in the field of health care often goes unnoticed. In actuality, they are one of the most vital and valuable members of the oral health care team. Working closely with dentists and dental hygienists, they ensure the delivery of quality oral health care services to patients. Individuals with good motor skills wanting to start a rewarding career related to health care should seriously consider dental assisting. This career option is also recommended for individuals who want to take part in improving the oral health condition of patients as dental assistants are significantly involved in patient education.

Most community colleges, trade schools, and technical institutes offer dental assistant programs that can be completed in less than one year. There are other programs that may take up to two years, while a few programs may be completed in as little as nine weeks. The American Dental Association (ADA) usually does not accredit a dental assistant program that is shorter than one year. The length of the course required to becoming a dental technician is usually determined by the state. Many states do not require accreditation by the ADA to begin your dental career.

In some states, dental technicians are not required to have any special training other than a high school diploma. In these cases, the dental assisting tech will learn their specific duties on the job, either by the dentist or another dental tech. It is recommended that students take courses in biology, chemistry, health, and office practices in high school if they plan to become a dental tech after they graduate. In other states, it is required that dental techs attend one of the many dental school programs and become either licensed or certified. To become licensed, students usually must attend dental assisting schools for at least ten months.

There are many different types of dental assistant programs available. The type of program that is required of each individual depends on many factors. The duties performed by dental assistants is usually regulated by the state, therefore, the type of training programs depends on the state. The majority of the United States requires dental assistants to complete certification through the Dental Assisting National Board and pass an exam in order to become certified. These types of programs are available in every state. In order to qualify for one of these programs, a high school diploma is required.

It used to be that assistants were not formally trained in the skills needed in this occupation. They only learned about the technical skills once they were hired to do the job. However, in recent years, there are an increasing number of dental assisting programs offered by community colleges, technical and vocational schools, and trade schools. This is possibly attributed to the increasing demand. And so, individuals who want to have an edge should enroll in dental assisting colleges or schools accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation to obtain formal training and education, which consists of didactic laboratory and clinical instruction that develops and enhances the skills of the students.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a dental assisting technician should call their local community college or trade school and ask about the requirements to join their dental assistant programs. In most cases, it is relatively easy to get into some sort of dental assisting program. The programs usually consist of classroom, laboratory and preclinical instruction on dental assisting skills. Whether your state requires any formal dental assisting education, it is a good idea to get into one of the programs. They are very helpful in preparing you for the duties that may be required in the dental office.