The Dental assistant degree is your key to a successful future in the dental field. With a good outlook of dental assistant jobs, more people are adopting this career path. Getting a degree dental assistant will ensure that you have the desired skills and competencies to perform the job better than others.
Many colleges offer a 1-year program in dental assisting, entitling you to a diploma or a certificate. Most of the states require such certificates and diplomas as a requirement to work. However, if you wish to pursue a degree, a few colleges also offer 2-year associate’s degree as well.
When selecting a dental assisting school program, ensure it is accredited by the CDA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) of the American Dental Association. The program should teach front and back dental office skills performed by dental assistants, like dental office administration, emergency measures, chair-side assisting and other general skills such as communication and time-management.
After you have completed an accredited dental assisting program, you can also take a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam administered by Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). You will have to renew your certificate every year. DANB also offers Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) and Certified Preventive Dental Assistant (CPDA) exams.
You can also earn your dental assistant degree through online programs. With an online dental assistant program, you will learn all the related theories and concepts over an internet connection. This allows you the flexibility to handle other responsibilities with a professional education. However, at end of the online program, you will be required to gain practical experience. You can do so by joining a dentist or a hospital for a few months. You will experience what you have been learning so far. Now people will always require dental care so this profession is absolutely recession-proof!
When you get on-the-job training, you will gain clinical experience in how to actually handle things in the real situation – such things books cannot cover. There will be situations when patients will be lined up in the waiting area complaining about the uncomfortable seats or the kid in the dental chair who is just too scared to be operated on. Your task will be to support the dentist and help him/her run the clinic. And if you feel this is not your cup of tea, take a look at this post about Culinary School.
You will also need to keep yourself up-to-date about the latest happenings in the dental world – latest practices and procedures, any new terminology or developments. There are various dental magazines you can subscribe to. Also available are many online dental journals that publish researches related to oral health. Keeping pace with changes in the dental industry will help you succeed and progress faster.
For a license to carry out certain advanced functions such as radiological procedures, some states require you to get further approval. The degree of requirements may vary from state-to-state. You might to have clear one more exam or obtain an extra certificate to be eligible for this. The CDA exam by DANB covers requirements of 30 states for extended functions of a dental assistant. So even when your family upbringing wasn’t that great, choosing this profession may be your ticket toward a fine future.
Once you get your dental assistant degree, you ready to explore the world of dentistry. The opportunities are ever growing and the field is vastly open to progress.