Certified dental assistants offer both clerical and clinical support in professional dental office settings. They learn the fundamentals of good oral health and how to interact with patients by obtaining an associate’s degree in dental assisting. This type of program is usually offered through a vocational school or 2-year community college and is designed to give aspiring students a strong foundation in dental assistant duties and dental office procedures.
Students learn how to successfully identify, clean, and maintain basic dentistry equipment. They also learn the fundamentals of oral health maintenance and dental radiology and need to complete a practical, supervised course covering chairside assistance and dental assisting methods before they’re allowed to graduate.
Program CourseworkMost dental assisting courses offered within a corresponding educational program are somewhat practical in nature and give students the necessary skill sets they need in order to obtain certification. Some of the courses include the following:
• Dental materials
• Chairside assisting
• Dental radiology
• Dental language
• Oral anatomy
• Basics of dental profession
• Dental lab procedures
• Dentist office procedures
• CPR and First-Aid techniques
• Clinical chairside practicum
CertificationMost U.S. states require all dental assistants to obtain a license by successfully completing a professional educational training course or passing a corresponding series of exams. Most states recognize CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) certification.
Aspiring dental students who wish to earn certification in dental assistance are required to have a high school diploma or obtain their GED. Students who earned good grades in English communications, social sciences, and mathematics will probably excel in the program.