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Dental Assistant Education - The Training Required To Become A Dental Assistant

Jul 29, 2008
Dental assistant education can only begin after one has successfully graduated from High School or has acquired equivalent qualifications. For anyone seriously interested in pursuing a career as a dental assistant it is advisable that they make early preparations starting from selecting the right subjects whilst in high school which would include biology, chemistry and health. With a science biased high school education, it will be possible to enroll for a dental-assisting training program conducted by an institution accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation under the American Dental Association (ADA).

Usually a 1 year course leads to a dental assisting certificate or diploma. For those looking for an advanced course, they can seek admission in any community or junior college that offers a two year program in dental assistance, which will lead to an associate degree in dental assisting. There are a number of lesser valued 4 to 6 month dental assisting programs that are conducted by numerous vocational schools; however they may offer acceptable credentials for all dental assisting job openings, many of which only accept certifications accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation.

A typical dental assisting program leads to certification as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) and covers three semesters of instructions. During those three semesters a student will be expected to complete about 42 credit hours of course work that include dental assisting procedure courses, dental x-rays, dental materials, dental nutrition, office procedures, office emergencies, pharmacology and head and neck anatomy. During the last semester of the program, students will be required to complete a clinical rotation that takes in two or three dental offices. The curriculum for different semesters may be something similar to what is given below:

A good educational institution offering programs in dental assisting will have the necessary infrastructure in place to impart the best education to its students. These facilities may include computer equipped dental assisting laboratories, dental operatories, high class dental materials labs, x-ray rooms, sterilization rooms, lecture areas and class rooms. When graduating from such institutions, the students get their Certificate in Radiology, Infection Control and Jurisprudence along with CDA certification.

You may opt for higher education in your pursuit of a career in dental assisting. For this you will need to enroll for an associate degree program offered only through accredited US community and junior colleges and universities and which will take around two years to complete. On graduating, you are awarded an Associate in Applied Science degree in dental assistance. As an Associate in Dental Assisting, you are equipped with higher knowledge and skills as compared to certificate/holders and will be able to assist the dentist/dental surgeon in advanced dentistry functions also like sterilization, polishing, fluoride applications, preparing acrylic crowns and bridges, radiography certification and charting.
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