How Long is Dental Assistant School?

How long is dental assistant school? You might be surprised to hear that it can take less than a year to complete training to receive a certificate. There are even programs online that you can take in the comfort of your own home! Not only will training help to build an impressive resume, upon receiving a certificate of completion you will also become eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board exam to become certified. Becoming certified makes you a nationally recognized dental assistant, which will help you earn more among other benefits.

How Long is Dental Assistant School?

Most programs accredited by the ADA will last around 9 to 12 months, and upon completion you will receive a certification or diploma. You only need a high school diploma or equivalent to apply. These programs are offered by dental assistant schools and online colleges. However, if you would like to receive an associate’s degree you can always take part in programs that last around 2 years. These programs are often offered by community colleges and technical schools.

Accredited programs will leave you with all the necessary skills and training you need to begin your career in dental assisting, and helps to boost your qualifications to impress employers. Employers are always looking for potential candidates with formal training, which is why accredited programs are ideal. You will also have the opportunity to become certified once you have completed an accredited program, which helps you to earn more and perform more duties around the office.

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Non-accredited Programs

How long is dental assistant school for non-accredited programs? These programs run anywhere from 4 to 6 months, but being that they aren’t accredited by the ADA they don’t provide any advantages other than teaching you the dental assisting basics. Programs like these do not offer a certificate or diploma and will not allow you to take the DANB certification exam. These programs are not recommended as it doesn’t give any proof of training, and will not help boost your qualifications significantly. They are meant to provide courses that take less investment in time and money, but don’t provide all the benefits that an accredited program does.

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Are There Dental Assistant Schools Online?

Are There Dental Assistant Schools Online?

Well of course there are dental assistant schools online! Everything is online nowadays! Did you really think there wouldn’t be any in this day and age? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you already knew.

Finding dental assistant schools online is important if you want to advance your career in dental assisting or get the necessary training and skills to become one, but you might not have the time to go to school during the day. If you already have a busy schedule you probably won’t be able to make room for it. Fortunately there are a few online options you can choose which will get you the training you need in the convenience of your own home. Continue Reading

How to Become a Dental Assistant Infographic

So you’re probably wondering what dental assisting is all about and what do you have to do to become one. Well, requirements for entry are pretty much minimal and this quick infographic will help shed light on whatever it is you want to know, including vital information such as employment statistics, job description, requirements, job info, and more. If you still have any questions, you can always refer to our dental assistant FAQ or visit our homepage. Continue Reading

The Definitive Dental Assistant FAQ

The Definitive Dental Assistant FAQ

This is THE definitive dental assistant FAQ that is meant to help address the most frequently asked questions people have. If you are interested in dental assisting and want your questions answered as concisely as possible, you might want to browse this resource.

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How Long Does It Take to Become a Dental Assistant?

How Long Does it Take to Become a Dental Assistant?

Have you ever wondered how long does it take to become a dental assistant? What exactly do you have to do before you can step into the dental office and start working? The answer might surprise you, most dental assistants only have a high school diploma! Yes, it’s true, most dental assistants don’t have any formal qualifications and the ones that do receive their certificate or diploma within a year, just like certified nursing assistants! So if you were sweating bullets before there is no cause for worry, the process of becoming a dental assistant shouldn’t be a difficult or intimidating task. Continue Reading

Online Dental Assistant Programs

Online Dental Assistant Programs

Online dental assistant programs are great ways for students to learn all that is needed in the field of dental assisting (ie. skills and knowledge) as well as receiving a certificate or diploma. Obtaining a certificate or diploma should be a common goal for those wishing to become dental assistants for they improve the portfolio of the qualified candidate  as well as demonstrates proficiency and professionalism. A perk of online programs is that it beats the hassle of commuting to classes at DA schools when they can be easily taken with a click of a button in the comfort of your own home. They also provide students with flexibility and usually cost less than traditional schools. Generally, online programs can be completed within a year if you are a full time student, but may take up to two years if classes are taken part time. Accredited online dental assistant programs usually require 25 to 45 credit hours in length. Continue Reading

Dental Assistant Schools

There are a lot of dental assistant schools out there to choose from but you want to find the one that best suits you right? Well then you are going to need to do a little research first before you decide which school is right for you. There are dental assistant schools that can last anywhere from 4 months to 2 years and they will also cost different amounts. You are also going to need to know the difference between accredited and non-accredited schools and why the ADA prefers one over the other. We’ll review everything you need to know here.

Dental Assistant Schools

Most dental programs last around 9 months to a year for a certificate/diploma or two years for an associate’s degree. These dental programs provide a lot of practical knowledge for students and prepares them for the occupation of dental assisting. Not only that but receiving a certificate, diploma, or degree can also help a dental assistant in becoming certified in the future which can result in a higher salary and increased benefits. But these schools need to be accredited by the ADA.

What the ADA stands for is the American Dental Association which is an organization that provides guidelines in which dental assisting students are to be taught by. These guidelines cover everything the ADA believes a dental assistant should know and provides for a thorough education. To find ADA accredited schools in your area check out this resource. There have been 269 ADA approved dental assisting training programs in 2006 which means there are even more today!

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As we have discussed most ADA approved dental programs last anywhere from 9 months to 2 years. Most dental assistant schools only require a high school diploma or equivalent to apply. The average course usually lasts around 9 months and is provided by dental assistant schools and online colleges. Associate degrees are offered by junior and community colleges. This is much quicker and easier than what it takes for most other dental occupations. For example becoming a dentist can take up to 6 years to complete school! The advantage of receiving a certificate/diploma/degree from an ADA approved school is that it looks better in the eyes of a potential employer and that it is recognized everywhere in your state.

Please note however that there are private dental assistant schools out there that offer programs that last 4 to 6 months but most likely these programs are not approved by the ADA. However effective these programs are they do not offer a certificate/diploma/degree that is valid or recognized by the ADA. These programs are usually meant to provide an effective course with significantly less investment in time and money. This option is recommended when applying for dental offices that don’t require a certificate/diploma/degree but are looking for basic dental assistant training.

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Most dental agencies look for an applicant that has had some form of prior training. Hiring doctors look for a qualified individual that has basic dental assisting skills, meets the state requirements, has the right attitude, maintains professionalism, and has a desire to learn. Having a certificate/diploma/degree is not always necessary but is often preferred.

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How To Become a Dental Assistant

By now you’re probably excited about starting a career in one of the fastest growing fields in the US. With a growth rate of 31% between 2010-2020 what’s not to love? Not only are chances of getting hired easier but it is one of the most stable job markets out there (closely related to medical assisting and certified nurse assisting). But you probably want to know exactly how to become a dental assistant right? Well it can be difficult not knowing where to start but we will explain the entire process here. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

How To Become a Dental Assistant

There are a couple of routes you can take on how to become a dental assistant. In most states there are no formal requirements to become an assistant besides having a high school diploma or GED. But even if there are no requirements many people that want to become dental assistants decide to get formal training in order to have a better chance of getting hired and staying hired. So you have two options: either find a job that offers on the job training or attend formal training to receive a degree/certificate. We’ll explain what you need to do for either option. But you should check your state’s requirements first.

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On the Job Training

1. Earn your high school diploma or GED. This is an obvious step when applying for almost any job. A diploma or GED are mandatory on how to become a dental assistant.

2. Check your state’s requirements for dental assisting. As we’ve discussed many states do not have formal requirements but some do. Check the DANB for what your state requires.

3. Find a job that offers on the job training. Once you’re ready you can start looking around for jobs. Jobs that offer on the job training are harder to find nowadays but they are out there. Check out our site’s job search for assistance and contact offices to find out whether or not they offer it. If you need some interview tips you can check out this article.

Formal Dental Assistant Training

1. Earn your high school diploma or GED. Again this is a basic requirement for most jobs.

2. Check your state’s requirements. Not all states have the same requirements. Some have different standards to be met by state law.

3. Find the right dental assisting program. Some programs run for 9 months to a year and graduates receive a certificate upon completion. Other programs run for about two years and are offered by trade schools and community colleges. Graduates receive a degree upon completion. Make sure the program is ADA approved.

4. Start looking for a job. Once you have all your requirements met the final step is to look for a job. Armed with your new certificate/degree you will have a better chance of getting hired over your other competitors. Look here to learn how to write your resume and dental assistant cover letter.

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And that’s all there is to it on how to become a dental assistant. It’s pretty straightforward for the most part. For an even better advantage in the field (including a higher salary and more benefits) you can look into getting certified.

Where Can I Get Dental Assistant Training?

Dental Assistant Training

Dental assistant training can be a valuable investment if you’re looking to become a dental assistant, and there are many institutions that offer it. Schools offer formal education and training to fully equip you with the skills and knowledge you’ll need on the job so you’ll be better prepared while minimizing on-the-job training. Not only that but passing an accredited course can help you later on to obtain certification, which helps you earn more and receive extra benefits. Typically dental assistant training teaches you about what your tasks are, including interaction with patients, the skills you will need, and how to help in running the dental office efficiently. Continue Reading