Dental Assistant Career Training and Study Options

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Trained professionals perform the day-to-day administrative duties and procedures carried out within dental offices. Dental assistants conduct particular work tasks needed inside the industry. Educational training requirements are standard for most offices and students can obtain training by first researching the various dental assistant career training and study options.

The training requirements typically have students completing programs that last one-year. Vocational colleges suggest high school students that know they want to enter this field to take courses in health, chemistry, and office practices if available. By obtaining a certificate or diploma students are able to fully understand all the needed concepts to be successful. Training programs offer students the skills needed by providing coursework that focuses exclusively on professional duties. Students step into careers having the knowledge to perform tasks that include:

  • Disinfecting Instruments
  • Updating Patient Dental Records
  • Chair-side Assistance

…Depending on the office being worked for dental assistants may also prepare impressions, remove sutures, and apply anesthetics to gums. As the field has progressed many states are expanding career skills to include more clinical duties. Students can expect to perform coronal polishing and restorative dentistry practices. Students can learn these duties and more by working through programs at one of several vocational colleges that offers training.

Certificate programs usually take a little less than one-year to complete. Coursework immediately introduces students to the techniques used in the field to assists dentists. Taking x-rays and up updating dental records are major areas of training. Once students have a solid base understanding of the theories behind the field they enter clinical training. Theory courses can include dental office procedure and dental science. Clinical courses provide students with opportunities to establish skills working with dentists and performing procedures they will be expected to understand on-the-job.

Diploma programs are very similar to certificate programs but give students more clinical training and cover more topics. They last one-year and develop the tools needed to address all work related areas. Topics may include courses in human biology, radiology, oral anatomy, and dental office management. Programs are great for preparing students for traditional roles as dental assistants as well as concentrated duties. Programs at this level allow students to work exclusively in areas such as orthodontics and periodontics. Whether completing a certificate or diploma program students need to become certified. Most states require students to complete examinations offered by the Dental Assisting National Board.

Continuing education is essential to understand the latest trends in the field. New developments and practices are covered in seminars that the American Dental Assistant Association provides. Students can also complete associates degree programs. Students will gain management techniques that help them gain promotions. A large portion of training is spent in clinical rotations. Specific training options are offered for certification such as dental infection control and dental radiography. The dental industry provides students with multiple educational options at the vocational level of training. Students are able to start careers within a year or so by completing accredited dental assisting degree programs. The Commission on Dental Accreditation is able to accredit the programs that offer quality educational training.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised on our website.

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Renata McGee has 1 articles online

Renata McGee is a staff writer for, also known as Partners in Education and Tuition Assistance Programs. Locate Dental Assistant College Programs as well as Accredited Online Colleges for Dental Assistant Training at, your Partners in Education and Tuition Assistance Programs.

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Dental Assistant Career Training and Study Options

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This article was published on 2011/01/02