Individuals who want to become a dental assistant will need to attend a dental assistant training program for one to two years. A degree in dental assistant training can be obtained through online schools, community colleges, vocational/technical schools or through dental schools. For those who want to get a certification to become a dental assistant, they will need to attend school for one year while those who prefer to obtain an Associate’s degree will have to enroll in a community college or an online school that offers an Associate’s degree in Dental Assistant Training.
To get a dental assistant certificate, students need to complete classroom instruction and laboratory training for at least one year at a vocational or technical school. Some dental assistant programs that grant a certificate may also be taken in online schools. To be eligible for admission, students must possess a high school diploma or present a proof of GED completion.
To obtain an Associate degree in Dental Assistant Training, students must enroll in a community college, a dental school or a university in order to complete the 2- year program. There are also several online schools that offer 2-year dental assistant programs. The program itself takes approximately 9-11 months but students enrolled in the 2 –year program must also complete general education requirements in order to earn their degree. To gain admission to these schools, students must possess a high school diploma or equivalent. In some cases, those who want to get their 2-year degree in dental assistant training are also required to take supplemental classes such as biology, chemistry, health and computer-related courses to increase their chances of admission.
Often times, a period of on-the-job training is required even for those who have completed their dental assistant education. In these cases, new dental assistants are taught by their employers on how to perform specific tasks such as patient care, maintaining records, keeping and using instruments and more to keep the dental office running efficiently.
Because enrollment in dental assistant programs is increasing each year, schools are making admissions to the program more competitive than ever. This is why it is important for prospective students to apply as soon as possible to secure their spot. Additionally, although the minimum requirement in applying to dental assistant programs is a high school diploma, there are schools that have started requiring certain pre-requisites in order to be considered for admission. This is why it is wise to complete these courses beforehand. Students that are also uncertain of the requirements must consult with a counselor for assistance in the application process. Consulting with a counselor is also recommended to prospective students in order for them to get an idea of how the program is like. Schools are very particular when it comes to student applications for their dental assistant program. Hence, students must make sure that their applications are complete and that they have met the minimum requirements before applying.