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Dental Assistant Vocational Schools

Dental assistants are in more demand than ever. Dentists are increasingly relying on their assistants to handle routine aspects of their practice like settling patients into the exam chair, sterilizing the instruments, processing x-rays and maintaining dental records. In some states, dental assistants with the proper certification can handle more complex tasks like coronal polishing and fluoride treatments.

Dental Assisting

Dental assistant vocational, trade and technical schools can prepare you to work in a variety of settings -- from an oral surgeon's office to a pediatric dental clinic. Pursuing nationally recognized qualifications or an area of specialization can help you find the right fit for your career in this growing field.

Dental assisting specializations

The majority of dental assistants work in regular dental offices or clinics and therefore concentrate their training on general dentistry. However, there are opportunities to specialize in this field. In order to work in a dental specialty, your state or your employer may require additional training or certification.

Some dental assistant schools offer students the ability to receive specialized training. Others may offer training rotations that allow you to experience several specialty areas over the course of your schooling. In addition to general dentistry, specialties for dental assistants include:

  • Pediatrics: specializing in children and families
  • Orthodontics: specializing in incorrect bites due to irregularities in teeth or the jaw
  • Periodontics: specializing in gums, membranes, and bones that support teeth and the treatment and prevention of periodontal disease
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery: specializing in jaw, mouth or face surgery including plastic surgery, dental implants or oral cancer
  • Endodontics: specializing in dental pulp as in the case of root canals or cracked teeth

Dental assisting certifications and degrees

Depending on your state regulations and your employer's expectations, requirements for becoming a dental assistant range from a high school diploma and on-the-job training to a one-year certificate or a two-year associate's degree. High school classes in biology, anatomy and chemistry can help prepare students for a career in dental assisting.

Dental assistant vocational schools provide more specialized courses like oral anatomy where you'll learn about teeth, jaws and gums. Courses in chair-side assisting will teach you about dental tools and terminology. Some dental assisting schools offer classes in dental science, dental materials and radiology in addition to office skills including computing and communications. Laboratory classes and supervised practice offer hands-on dental assisting experience.

Some states require dental assistants to be certified, and some employers simply prefer to higher certified assistants. To check what's necessary for your state, the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB.org) lists specific state-by-state requirements.

To be eligible for certification, you must have completed a program from an accredited dental assisting school and be CPR certified. Alternatively, you may have a high school diploma along with 3,500 of approved work experience. For specialized certifications, check DANB's exam eligibility criteria.

DANB offers four broad certifications that can prepare you to specialize or gain a greater degree of responsibility on the job.

  • Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam covers general chair-side assisting, radiation health and safety, and infection control.
  • Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) covers orthodontic assisting and infection control.
  • Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA) covers coronal polishing, sealants, topical anesthetic and topical floride.
  • Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant (CRFDA) covers anatomy, morphology and physiology, impressions, temporaries, isolations, sealants, and restorative functions.

DANB also offers more targeted certifications, components of the broader certifications, which can often be taken with few or no prerequisites. Those include:

  • Infection Control (ICE)
  • Sealants (SE)
  • Impressions (IE)
  • Anatomy, Morphology and Physiology (AMP)
  • Coronal Polishing (CP)

Dental Assisting Salary and Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), dental assistants in the U.S. earned a median annual wage of $34,900, or $16.78 an hour, in May 2013. The top 10 percent earned at least $48,350 a year, while the lowest 10 percent earned up to $22,220. New Hampshire was top-paying state for dental assistants, with mean annual wages of $43,810, with Alaska and Minnesota coming in 2nd and 3rd.

CareerAnnual Median WageProjected Employment ChangeProjected 2012-2022 Growth
Dentists, All Other Specialists1701104006.3
Dental Laboratory Technicians368301,0002.6
Dentists, General14954020,60016.3
Dental Hygienists7152064,20033.3
Dental Assistants3539074,40024.5
*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)

The BLS paints strong employment picture for dental assistants, with 25 percent growth predicted through 2022. This growth is driven in large part by improved access to health care.

Finding the right fit

Varying degrees of responsibility exist within the field of dental assisting and may depend your on specific certifications and areas of specialization. Pursuing additional certifications and specialties can help you target your career and may help you find the job that best fits your interests and abilities.

Sources:

Certified Dental Assistant, Exams and Certifications, Dental Assisting National Board, Inc., http://www.danb.org/Become-Certified/Exams-and-Certifications.aspx

Dental Assistant, American Dental Association, 2014, http://www.ada.org/en/home-ada/education-careers/careers-in-dentistry/dental-team-careers/dental-assistant

Dental Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319091.htm

Dental Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm

Dental Assistant Vocational Schools
 
Results:  10
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Reach your career goals with a degree or diploma from Everest Institute.

Programs : Dental Assistant(Diploma), Medical Administrative Assistant (Diploma), Medical Assistant (Diploma), and more.

Campus Locations :

South Plainfield: 5000 Hadley Rd Suite 100 South Plainfield, NJ 07080

Austin: 9100 US Hwy 290 East Building 1, Suite 100 Austin, TX 78724

Houston: 255 Northpoint Drive Suite 100 Houston, TX 77060

Dearborn: 23400 Michigan Ave Suite 200 Dearborn, MI 48124

Norcross: 1750 Beaver Ruin Rd Suite 500 Norcross, GA 30093

Columbus: 825 Tech Center Drive Columbus, OH 43230

Southfield: 21107 Lahser Rd Southfield, MI 48033

Marietta: 1600 Terrell Mill Rd Suite G Marietta, GA 30067

Detroit: Stroh River Place 300 River Place Drive Suite 1000 Detroit, MI 48207

Pittsburgh: 100 Forbes Ave Suite 1200 Pittsburgh, PA 15222

San Antonio: 6550 First Park Ten Blvd San Antonio, TX 78213

Portland: 9600 SW Oak St 4th Floor Portland, OR 97223

Jonesboro: 6431 Tara Blvd Jonesboro, GA 30236

Get allied health training with Ross Medical Education Center.

Programs : Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant, and more.

Campus Locations :

Evansville: 227 N Green River Rd Evansville, IN 47715

Muncie: 411 West Riggin Muncie, IN 47303

Brighton: 8110 Murphy Drive Brighton, MI 48116

Saginaw: 4300 Fashion Square Blvd. Suite 202 Saginaw, MI 48603

Grand Rapids: 4528 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508

Sylvania: 5834 Monroe Street Suite F - J Sylvania, OH 43560

Flint: G3630 Miller Rd Suite D Flint, MI 48507

Lansing: 4106 W. Saginaw Hwy. Lansing, MI 48917

Huntsville: 930 Old Monrovia Road, NW, NW, Suite 12, Huntsville, AL 35806

Madison Heights: 29429 John R Madison Heights, MI 48071

Fort Wayne: 4122 Lima Road Unit A5 Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Muskegon: 950 W. Norton Ave Suite D Muskegon, MI 49441

Granger: 445 E. University Drive Granger, IN 46530

Knoxville: 206 North Seven Oaks Drive Knoxville, TN 37922

Owensboro: 410 Southtown Blvd Suite 6 Owensboro, KS 42303

Erlanger: 600 Rodeo Drive, Ste. 2 Erlanger, KY 41018

Niles: 5555 Youngstown-Warren Rd Unit 909 Niles, OH 44446

New Baltimore: 51133 Birch Street Suite 100 New Baltimore, MI 48047

Ann Arbor: 4741 Washtenaw Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Portage: 6235 South Westnedge Portage, MI 49002

Johnson City: 3021 E. Oakland Ave. Johnson City, TN 37601

Davison: 815 South State Street Davison, MI 48423

Canton: 44958 Ford Road Canton, MI 48187

Cincinnati: 11590 Century Blvd., Ste. 210 Cincinnati, OH 45246

Charleston: 5707 MacCorkle Ave, SE, Suite 20 Charleston, WV 25304

Dayton: 4490 Brandt Pike Dayton, OH 45424

Morgantown: 1064 Suncrest Towne Centre Drive Morgantown, WV 26505

Bowling Green: 1751 Scottsville Road, Suite 1 Bowling Green, KY 42104

Mansfield: 2150 West 4TH Street Mansfield, OH 44906

Port Huron: 2887 Krafft Road Suite 700 Port Huron, MI 48060

Taylor: 22311 Eureka Road Taylor, MI 48180

Get a hands-on, job-specific education at Lincoln Tech.

Programs : Dental Assistant, Medical Office Assistant, Medical Assistant, and more.

Campus Locations :

Lincoln: Lincoln Mall 622 George Washington Highway Lincoln, RI 02865

Somerville: 5 Middlesex Ave Somerville, MA 02145

Brockton: 375 Westgate Drive Brockton, MA 02301

Paramus: 160 E. Route 4 Paramus, NJ 07652

Shelton: 8 Progress Drive Shelton, CT 06484

New Britain: 200 John Downey Drive New Britain, CT 06051

West Palm Beach: 2410 Metrocentre Blvd West Palm Beach, FL 33407

Allentown: 5151 Tilghman Street Allentown, PA 18104

Discover the Advantages of Porter and Chester . At Porter and Chester Institute, we’re serious about preparing you for career success.

Programs : Dental Assisting, and more.

Campus Locations :

Chicopee: 134 Dulong Circle Chicopee, MA 01022

Stratford: 670 Lordship Boulevard Stratford, CT 06615

Canton: 5 Campanelli Circle Canton, MA 02021

Branford: 221 West Main Street Branford, CT 06405

Oakville: 320 Sylvan Lake Road Oakville, CT 06779

Enfield: 138 Weymouth Road Enfield, CT 06082

Rocky Hill: 30 Waterchase Dr Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Worcester: 220 Brooks Street Worcester, MA 01606

At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career. * Programs vary by location * Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information Please call on  844-252-4552 to talk to a respresentative.

Programs : Dental Assistant, Dental Assisting, Expanded Function Dental Assistant, and more.

Campus Locations :

Indianapolis: 9001 N. Wesleyan Road Suite 101 Indianapolis, IN 46268

Pensacola: 4081 East Olive Road Suite B Pensacola, FL 32514

Orange Park: 560 Wells Road Orange Park, FL 32073

Norfolk: 6300 Center Drive, Suite 100 Norfolk, VA 23502

Port Saint Lucie: 9022 South US Highway 1 Port St. Lucie Port Saint Lucie, FL 34952

Phoenix: 555 North 18th Street Ste. 110 Phoenix, AZ 85006

Birmingham: 100 London Parkway Birmingham, AL 35211

Dayton: 555 E. Alex-Bell Road Dayton, OH 45459

Lawrence Township: 2572 Brunswick Pike Suite 100 Lawrence Township, NJ 08648

Montgomery: 3736 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36109

Cuyahoga Falls: 2545 Bailey Road Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

Hyattsville: 4351 Garden City Drive Hyattsville, MD 20785

Richmond: 2000 Westmoreland Street, Suite A Richmond, VA 23230

Smyrna: 21088 Cobb Parkway Smyrna, GA 30080

Wayne: 201 Willowbrook Blvd. Wayne, NJ 07470

Scranton: 517 Ash Street Scranton, PA 18509

Cincinnati: 11499 Chester Road Suite 200 Cincinnati, OH 45246

Columbia: 246 Stoneridge Drive Suite 101 Columbia, SC 29210

Mobile: 3590 Pleasant Valley Road Mobile, AL 36609

Erie: 5757 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506

Houston: 6220 Westpark Dr. Suite 180 Houston, TX 77057

Dothan: 200 Vulcan Way Dothan, AL 36303

Windsor Mill: 6901 Security Blvd. Windsor Mill, MD 21244

Westerville: 4151 Executive Parkway, Suite 240 Westerville, OH 43081

Towson: 700 York Road Towson, MD 21204

Foley: 200 East Laurel Ave Foley, AL 36535

Miami: 19600 South Dixie Highway, Suite B Cutler Bay Miami, FL 33157

Baton Rouge: 9255 Interline Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Kingston: 166 Slocum Street Kingston, PA 18704

Grand Prairie: 401 E. Palace Parkway Suite 100 Grand Prairie, TX 75050

Ravenna: 653 Enterprise Parkway Ravenna, OH 44266

Cookeville: 1025 Hwy. 111 Cookeville, TN 38501

Nashville: 3354 Perimeter Hill Dr. 3354 Perimeter Hill Dr. Nashville, TN 37211

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

Programs : Dental Assistant (8-Month Diploma Program), Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant (8-Month Diploma Program), and more.

Campus Locations :

Huntington Park: 6055 Pacific Blvd. Huntington Park, CA 90255

Fresno: 3602 N. Blackstone Ave., Suite 201 Fresno, CA 93726

Encino: 5445 Balboa Blvd. Encino, CA 91316

Bakersfield: 3737 Rosedale Hwy Bakersfield, CA 93308

Gardena: 661 W. Redondo Beach Blvd. Gardena, CA 90247

Chula Vista: 310 3rd Ave Suite C6/C7 Chula Vista, CA 91910

San Marcos: 2085 Montiel Rd. Suite 101 San Marcos, CA 92069

Ontario: 4730 Ontario Mills Parkway Ontario, CA 91764

Morrow: 1564 Southlake Parkway Morrow, GA 30260

Riverside: 1860 University Ave. Riverside, CA 92507

Stockton: 4994 Claremont Avenue Stockton, CA 95207

Anaheim: 401 W. Carl Karcher Way Anaheim, CA 92801

Get hands-on training with Remington College. Prefer to speak with a Customer Service Rep? Call 855-264-3155 toll-free now!

Programs : Diploma in Dental Assisting, AAS in Clinical Medical Assisting, Diploma in Medical Assisting, and more.

Campus Locations :

Fort Worth: 300 East Loop 820 Fort Worth, TX 76112

Houston: 11310 Greens Crossing Houston, TX 77041

Cleveland: 14445 Broadway Avenue Cleveland, OH 44125

Nashville: 441 Donelson Pike Nashville, TN 37214

Lafayette: 303 Rue Louis XIV Lafayette, LA 70508

Honolulu: 1111 Bishop Street Suite 400 Honolulu, HI 96813

Memphis: 2710 Nonconnah Blvd. Memphis, TN 38132

Columbia: 607 Bush River Road Columbia, SC 29210

Shreveport: 2106 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop Shreveport, LA 71118

Garland: 1800 Eastgate Drive Garland, TX 75041

Mobile: 828 Downtowner Loop West Mobile, AL 36609

Take your career to the next step with IntelliTec College.

Programs : Dental Assistant (Grand Junction), Medical Assistant (Grand Junction), and more.

Campus Locations :

Grand Junction: 772 Horizon Drive Grand Junction, CO 81506

Get started on your career at American Institute.

Programs : Dental Assisting, Medical Assistant, Medical Assisting, and more.

Campus Locations :

West Hartford: 99 South Street West Hartford, CT 06110

Toms River: 2363 Lakewood Road Toms River, NJ 08753

Clifton: 346 Lexington Ave. Clifton, NJ 07011

Pompano Beach: 5000 Coconut Creek Pkwy #C Pompano Beach, FL 33063

Leave that dead-end job behind with training from Everest College.

Programs : Diploma - Dental Assistant, Diploma - Medical Administrative Assistant , Associate of Applied Science - Medical Assistant, and more.

Campus Locations :

Tacoma: 2156 Pacific Ave. Tacoma, WA 98402

Everett: 906 SE Everett Mall Way Suite 600 Everett, WA 98208

Aurora: 14280 E. Jewell Ave. Ste 100 Aurora, CO 80012

Kansas City: 1740 W. 92nd Street Kansas City, MO 64114

Springfield: 1010 West Sunshine Springfield, MO 65807

Chesapeake: 825 Greenbier Circle #100 Suite 100 Chesapeake, VA 23320

Atlanta: 2841 Greenbriar Parkway SW Atlanta, GA 30331

Colorado Springs: 1815 Jet Wing Drive Colorado Springs, CO 80916

Woodbridge: 14555 Potomac Mills Road Woodbridge, VA 22192

Renton: 981 Powell Ave. SW Ste. 200 Renton, WA 98057

Bremerton: 155 Washington Avenue Suite 200 Bremerton, WA 98337

Denver: 9065 Grant St. Denver, CO 80229

Portland: 425 SW Washington Street Portland, OR 97204

Dallas: 6060 N. Central Expressway Dallas, TX 75206

Vancouver: 120 N.E. 136th Ave Ste. 130 Vancouver, WA 98684

Seattle: 2111 N. Northgate Way Suite 218 Seattle, WA 98133

Newport News: 803 Diligence Dr. Newport News, VA 23606

Arlington: 2801 E. Division Street Suite 250 Arlington, TX 76011

Henderson: 170 N. Stephanie Street 1st Floor Henderson, NV 89074

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