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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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Get allied health training with Ross Medical Education Center.

Programs : Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant, and more.

Campus Locations :

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

Dayton: 4490 Brandt Pike Dayton, OH 45424

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

Muncie: 411 West Riggin Muncie, IN 47303

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

Davison: 815 South State Street Davison, MI 48423

Portage: 6235 South Westnedge Portage, MI 49002

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

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

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

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

Granger: 445 E. University Drive Granger, IN 46530

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

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

Grand Rapids: 4528 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508

Canton: 44958 Ford Road Canton, MI 48187

Brighton: 8110 Murphy Drive Brighton, MI 48116

Owensboro: 410 Southtown Blvd Suite 6 Owensboro, KS 42303

Evansville: 227 N Green River Rd Evansville, IN 47715

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

Madison Heights: 29429 John R Madison Heights, MI 48071

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

Ann Arbor: 4741 Washtenaw Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Flint: G3630 Miller Rd Suite D Flint, MI 48507

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

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

Morgantown: 1064 Suncrest Towne Centre Drive Morgantown, WV 26505

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

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

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

Campus Locations :

Somerville: 5 Middlesex Ave Somerville, MA 02145

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

Brockton: 375 Westgate Drive Brockton, MA 02301

Lowell: 211 Plain Street Lowell, MA 01852

Shelton: 8 Progress Drive Shelton, CT 06484

Allentown: 5151 Tilghman Street Allentown, PA 18104

Mount Laurel: 1000 Howard Boulevard Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

Paramus: 160 E. Route 4 Paramus, NJ 07652

Philadelphia: 3600 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19104

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

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

Campus & Online

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 :

Cincinnati: 11499 Chester Road Suite 200 Cincinnati, OH 45246

Scranton: 517 Ash Street Scranton, PA 18509

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

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

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

Montgomery: 3736 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36109

Erie: 5757 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506

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

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

Smyrna: 21088 Cobb Parkway Smyrna, GA 30080

Orange Park: 560 Wells Road Orange Park, FL 32073

Hyattsville: 4351 Garden City Drive Hyattsville, MD 20785

Columbia: 246 Stoneridge Drive Suite 101 Columbia, SC 29210

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

Birmingham: 100 London Parkway Birmingham, AL 35211

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

Mobile: 3590 Pleasant Valley Road Mobile, AL 36609

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

Cuyahoga Falls: 2545 Bailey Road Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

Wayne: 201 Willowbrook Blvd. Wayne, NJ 07470

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

Towson: 700 York Road Towson, MD 21204

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

Kingston: 166 Slocum Street Kingston, PA 18704

Cookeville: 1025 Hwy. 111 Cookeville, TN 38501

Houston: 450 N.Sam Houston Parkway Houston, TX 77060

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

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

Dothan: 200 Vulcan Way Dothan, AL 36303

Ravenna: 653 Enterprise Parkway Ravenna, OH 44266

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

Foley: 200 East Laurel Ave Foley, AL 36535

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 :

Cleveland: 14445 Broadway Avenue Cleveland, OH 44125

Houston: 11310 Greens Crossing Houston, TX 77041

Nashville: 441 Donelson Pike Nashville, TN 37214

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

Mobile: 828 Downtowner Loop West Mobile, AL 36609

Columbia: 607 Bush River Road Columbia, SC 29210

Memphis: 2710 Nonconnah Blvd. Memphis, TN 38132

Shreveport: 2106 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop Shreveport, LA 71118

Garland: 1800 Eastgate Drive Garland, TX 75041

Honolulu: 1111 Bishop Street Suite 400 Honolulu, HI 96813

Lafayette: 303 Rue Louis XIV Lafayette, LA 70508

Founded in 1886, American National University (ANU) is dedicated to the training and education of men and women for a full life and a successful career in a number of fields in Business & Health care.

Programs : Medical Office Assistant - Diploma, Medical Assisting - Associate, and more.

Campus Locations :

Columbus: 5665 Forest Hills Blvd Columbus, OH 43231

Canton: 4736 Dressler Rd NW Canton, OH 44718

Fort Wayne: 6131 North Clinton St Fort Wayne, IN 46825

Indianapolis: 6060 Castleway West Dr Indianapolis, IN 46250

South Bend: 1030 East Jefferson Blvd South Bend, IN 46617

Youngstown: 3487 Belmont Ave Youngstown, OH 44505

Stow: 3855 Fishcreek Rd Stow, OH 44224

Wickliffe: 27557 Chardon Rd Wickliffe, OH 44092

Florence: 8095 Connector Dr Florence, KY 41042

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 :

Ontario: 4730 Ontario Mills Parkway Ontario, CA 91764

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

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

Bakersfield: 3737 Rosedale Hwy Bakersfield, CA 93308

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

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

Stockton: 4994 Claremont Avenue Stockton, CA 95207

Encino: 5445 Balboa Blvd. Encino, CA 91316

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

Riverside: 1860 University Ave. Riverside, CA 92507

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

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 :

Worcester: 220 Brooks Street Worcester, MA 01606

Oakville: 320 Sylvan Lake Road Oakville, CT 06779

Westwood College is dedicated to preparing students with the knowledge, skills and training needed for meaningful employment. Through education, we create opportunities, change lives and impact futures. Please call 855-816-4009 or fill out the form!

Programs : Dental Assisting (A), Healthcare Office Administration (A), Medical Assisting (D), and more.

Campus Locations :

Arlington: 4420 North Fairfax Drive Arlington, VA 22203

Annandale: 7619 Little River Turnpike, Suite 500 Annandale, VA 22003

Chicago: 1 North State Street, Suite 1000 Chicago, IL 60602

Aurora: 350 Blackhawk St. Aurora, CO 80011

Woodridge: 7155 Janes Ave Woodridge, IL 60517

Anaheim: 1551 S. Douglass Road Anaheim, CA 92806

Calumet City: 80 River Oaks Center Drive, Suite 111 Calumet City, IL 60409

Jump into the exciting world of technology or medical services at Harris School.

Programs : Dental Assistant, Professional Medical Assistant Plus, Professional Medical Assistant, and more.

Campus Locations :

Voorhees: 401 White Horse Road Voorhees, NJ 08043

Wilmington: 1413 Foulk Road Wilmington, DE 19803

Cherry Hill: 1 Cherry Hill Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Dover: 655 South Bay Road, Suite 562 Dover, PA 19901

Trenton: 3620 Quakerbridge Road Trenton, NJ 08619

Linwood: 1201 New Road, Suite 226 Linwood, NJ 08221

A career to support yourself starts with a supportive, experienced faculty. IBMC delivers a wide range of professional life changing opportunities to promote personal, social, and career development.

Programs : Diploma-Dental Assisting, Associate-Dental Office Administration, and more.

Campus Locations :

Fort Collins: 3842 S. Mason Street Fort Collins, CO 80525

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