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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 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.

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
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Get a hands-on, job-specific education at Lincoln College of Technology.

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

Campus Locations :

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

Melrose Park: 8317 W. North Avenue Melrose Park, IL 60160

Marietta: 2359 Windy Hill Road Marietta, GA 30067

Explore a new career with Pima Medical Institute.

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

Campus Locations :

Renton: 555 S. Renton Village Place Suite 400 Renton, WA 98057

Albuquerque: 4400 Cutler Avenue NE Albuquerque, NM 87110

Tucson: 3350 E. Grant Road Tucson, AZ 85716

Denver: 7475 Dakin Street Suite 100 Denver, CO 80221

Mesa: 957 S. Dobson Road Mesa, AZ 85202

Chula Vista: 780 Bay Blvd #101 Chula Vista, CA 91910

Seattle: 9709 Third Avenue NE Suite 400 Seattle, WA 98115

Colorado Springs: 3770 Citadel Drive North Colorado Springs, CO 80909

Las Vegas: 3333 E. Flamingo Road Las Vegas, NV 89121

Houston: 10201 Katy Freeway Houston, TX 77024

At Concorde, you’ll find that a “learn by doing” approach to healthcare training will get you the skills you need to succeed-- and get you into the workforce quickly.

Programs : Dental Assistant - Diploma, Dental Assisting - (AAS), Dental Assistant, and more..

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San Antonio: 4803 NW Loop 410 Suite 200 San Antonio, TX 78229

North Hollywood: 12412 Victory Blvd North Hollywood, CA 91606

Kansas City: 3239 Broadway Kansas City, MO 64111

Garden Grove: 12951 Euclid Street Ste. 101 Garden Grove, CA 92840

San Diego: 4393 Imperial Ave. Ste. 100 San Diego, CA 92113

Jacksonville: 7259 Salisbury Rd. Jacksonville, FL 32256

San Bernardino: 201 E. Airport Drive San Bernardino, CA 92408

Portland: 1425 NE Irving Street Portland, OR 97232

Prepare for an exciting new career at the Milan Institute.

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Amarillo: 7001 W Interstate 40 Amarillo, TX 79106

Palm Desert: 75-030 Gerald Ford Drive Suite 203 Palm Desert, CA 92211

Nampa: 1021 West Hemingway Nampa, ID 83651

Visalia: 3356 South Fairway Visalia, CA 93277

Sparks: 950 Industrial Way Sparks, NV 89431

Bakersfield: 2822 F Street Bakersfield, CA 93301

Clovis: 731 W. Shaw Ave Clovis, CA 93612

Get hands-on training with Remington College.

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

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Tampa: 2410 E. Busch Boulevard Tampa, FL 33612

Houston: 11310 Greens Crossing Houston, TX 77067

Nashville: 441 Donelson Pike Nashville, TN 37214

Cleveland: 14445 Broadway Avenue Cleveland, OH 44125

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

Lafayette: 303 Rue Louis XIV Lafayette, LA 70508

Columbia: 607 Bush River Road Columbia, SC 29210

Baton Rouge: 1900 N. Lobdell Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Honolulu: 1111 Bishop Street Suite 400 Honolulu, HI 96813

Little Rock: 19 Remington Road Little Rock, AR 72204

Mobile: 828 Downtowner Loop West Mobile, AL 36609

Memphis: 2710 Nonconnah Blvd. Memphis, TN 38132

Garland: 1800 Eastgate Drive Garland, TX 75041

Shreveport: 2106 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop Shreveport, LA 71118

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

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

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

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

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Campus Locations :

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

Birmingham: 100 London Parkway Birmingham, AL 35211

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

West Palm Beach: West Palm Beach West Palm Beach, FL 33405

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

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

Montgomery: 3736 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36109

Cincinnati: 11499 Chester Road Suite 200 Cincinnati, OH 45246

Mobile: 3590 Pleasant Valley Road Mobile, AL 36609

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

Hyattsville: 4351 Garden City Drive Hyattsville, MD 20785

Scranton: 517 Ash Street Scranton, PA 18509

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

Erie: 5757 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506

Smyrna: 21088 Cobb Parkway Smyrna, GA 30080

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

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

Cuyahoga Falls: 2545 Bailey Road Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

Columbia: 246 Stoneridge Drive Suite 101 Columbia, SC 29210

Towson: 700 York Road Towson, MD 21204

Salt Lake City: 3949 South 700 East Salt Lake City, UT 84107

Orange Park: 560 Wells Road Orange Park, FL 32073

Wayne: 201 Willowbrook Blvd. Wayne, NJ 07470

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

Cookeville: 1025 Hwy. 111 Cookeville, TN 38501

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

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

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

Dothan: 200 Vulcan Way Dothan, AL 36303

Ravenna: 653 Enterprise Parkway Ravenna, OH 44266

Foley: 200 East Laurel Ave Foley, AL 36535

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

Largo: 6565 Ulmerton Road Largo, FL 33771

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 1-855-816-4009 or fill out the form!

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

Campus Locations :

Arlington: 1901 North Ft. Myer Arlington, VA 22209

Denver: 7350 North Broadway Denver, CO 80221

Torrance: 19700 S. Vermont Ave. Suite 100 Torrance, CA 90502

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

Atlanta: 2309 Parklake Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30345

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

Woodridge: 7155 Janes Ave Woodridge, IL 60517

Calumet City: 80 River Oaks Center Calumet City, IL 60409

Get allied health training with Ross Medical Education Center.

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Madison Heights: 29429 John R Madison Heights, MI 48071

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

Flint: G3630 Miller Rd Suite D Flint, MI 48507

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

Grand Rapids: 4528 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508

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

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

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

Davison: 815 South State Street Davison, MI 48423

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

Dayton: 4490 Brandt Pike Dayton, OH 45424

Ann Arbor: 4741 Washtenaw Ann Arbor, MI 48108

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

Brighton: 8110 Murphy Drive Brighton, MI 48116

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

Owensboro: 410 Southtown Blvd Suite 6 Owensboro, KS 42303

Granger: 445 E. University Drive Granger, IN 46530

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

Evansville: 227 N Green River Rd Evansville, IN 47715

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

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

Canton: 44958 Ford Road Canton, MI 48187

Portage: 6235 South Westnedge Portage, MI 49002

Muncie: 411 West Riggin Muncie, IN 47303

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

Taylor: 22311 Eureka Road Taylor, MI 48180

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

Morgantown: 1064 Suncrest Towne Centre Drive Morgantown, WV 26505

Mansfield: 2150 West 4TH Street Mansfield, OH 44906

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

Get your career on track with a degree from St. Paul's School of Nursing.

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Staten Island: 2 Corporate Commons 2 Teleport Drive Staten Island, NY 10311

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Dental Assistant Vocational & Trade Schools by Canadian Province

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