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Dental Assistant Schools in Virginia

Dental assisting is a diverse, demanding and comprehensive profession, one that is integral to the overall efficiency, effectiveness and quality of oral care. Although specific responsibilities may vary due to state regulations, dental assistants may perform a range of tasks, according to the American Dental Association, including:

  • Taking dental x-rays
  • Assisting a dentist during treatment procedures
  • Providing oral hygiene advice and strategies to patients
  • Performing administrative, office-focused tasks such as scheduling appointments
  • Sterilizing dental equipment and instruments

A rapidly growing field, dental assisting offers prospective students the opportunity to pursue a challenging, flexible occupation that not only offers solid earning potential, but personal satisfaction as well.

Dental assisting training in Virginia

The Virginia Board of Dentistry sets education requirements to work as a dental assistant in the state. Specific requirements vary by position, including Dental Assistant I and Dental Assistant II.

Dental Assistant I. There are no educational or training requirements for Dental Assistant I positions. They may perform a range of basic, supportive dental procedures under the supervision and direction of licensed dentists.

Dental Assistant II. To qualify as Dental Assistant II, individuals must be certified by the Dental Assisting Nursing Board, pass successfully the board-approved functions requirement from Commission on Dental Accreditation, and register with the Virginia Board of Dentistry.

For prospective dental assistants in Virginia, there are three educational options: certificate, diploma and associate degree programs. Depending on professional goals, dental assistants may pursue employment with a high school degree and certificate in dental assisting.

However, many employers prefer trained dental assistants, including those who have completed the requirements to serve as Expanded Function Dental Assistants (EFDA), which allows them to complete some tasks independently of a supervising dentist.

While certificate, diploma and associate degree programs are all traditionally designed to prepare graduates to take the Dental Assisting Nursing Board examinations, associate degree programs provide advanced training that could qualify graduates for additional career opportunities and certifications.

Currently, the Commission on Dental Accreditation has approved 11 dental assisting programs in Virginia, including Germanna Community College in Locust Grove, Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Old Dominion University in Norfolk and more.

Dental Assisting Nursing Board Certifications

The Dental Assisting Nursing Board is the national certifying agency for dental assistants. Today, more than 36,000 dental assistants hold DANB certification. Prospective students in Virginia can pursue several DANB certifications, including:

  • Certified Dental Assistant. Topics include general chairside assistance, infection control and radiation health and safety.
  • Certified Orthodontic Assistant. Topics include infection control and orthodontic assisting.
  • Certified Preventative Functions Dental Assistant. Topics include sealants, coronal polishing, topical anesthetic, and topical fluoride.
  • Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant. Topics include impressions, temporaries, isolation, anatomy, morphology and physiology, and restorative functions.

Dental assisting salaries and employment outlook in Virginia

In 2013, the national average salary for dental assistants was $35,640, with the top ten percent of earners taking home at least $48,000, according to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, dental assistants in Virginia outpaced the national average in 2013, earning an annual salary of $36,140.

Dental assisting pay varies by location in the state and three major metropolitan areas had higher than national average salaries in 2013, including Richmond, Harrisonburg and Roanoke. Below is a list of 2013 average salaries for dental assistants in Virginia by metropolitan area:

  1. Richmond: $37,830
  2. Harrisonburg: $36,590
  3. Roanoke: $36,410
  4. Charlottesville: $35,470
  5. Winchester: $34,140
  6. Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford: $32,760
  7. Lynchburg: $32,640
  8. Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News: $30,660
  9. Danville: $30,590

On the employment outlook front, dental assisting is a rapidly expanding field, expected to grow by 25 percent nationally between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, dental assistants in Virginia have a much more robust job market, one that is projected to grow by more than 37 percent between 2012 and 2022. That growth equates to approximately 3,150 new positions at an average of approximately 490 new jobs per year.

A healthy job market, coupled with solid earning potential should make dental assisting an attractive option to prospective students in Virginia.

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics, OES, Dental Assistants, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319091.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics, OES, Virginia, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_va.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics, OOH, Dental Assistants, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm#tab-4

Commission on Dental Accreditation, Virginia, http://www.ada.org/en/coda/find-a-program/search-dental-programs/allied-programs

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

Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Virginia Board of Dentistry, https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/dentistry/dentistry_forms.htm

Virginia Dental Assistant Schools
This list also contains online schools that accept students from Virginia
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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

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

Campus Locations :

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

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

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

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Arlington: 1901 North Ft. Myer Arlington, VA 22209

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

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

Programs : Diploma - Dental Assistant, Diploma - Medical Administrative Assistant, Diploma - Medical Assistant, and more..

Campus Locations :

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

Woodbridge: 14555 Potomac Mills Road Woodbridge, VA 22192

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

Set your career in motion at Virginia College.

Programs : AAS - Medical Office Administration, AAS - Medical Assistant, DIP-Medical Assistant, and more..

Campus Locations :

Richmond: 7200 Midlothian Tpke. Richmond, VA 23225

With Miller-Motte you can expect the focus to be on you, the student, and your career. We are committed to Changing Futures, Changing Lives, and it all starts with you. You can rely on challenging programs, interesting curriculum, and educators with industry experience preparing you for your new future.

Programs : Medical Assisting - Associate of Occupational Science, and more..

Campus Locations :

Roanoke: 4444 Electric Road, SW Roanoke, VA 24018

Start a great career in healthcare with Medical Careers Institute. Please Call 844-289-5375 to speak to a customer representative.

Programs : Dental Assisting - Associate, Medical Assisting - Associate, and more..

Campus Locations :

Newport News: 1001 Omni Boulevard Suite #200 Newport News, VA 23606

Roanoke: 5234 Airport Road Roanoke, VA 24012

Are you interested in pursuing a high-tech career? Getting an education from ITT Tech is a great place to start!

Programs : AS - Medical Assisting and Administration, and more..

Campus Locations :

Chantilly: 14420 Albemarle Point Place Chantilly, VA 20151

Norfolk: 863 Glenrock Road Norfolk, VA 23502

Salem: 2159 Apperson Drive Salem, VA 24153

Springfield: 7300 Boston Blvd Springfield, VA 22153

Richmond: 300 Gateway Centre Parkway Richmond, VA 23235

With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.

Programs : AA: Medical Office Assistance, and more..

Campus Locations :

Lynchburg: 1971 University Boulevard Lynchburg, VA 24502

Earn your degree or diploma on your schedule and succeed at Ashworth College.

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Campus Locations :

Norcross: Norcross, GA

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