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How to Become a Dental Assistant

Do you want to work in the dental field but don’t know where to start? A great place to begin is by becoming a dental assistant! Dental assistants are responsible for assisting dentists with a variety of tasks, including cleaning teeth, taking x-rays, and preparing patients for treatment.

If you want to become a dental assistant, there are certain things you need to do in order to prepare yourself for the job. In this blog post, we will discuss what steps you need to take in order to become a dental assistant!

Step 1. Complete An Accredited Dental Assistant Program

The first step to becoming a dental assistant is completing an accredited dental assisting program. There are many different programs available, so it’s important to do your research in order to find the one that’s right for you.

The Online Route

One popular option for completing a dental assistant program is taking courses online. This can be a great option if you have a busy schedule or want to learn at your own pace. You can usually get your degree faster than you would if you were to attend a traditional brick-and-mortar school. It's often more affordable than traditional programs as well.

Community College Route

Another option is to attend a community college. The advantage of this route is that you’ll be able to get hands-on experience in a dental office. This is a great way to see if working in the dental field is right for you. Community colleges also typically have lower tuition rates than other schools.

Traditional College Route

If you want to attend a traditional college, there are some great programs available. This route will take longer to complete, but it can be worth it if you want the traditional college experience. It's definitely the most expensive option, but the advantage is that traditional colleges are probably going to give you the greatest amount of knowledge when compared to online or community colleges. But it depends!

Step Two: Get Certified

Once you’ve completed your dental assistant program, the next step is to get certified. This is not required in all states, but it’s a good idea to get certified anyway. The process for getting certified is different in each state, so be sure to check with your state’s dental Thirty-nine states require DANB certifications for dental assistants, and the other states have their own certification processes.

DANB Certification

The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) offers several different certification options for dental assistants. The most common one is the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential. To be eligible for this credential, you must have graduated from an accredited dental assistant program and pass the DANB’s exams.

State Certification

As we mentioned, some states have their own certification process for dental assistants. In these states, you’ll need to pass a state-specific exam in order to be certified.

Step Three: Find a Job!

This is the best part. Once you’ve completed your dental assistant program and are certified, you’re ready to find a job! You can search for open positions on job boards or contact dental offices directly. Did you know that Stynt is a great resource for finding dental assistant jobs? We connect dental professionals with open positions at dentists’ offices across the country.


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