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How to Choose a Dental Assistant Program

Sep 30, 2010

Although most states don't require you to be certified in order to work as a dental assistant, completing a program through an accredited school can make you a much more likely candidate in a potential employer's eyes.

The requirements for taking the certification exam will vary from state to state. Some states require you to get a two year degree before you can become certified, while others require only certification. The requirements of your state will be a determining factor in how to choose the right dental assistant program for you.

There are some community or junior colleges that offer two year associate degrees in dental assistant. Check to see if there are any courses taught in your area and whether night or weekend courses are available. Often, there are programs for people who are in the same position you are in and who need to attend classes during evening or weekend hours. You might be surprised that there is something to suit your needs very close to home.

For some people, going to classes to take the exam and becoming certified simply isn't practical. You may already have a full time job or other types of obligations that don't allow you much freedom to work around your schedule. For you, the best answer may be to find an accredited online course that will teach you what you need to pass the certification exam.

There is one important factor in how to choose the right dental assistant program for you to earn your certification. Not only should the program be accredited, but it is imperative that it is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association or another organization that is nationally recognized. Not only will this help to ensure that the program you have found will be accepted for your certification, but also that you can expect to get adequate training by taking a program through them.

Another great way to find the right dental assistant program is by asking someone whose services you admire. You may have been going to the same dentist for several years and have a lot of respect for the dentist and the staff. Ask the dental assistant where she got certified or ask your dentist. Sometimes, the experiences of others can be the best way to find the answers to your questions.

If you find a program in your area rather than taking one online, you will be more likely to get the hands-on training you need to develop the skills you will need to be a good dental assistant. Make sure that you understand the types of instruction provided and whether they give you the opportunity to test your skills in a real dental office with supervision. For many people, this is the most important part of their education and the part which gave them the confidence they needed to pursue new employment.

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