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Dental Assistant Training

Dental assistants may work directly with patients to get them familiarized with an upcoming procedure. Assistants may also take and process x-rays, review patients' dental records, and make sure these records are kept up-to-date. Some assistants may help dentists prep for procedures by sterilizing and laying out tools and implements, and may provide assistance and keep the patient's mouth clean while the dentist works. Assistants also advise patients of strategies for promoting good oral health care, especially after a dental procedure.

Is a Career in Dental Assisting Right for Me?

Where Does a Dental Assistant Work?

Working conditions are generally pleasant and clean. There may be times of high pressure when patients are scheduled on an emergency basis, or when a procedure takes more time than anticipated. Since patients are often nervous or apprehensive about going to the dentist, an assistant must be calm and pleasant even during stressful times.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

A dental assistant helps the dentist in the clinical treatment of patients. The position is very hands-on. A person interested in dental assisting must be a "people person," and enjoy interacting with patients. They must keep patient care a priority, manage their time well, work well with their hands, and accept instruction from the dentist. Basic duties of a dental assistant may include:

  • Seating patients
  • Making patients feel comfortable
  • Answering questions about procedures
  • Preparing materials that will be needed by the dentist
  • Assisting the dentist throughout the procedures
  • Exposing and developing dental X-rays
  • Sterilizing instruments after a procedure and preparing them for the next patient.
  • Updating a patient's chart after a procedure

Sometimes the actual assisting is called four-handed dental assisting. This means that the assistant will be using both of their hands as well in helping the dentist to make the procedure being performed as smooth and quick as possible.

What Do Dental Assistants May Make?

The salary of a dental assistant may vary with location, number of days worked, and number of years of experience. In general the salary range may be between $22,680 and $47,090 per year as per Bureau of Labor Statistics Data of 2010.

Dental assisting is a vital part of the dental health care field. If you are outgoing, efficient, enjoy working with your hands, and can work calmly under pressure, dental assisting might be a good match for you.


List of Schools Offering Dental Assistant Programs



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            Dental Assistant
            • Offers career placement assistance services to recent graduates.
            • Approved to accept international students who wish to study in the United States.
            • Programs include Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant, Dental Lab Technician, and Healthcare Administration.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
            • Main campus is located in Van Nuys, California, north of Los Angeles.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            Certificate - Dental Assistant
            • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
            • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
            • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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            Dental Assistant

            About Brightwood College

            Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

            About Education Corporation of America

            Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

            Dental Assistant
            • Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
            • Offers lifetime career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.
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            Healthcare Management (BS)
            • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
            • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
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            M.S. in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems (Bridge)
            • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
            • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
            • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
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            Veterinary Assistant
            • Founded in Southern California in 1998 by dog training expert Steven Appelbaum.
            • The largest independent dog training company in the United States.
            • Offers 11-stage programs that feature an in-home study component along with a hands-on training module.
            • A member of the MyCAA Financial Assistance program, which offers eligible military spouses up to $4,000 of tuition assistance that can be used towards any of their courses.
            • Helps graduates find employment and coaches those who are looking to start their own business.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Ranked one of the Top Public Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1766 as a public institution; it has a main campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey and offers many programs online.
            • Has an average freshman retention rate of 91.8%.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 14:1, and 38% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has famous alumni including chef and restauranteur Mario Batali, author Junot Diaz, actor James Gandolfini, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.
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            Master of Science in Healthcare Management

            Change the World with American University

            Be a part of something bigger than yourself. At American University, we strive to help you develop your professional interests and indulge in your passion for making a difference. Our online degree programs allow you to gain the advanced skills for active leadership in a variety of fields.

            Set Yourself Apart at American University

            At American University, our smart, passionate and engaged students and faculty focus their knowledge to create meaningful change. Our strengths in international service and public affairs inspire our sense of social responsibility and a dedication to cultural and intellectual diversity. We're defined by our global perspective, practical idealism and a dedication to public service.

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            Sport Management Studies - Wellness and Fitness (Bachelor of Science) - Online
            • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
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            • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
            • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost. Student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1
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            Programs under Dental Technician

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