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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 (10-Month Diploma Program)
            UEI College , Gardena
            • Dedicated to providing career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            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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            • Accredited
            • Financial Aid
            Dental Assisting
            Unitek College , San Jose
            • Offers programs in nursing, medical assisting, pharmacy technology, dental assisting, and more.
            • Six Campuses across Northern CA: Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, S. San Francisco, Hayward, and Concord.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with programmatic approvals from the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and the Board of Registered Nursing.
            • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating since 2010.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            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
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Dental Assisting
            • Offers medical and cosmetic programs, including dental assisting, massage therapy, cosmetology, esthetics, and more.
            • Features a public salon and spa where students may get real-world experience.
            • Offers scholarship opportunities for students wo qualify.
            • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 separate Vacaville campuses, one is for medical careers and the other is the beauty academy.
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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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            • Financial Aid
            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 Assisting
            • Offers a free trial period so students can attend classes before paying tuition.
            • Provides blended courses that combine traditional classroom instruction with online learning.
            • Lets students connect with peers at any time, and instructors during office hours with online chat rooms.
            • Gives students the chance to participate in externships and clinical training work under the general supervision of college staff.
            • Has accelerated programs that allow students to take the same coursework in a shorter timeframe.
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            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
            • Why study nursing at Grand Canyon University?
            • Our bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing are CCNE-accredited and the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions (CONHCP) is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
            • We provide many options to prepare you to begin or advance your nursing career, including bridge programs and dual degrees.
            • GCU provides a low student-to-teacher ratio and a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients.
            • Request more information today about program offerings, CCNE accreditation, start dates, financial aid and more!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Healthcare Management (BS)
            • Earn your Bachelor of Science of Healthcare Management degree online
            • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
            • Program focuses on the business, management, and healthcare skills necessary for healthcare organizations to run smoothly
            • Courses include Principles of Management, Healthcare Delivery and Organization, and Healthcare Finance
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
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            Programs under Dental Technician

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