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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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            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 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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            • Flexible Scheduling
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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.
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            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Dental Assistant
            • Offers career placement assistance services to recent graduates.
            • Our short-term allied health programs will give you the skills and knowledge to become a part of the exciting health care field.
            • Programs include Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant 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 Assistant
            • Offers accelerated programs w/ flexible schedules & professional instruction
            • Multiple accredited campuses across 9 states including CA, TX, NV, & PA
            • 10 + programs including Practical Nursing, Dental and Medical Assisting
            • Provides professional development training & career planning resources
            • Military Student Center (MSC) is committed to the success of military students
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            Certificate - Dental Assistant
            • For more than 45 years, PMI has been dedicated to quality healthcare education
            • 17 campuses across 9 states including Arizona, California, Texas, Colorado & more
            • Accredited by the ABHES with multiple accreditations per specific program
            • Certificates, associates, and bachelor’s programs in leading healthcare fields
            • PMI offers financial aid to students who qualify for assistance
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            Dental Assistant
            • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
            • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
            • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
            • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 11 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada and Idaho, as well as 8 additional Milan Institute of Cosmetology campuses.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            M.B.A.: Health Systems Management
            • Ready to earn your business degree? If you identify with at least one of the statements below, GCU could be a good fit for you!
            • I have worked in the business field for a number of years and want to further my education in order to qualify for promotions, leadership positions, and salary increases.
            • I am graduating from high school and am interested in pursuing a career in a business field, but I first need the skills experience.
            • I am interested in a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree in my specialized business area of focus.
            • I want flexible course offerings, such as the option of 100% online, evening or campus classes.
            • I need a university that provides quality educational offerings through academic excellence and real-world relevance. Does this sound like you? Apply today!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Medical Administrative Specialist
            Platt College , Riverside
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Healthcare Administration (AMBA)
            • 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
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
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            Programs under Dental Technician

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