Most community colleges, trade schools, and technical institutes offer dental assistant programs that can be completed in less than one year. There are other programs that may take up to two years, while a few programs may be completed in as little as nine weeks. The American Dental Association (ADA) usually does not accredit a dental assistant program that is shorter than one year. The length of the course required to becoming a dental technician is usually determined by the state. Many states do not require accreditation by the ADA to begin your dental career.
In some states, dental technicians are not required to have any special training other than a high school diploma. In these cases, the dental assisting tech will learn their specific duties on the job, either by the dentist or another dental tech. It is recommended that students take courses in biology, chemistry, health, and office practices in high school if they plan to become a dental tech after they graduate. In other states, it is required that dental techs attend one of the many dental school programs and become either licensed or certified. To become licensed, students usually must attend dental assisting schools for at least ten months.
What type of certificate and degree are available at dental assistant schools? There are many different types of dental assistant programs available. The type of program that is required of each individual depends on many factors. The duties performed by dental assistants is usually regulated by the state, therefore, the type of training programs depends on the state. The majority of the United States requires dental assistants to complete certification through the Dental Assisting National Board and pass an exam in order to become certified. These types of programs are available in every state. In order to qualify for one of these programs, a high school diploma is required.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a dental assisting technician should call their local community college or trade school and ask about the requirements to join their dental assistant programs. In most cases, it is relatively easy to get into some sort of dental assisting program. The programs usually consist of classroom, laboratory and preclinical instruction on dental assisting skills. Whether your state requires any formal dental assisting education, it is a good idea to get into one of the programs. They are very helpful in preparing you for the duties that may be required in the dental office.