If you were wondering how long does it take to become a dental assistant, you are at the right place! The length of your program is determined by what level of education and certification you are looking at getting. That aside, in short the fastest courses are about 12 months in length and the longest ones are associate programs that are 24 months in length. There are factors that can change the timetable of your graduation. For example, online courses versus traditional dental assistant programs.
Is now a Good Time to Become a Dental Assistant?
Becoming a dental assistant is a great decision right now. The National Bureau of Labor Statistics or bls.gov is showing a 25% growth in demand through the year 2022, which means there are going to be over 70,000 new positions available for those looking to become dental assistants! Below we cover what it takes and how long it takes to become a dental assistant at every level.
What is the Fastest Way to Become a Dental Assistant?
The fastest way to become a dental assistant in a state that requires certification is through an online dental assistant program that is combined with traditional clinical training. These are known as fast-track programs. This can be done in under a year in some cases. Some states do not require certification but the employer in most cases will so getting a certification from a national body is essential to your future success. So even if you are in a state that does not require certification it is highly recommended that you do get one. The most common certification is the the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). They give out the official Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination.
What are the Highest Levels you can go When Becoming a Dental Assistant?
If you get an associates degree while becoming a dental assistant you will have more than a leg up on the competition. You will have a well rounded education along with extended training that will allow you to do more tasks and duties on the job. Which then, makes you a more desirable employee, which in turn, makes you more hire-able! You can also hit the ground running on the job because you are prepared. Oh, and you can command a higher salary too! Read here for more tips to make a higher salary as a dental asst.
Can you Become a Dental Assistant With an Associates Degree?
Yes, with an associates degree you are closer to being eligible for additional certifications too. These individual certifications are what makes becoming a dental assistant great! And with these certifications, like the preventative functions dental assistant certification as an example, you can command a higher salary and responsibility. There are numerous levels one can achieve just within the dental assisting field. But, there are also dental technicians and dental hygienists too! And when you become a dental assistant, you come that much closer to those positions!!
What are the Titles Available to Become a Dental Assistant?
Below are some of the tiles available if you choose to go down the path of becoming a dental assistant.
- (CDA) Certified Dental Assistant
- (RDA) Registered Dental Assistant
- (EDDA) Expanded Duties Dental Assistant
- (EFDA)Expanded Functions Dental Assistant
- Qualified Dental Assistant
- Dental Auxiliary
- Licensed Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary