Take your time and good luck!
Take your time and good luck!
What is a Dental Assistant (CDA DANB)?
Dental assistants (CDA DANB) are often the first person a patient interacts with when they make an appointment or arrive at the dentist’s office. In addition to administrative tasks such as keeping records or setting appointments, dental assistants help prepare patients and the treatment area and provide dentists with hands-on help during procedures.
What does a dental assistant do (CDA DANB)?
Under the direct supervision of a board-certified dentist, dental assistants handle a wide range of tasks, from administrative work to more hands-on patient care. Depending on the state they work in, dental assistants can handle everything from scheduling appointments to sterilizing instruments and taking X-rays. DAs also serve as a second set of hands for the dentist during procedures, with tasks such as using the suction hose or passing the dentist any necessary instruments or supplies.
Some of the daily responsibilities of dental assistants (DANB) include:
- Make patients comfortable and prepare them for their procedure
- Sterilize dental instruments and prepare the treatment area.
- Provide practical help to dentists during procedures
- Instruct patients and their families on proper dental hygiene.
- Maintain accurate and up-to-date patient dental health records.
- Work with patients to schedule appointments and manage billing.
Dental Assistant skills (CDA DANB)
The most successful dental assistants are organized and detail-oriented. You will need to follow strict infection control guidelines when sterilizing instruments, assisting with treatment, and being thorough in keeping records or preparing the treatment area. You will also need some level of manual dexterity to use suction hoses and other equipment with the necessary precision. Finally, interpersonal skills are a must, as you will sometimes be dealing with patients who are in pain or nervous about receiving dental care in general.
Where do Dental Assistants work (CDA DANB)?
As you probably suspected, the vast majority of dental assistants (CDA) work in dentists’ offices. However, there are also dental assistant jobs available in nursing homes, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and even the federal government. Most dental assistants work full time, 40 hours a week. Standard business hours are common, although some shifts may occur at night or on weekends, particularly at facilities that provide emergency care.
Dental Assistant Education and Certification (CDA DANB)
To begin your new career as a dental assistant, you will need to complete a Dental Assisting program (CDA DANB) from an accredited college or university. Earning your dental assistant diploma will equip you with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to become certified and land your first job. While some dental assisting programs can take up to two full years, it’s possible to complete your diploma in as little as 40 weeks. That means that in less than a year, you could be making a very good living with a rewarding new job (one that is often much less stressful than other careers in the medical industry!)
Like any long-term goal, working toward a new career as a dental assistant seems much more achievable when broken down into individual steps.
The first step in starting your new career as a dental assistant is to enroll in an accredited dental assisting program. You’ll have to buckle down and put in the effort for several months, but it’s a field that’s open to just about anyone who’s willing to put in the time and effort. For example, to enroll in the dental assisting program at Brookline College, all you need is a high school diploma or GED, plus a passing score on a placement test.
2. Earn your dental assistant diploma (CDA)
The first courses in your dental assisting program will begin with the basics of dental anatomy and pharmacology. From there, you will learn the essential fundamentals of microbiology, pathology, and infection control in the context of dental procedures. After developing your basic understanding of dental treatments and procedures, you’ll move on to more specialized areas such as restorative dentistry and radiography (where you’ll learn how to operate x-ray machines safely, for example). You will also learn the basics of how to handle medical emergencies, including how to perform CPR.
The final stage of your dental assistant diploma involves completing a clinical practice or internship. This will give you the opportunity to perform some of the same tasks that you are expected to do at work in a supervised environment. It’s a fantastic way to gain real-world experience and ensure you’re confident and ready to hit the ground running after landing your first job as a dental assistant.
Wherever you decide to earn your dental assistant diploma, consider applying to colleges that offer job placement assistance after you finish school. It takes a lot of stress out of your job search when you have someone who can help you make connections and put your best foot forward with prospective employers.
3. Pass your certified dental assistant exam (CDA DANB)
While not all states require entry-level dental assistants to pass a certification exam, becoming a certified dental assistant (CDA) is a great way to show potential employers that you’ve mastered all the essential skills to get started and contribute. his first day on the job. The National Board of Dental Assisting is the most recognized credentialing organization for dental assistants and can give you a significant advantage over the competition when applying for jobs. Study resources and practice tests are available on the DANB website.
Expect the test to contain around 100 questions and take about an hour and a half to complete. The CDA exam is a computer-based adaptive test, which means that a correct answer will lead to a more difficult question and a wrong answer will lead to an easier one. While everyone gets nervous sometimes on test day, you should be well prepared to pass your certification exam after completing your diploma and a clinical internship.
Dental Assistant Salary (CDA DANB)
How much do Dental Assistants (CDA DANB) earn? According to the most recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary* among all dental assistants is approximately $41,000 per year, which works out to more than $20 per hour. Dental assistants in the top 25% of earners bring home almost $50,000 a year, and salaries in the 90th percentile can be $58,000 or more.