The process of obtaining your dental assistant certification generally involves a training period of between nine to eleven months at a college or vocational school. Occasionally, you can receive on the job training to become a dental assistant.The process itself involves taking a special examination in order to become properly certified to seek employment in this field. This article will discuss the exact nature of the certification process, as well as the best recommended course for pursuing this career.
Is Any Prior Knowledge Of The Medical Field Required?
Before embarking on a course of dental assistant training, it’s an excellent idea to have taken several courses which are generally acknowledged in the industry as prerequisites.
For example, taking general computer literacy and human psychology classes makes for excellent training for the day to day business of booking patient appointments, record keeping, and basic human interaction.
It’s also an excellent idea to take courses in basic anatomy, biology, and chemistry. Although none of these prerequisite courses are specifically required, it is good to have such knowledge as the background for pursuing a career in this field.
What Type Of Special Education Is Required?
Most states will require an individual to graduate from an accredited dental assistant training program. These programs are officially accredited by the Committee On Dental Accreditation (CODA), which itself is overseen by the American Dental Association (ADA). As of 2013, there were over 270 specifically CODA accredited training programs in the United States.
During the course of these training programs, students will learn about various matters pertaining to dentistry, including the various instruments and techniques that dentists use in the course of their work. Students will also gain valuable experience by working under the supervision of a certified and licensed instructor, who will normally be a dentist themselves.
Alternative Paths To Qualifying For The Exam
Not every program will lead to an official accreditation from CODA. A student who has attended a non-CODA sanctioned training program will need to make independent arrangements to take the CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) examination in order to receive their official certification.
Students may also be eligible to take the CDA if they have completed an on the job training program under the supervision of a certified dentist. The length of time required to qualify to take the exam will vary by state to state, but is normally two years in duration.
What Is Required To Obtain Your Dental Assistant Certification?
As mentioned above, an individual who wishes to become a dental assistant must pass the CDA exam. Anyone who applies to take this exam must also have a prior certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Once these two qualifications are met, the individual is free to seek employment as a certified dental assistant.
The exact requirements for taking the CDA will vary from state to state. For example, different states will emphasize different components of the overall examination. In some areas, passing the Radiation Health and Safety portion of the test will be paramount to passing the entire test. In other states, the Infection Control portion of the examination will be the critical area that must be mastered.