If you’re looking for an excellent career that will virtually guarantee you employment in any region across the United States, as well as excellent vacation and medical benefits, you might well consider dental assistant training. Receiving training in this vital and rapidly expanding profession is relatively quick, painless, and inexpensive.
Students Must Earn Certification By CODA
Students who wish to enter this field must complete a program of training which is certified by the CODA (Committee On Dental Assisting). This body administers an examination called the CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) exam. Once you have completed this examination, you will be officially qualified to seek employment in this profession.
As of 2014, CODA officially certifies over 270 different programs at various colleges, universities, dental schools, and vocational schools. Students in these programs will be trained to use specialized dental equipment, such as x-rays machines, oral surgical tools, dentist chairs, and the like.
A certified dental assistant may perform generalized duties associated with this line of work, or may choose to specialize in a specific component of this profession. For example, an assistant may prefer to pursue a career as a specialist in one of these 5 general areas:
- Orthodontics. This may be the best known (and possibly best paying) specialization in this field. Dental assistant training for this specialization will revolve around the student being trained to assist the orthodontist during complex and sensitive surgical procedures, such as applying or removing braces. An additional specialization in radiology may be required.
- Pediatrics. A pediatric dental assistant will work primarily with patients who are children. The primary duties associated with this particular specialization will be dealing specifically with the special needs of children, especially with regard to their special dental and emotional needs.
- Endodontics. A candidate for this specialization should take steps to ensure that their dental assistant training involves plenty of emphasis on root canal treatment. A specialist in this field will have several major responsibilities as their main focus. These will include assisting the dentist during particularly tricky surgeries, as well as developing X-rays,and making sure that all instruments used in endodontic procedures receive the proper sterilization
- Prosthodontics. A dental assistant who specializes in prosthodontics will work with the dentist in replacing lost teeth. Therefore, an assistant in this capacity will help the dentist by taking special teeth molds, dental x-rays of the affected area, and casting crowns and full prosthetic replacements for missing teeth.
- Oral/Maxillofacial surgery. A specialist in this area will assist the dentist in removing deformed or unnecessary teeth. They will also assist the dentist in helping to correct any facial distortions or deformities that may have come about due to misshapen or redundant teeth.Because of the seriousness of this particular specialty, an additional certification is needed for a dental assistant to be employed in this profession. You will need to complete a CODA certified dental assistant program, pass your CDA, and be employed as a general assistant for a period of at least 6 months.Once you have completed all of these requirements, you must then pass a special exam called the Dental Anesthesia Assistant National Certification Examination (DAANCE).
Certification Requirements In New York
In order to be legally employed as a dental assistant in the state of New York, you must have a separate certification from that state in the area of supportive services. The area of supportive services basically concerns a potential assistant providing proof that they are able to assist the dentist during procedures in a timely and efficient manner.
Certification Requirements In California
In order to be legally employed as a qualified assistant in the state of California, you will have to be specially certified in radiology. This is a separate certification which is specially administered by the state.
Certification in radiology will enable the individual to perform tasks involving the taking and processing of dental x-rays, as well as various other radiographic procedures.
Certification Requirements In Texas
In order to be legally employed as an assistant in the state of Texas, you must prove that you are qualified in the area of radiology. Much like the conditions quoted above for the state of California, a prospective assistant must complete special training in radiology in order to be permitted to work with x-ray machines.
Various states across the country will have differing requirements and specifications.