Schools Training

How To Be A Dental Assistant

14 JAN 2014
Career Path : Dental Care

Although there are a variety of different careers an individual could choose in order to become personally and professionally successful, opting to become a dental assistant can be particularly advantageous. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that the field is growing faster than average and offers competitive pay. If you are interested in becoming a dental assistant, learning more about how to do so can help you decide whether this vocation is right for you.

Dental Assistants-The Basics

A dental assistant is basically an individual who assists the dentist in delivering quality oral health care. While the skill set of a dental assistant is diverse, those who possess strong communication skills as well as working with their hands may find that this is the right vocation for them. Dental assistants have many roles and responsibilities, some of which include record keeping, x-ray development, attaining the patient’s medical history, infection control protocol development, and preparation and sterilization of dental equipment. Dental assistants are also responsible for making patients feel at home prior to and after dental care has been administered.

Educational Requirements

If you are interested in becoming a dental assistant, you should learn about the educational requirements involved in doing so. Dental assistants are generally educated through academic programs offered by vocational schools, community colleges, dental schools, technical institutes, or universities. Typically, graduation from dental assistant schools will take anywhere from nine to eleven months. However, some learning institutions may offer part-time education programs, accelerated training, or online courses that alter the time it takes to complete the requirements for graduation. When a student has graduated from a dental assistant program, she or he will generally receive a certificate.

Accreditation and Certification

In order to become a dental assistant, individuals who wish to do so should go through the appropriate accreditation and certification processes via dental assistant schools. In addition to attending to accreditation requirements, individuals who choose to pursue a career in dental assisting must become certified.

Dental Assistant Careers

Preventative dental career is increasingly seen as a priority for lifelong retention of teeth. Intra oral dental assistants help dentists manage their patient flow in both clinical and administrative functions. Responsibilities may include polishing teeth, taking preliminary impressions for diagnostic casts, fabricating and restoring temporary crowns, taking and developing X-rays, and ensuring that all dental instruments and filling materials are prepared before a visit. When patients first come in the office, they must be made to feel welcome and at ease, often needing some education about procedures and general oral hygiene.


If you are considering a career in the field of dental assisting, you should know that doing so can be both personally and professionally advantageous. By reviewing the information above, you can decide whether becoming a dental assistant is the right career path for you. Good luck!

Visit NAHB for more information about dental assistant schools.