Monday, May 17, 2010

Do you have to go to school to become a certified, or registered dental assistant?

I am currently in school to become a Dental Lab Tech but I am still not sure if that's what I want to do. I am going back and forth between that and Dental Assisting. I am trying to found out everything I can about both before I make my decision (wages, schooling, etc..)

Do you have to go to school to become a certified, or registered dental assistant?
If you go to, you can find out what requirements are necessary in your state to be a dental assistant... some states mandate that you have a license, or have your certification, while others do not.

Entry-level salary in my area is $10-$14/hr, while licensed assistants can earn twice that much and more.....with additional independent responsibilities.

Best of luck to you!

Reply:You should ask yourself what would make you happier. Would it be working directly with people to help them with their dental needs--dental assisting, or working with tools and dental materials, but not directly with people--dental lab tech. Dental assisting requires some schooling in most states, unless you do very basic tasks that only require on the job training. Dental lab tech skills would make you a much more valuble dental assistant, but you also need great people skills to be a good dental assistant.
Reply:It depends on where you live. Some states only require on the job training and then a test to be registered.

Call your dental office and ask the assistants there. Also ask if you can come for a couple of hours and follow the assistants around and get a feel of the job. All offices are different but you can get an idea of what the job entails...

You might even like a hygienist job. That requires at least 2 years of college and then hygiene school , but they make the big bucks... LOL!!!
Reply:It depends on which state you live in. I live in NY state, and it isn't required that you have a cert. to be a dental assistant.
Reply:I was a certified dental assistant. I liked it, but there was no ladder to climb - no promotion, no more chance to make more money. I originally wanted to become a Registered Dental Hygenist, but there was a waiting list for the school. By the time there was room, I had changed my mind and went to college for a Bachelors.

If you are thinking of the dental field - I would go for being a hygenist instead - they make more money than an assistant and the schooling is just one year longer. You can look at the community college nearest you to see if they have a program.

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