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Dental Assistant Schools

Dental assistants work side-by-side with dentists to provide important medical care to patients. In addition to aiding the dentist, dental assistants help patients by making them feel comfortable and safe during procedures. Dental assistant school is typically a short-term program, and ends in the opportunity to land a well-paying job without requiring a long-term commitment to education.

Attending Dental Assistant Schools

Dental assistant schools are usually short-term, career-focused training schools with programs that last between nine and eighteen months. Students typically receive a diploma or certificate of completion at the end, although two-year associate's degree programs are also available.

Dental assistant schools may be full-time or part-time, and can be done during daytime hours or through night classes. Each program includes classroom instruction and on-the-job training that focuses on dental terminology, use of instruments and tools, and patient interaction.

Dental assistants are licensed by most states. To become licensed, dental assistants generally need to graduate from a recognized program, pass a state licensing exam, and be up-to-date with continuing education requirements.

Dental Assistant Salary and Career Outlook

The job outlook for dental assistant careers is terrific. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports an anticipated 36 percent increase in the employment rate in this field from 2008 to 2018. The median annual salary for dental assistants was $33,230 in 2009, according to the BLS. However, the highest ten percent of dental assistants earned more than $47,000 per year.

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Dental Assistant Schools