dcsimg
HomeOnline School Articles → Online Dental Assistant Schools And The Benefits Of Certification

Online Dental Assistant Schools and the Benefits of Certification

Teeth: Everyone is supposed to brush them at least twice each day and floss between meals. Some people even take an extra step and invest in a home whitening kit or fancy electric toothbrush to make those pearly whites gleam a little brighter. But even with the most rigorous of home care regimens, everyone needs to see a dental professional regularly to keep that smile bright for years to come. One key person in maintaining tooth health is a dental assistant.

Dental Assisting

Why dental assistants will be in demand

A dental assistant performs a variety of essential functions in a dentist's office. He/she prepares patients for cleanings and exams, sterilizes equipment, updates patient dental records, processes x-rays, assists the dentist during procedures and more. Online dental assistant schools can provide the foundation necessary for a career in this growing field. In fact, the field and the role of the dental assistant is not only growing, but growing rapidly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment of dental assistants to grow by 36 percent from 2008 and 2018--much faster than average for all occupations. The field is actually anticipated to be among the fastest growing occupations between 2008 and 2018. Why the dramatic increase?

  1. In part because of good dental care, people aren't losing their teeth when they get older as often as they used to.
  2. Dentists who are just entering the field are more likely to hire dental assistants in their practices.
  3. The availability of more complex procedures places additional demands on a dentist's time, encouraging him/her to rely more heavily on a dental assistant.
  4. Dentists are fielding increasing numbers of patients who seek preventative care.

Online dental assistant schools: Making an impression on your future

Most states do not require formal education for entry-level dental assistant positions. However, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) approved 281 dental assisting training programs in 2009. The majority of these programs take approximately one year to complete and result in a certificate or diploma. Associate degree tracks are also offered in community college, along with dental assisting training programs in private vocational schools. Keep in mind that private programs are not accredited by the CODA.

When enrolled in an online dental assistant program, you will reap the benefits of traditional campus-based education while enjoying the convenience and flexibility an online program offers. Class schedules can be created around your calendar, there is no need to worry about fighting traffic while commuting to class.

While attending online dental assistant schools, you can expect to take classes in dental assisting skills and theory, as well as spend time in a laboratory or clinical setting. Be sure to fully understand all degree requirements prior to enrolling, as some online dental assisting programs may require hands-on training for which you'll need to spend time on campus.

Salary and certification for dental assistants

Salaries for dental assistants vary, according to reports from the BLS. In 2009, the field's mean annual wage was $34,000, with the lowest-paid 10 percent earning $22,710 and those in the highest 10 percent being paid a mean annual wage of $44,070. Location also affects a dental assistant's paycheck. If you practice in the District of Columbia, you can expect to earn an annual mean wage of $45,630, according to the 2009 BLS estimates. Alaska, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Massachusetts round out the list of the five top paying states for dental assistants.

Certification may also affect your earnings potential. Certification for dental assistants is available through the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB), a nonprofit organization board for dental assistants. More than 33,000 dental assistants are currently DANB certified. While certification is not required for employment by many dental practitioners, 38 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Air Force, and Department of Veterans Affairs recognize or require successful performance on a DANB exam for dental assistants to meet state regulations or as a prerequisite to performing expanded functions.

Becoming a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) may present several benefits, including:

  1. The potential to earn more money. A 2010 DANB salary survey revealed that CDAs, whether full-time or part-time employees, earn a median wage of $2.04 more per hour than non-DANB certified assistants.
  2. A longer career with your employer. The same DANB survey found that those with certifications have been working in their current positions for 8.7 years.
  3. The opportunity for advancement and career mobility.

Dental assisting is a growing field, and on-campus or online dental assistant schools, coupled with the right certification, could help you embark on a career with staying power.

Schools

    Searching Searching ...

    Matching School Ads
    • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
    • Get Matched to the Right Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Healthcare Administration, Health Informatics, Nursing and Health Sciences Degree Program for YOU.
    • Affordable and Flexible Health and Medical Assisting Degree Programs from Top Colleges Across the Nation. Both Online And Campus!
    • Just Fill Out a Few Questions and You Can Find Your Perfect Medical Degree Program Within Minutes.
    • Start Using our Fast, Free, and Easy Matching Service Right HERE and Right NOW!
    • Online Courses
    Good for Working Adults
    • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
    • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current.
    • Allows students to complete assignments on the go with its Blackboard Learn mobile app.
    • Gives online students live student support for technical or course questions.
    • Has campus locations in Florida as well as online learning programs.
    Show more [+]
    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    Good for Working Adults
    • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
    • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
    • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
    • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
    • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
    Show more [+]
    • Accredited
    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Financial Aid
    Good for Working Adults
    • There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
    • Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
    • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
    • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
    • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
    • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
    • Accredited
    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Accelerated Programs
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    Good for Working Adults
    • Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
    • In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
    • #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
    • 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
    • My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
    • Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Accelerated Programs
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    • Founded in Southern California in 1998 by dog training expert Steven Appelbaum.
    • The largest independent dog training company in the United States.
    • Offers 11-stage programs that feature an in-home study component along with a hands-on training module.
    • A member of the MyCAA Financial Assistance program, which offers eligible military spouses up to $4,000 of tuition assistance that can be used towards any of their courses.
    • Helps graduates find employment and coaches those who are looking to start their own business.
    Show more [+]
    • Online Courses
    Good for Working Adults
    • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
    • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
    • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
    • 3 campuses in Southern California.
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
    Show more [+]
    • Accredited
    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Accelerated Programs
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits

    See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

    Whatever your motivation for considering an undergraduate or graduate degree, Florida Tech offers programs online that can meet your needs. Here are a few reasons Florida Tech may be the right choice for you.

    • Online Courses
    • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
    • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
    • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
    • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
    • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
    • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
    Show more [+]
    • Online Courses
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    Good for Working Adults
    • Ranked one of the Best for Vets schools in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
    • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
    • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
    • Provides IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
    • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
    Show more [+]
    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits