When it comes to dental assistant training, it matters where you learn. Some dental assistant schools offer training programs that blend hands-on and classroom training, job placement tools and resources, and other perks you won’t find anywhere else. If you limit your search, you may miss out on an opportunity to enroll in a school that helps you to get the most out of your dental assistant career.
The school you select will likely have far-reaching effects on your dental assistant career. That’s why it’s important to review your options closely. Now, let’s take a look at 7 tips to help you pick the right dental assistant school.
1. Learn your state’s dental assisting requirements.
Consider your dental assisting career goals and where you want to work. Dental assisting requirements vary nationwide, so you should enroll in a school that provides you with the credentials you need to work in your desired location.
In some states, no education or training is required to work as a dental assistant. Meanwhile, in other states including California, individuals must meet specific educational requirements before they can work as a dental assistant. The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) offers a free online tool you can use to obtain information about each state’s dental assisting requirements.
2. Review the different types of dental assisting training programs.
Explore the dental assisting training programs at your disposal. Not all dental assistant schools offer identical training program accreditations and certifications. It is important to find a dental assistant school that provides the training you need so you can accomplish your career goals.
Common dental assisting training programs include:
- Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA): There are at least 255 CODA-accredited dental assisting training programs in the United States. These programs are generally recognized by state dental boards.
- DANB National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) certification: To obtain DANB NELDA certification, an individual must pass radiation, health and safety, infection control, and anatomy, morphology, and physiology exams within three years.
- State-approved: Upon successful completion of a state-approved dental assisting training program, individuals can work as a dental assistant in the state where they finished the program.
Some dental assistant schools are also accredited by a federal government-recognized accrediting agency. To find out if a school is nationally accredited, search the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP).
3. Evaluate your long-term aspirations.
Examine your career goals so you can find a dental assistant school that puts you in the best position to accomplish your aspirations. Dental assisting often provides a springboard toward a long, productive, and successful career in the dental industry. By enrolling in a school that offers an extensive dental assistant training program, you can instantly launch your dental industry career and develop a clear path to achieve your career goals.
At Howard Healthcare Academy, we are proud to offer a dental assistant training program that students can complete in as little as 10 months. Following graduation, our students possess the skills they need to thrive in a dental practice. Additionally, we offer a registered dental assistant in extended functions (RDAEF) course that allows dental assistants to become California-certified RDAEFs. We also provide orthodontic assistant permit (OAP) training and standalone certificate courses in radiation safety, coronal polishing, ultrasonic scaling, pit and fissure sealants, and more to help dental assistants accelerate their career growth.
4. Meet a dental assistant school’s faculty.
Choose a dental assistant school that employs friendly, knowledgeable teachers – you will be happy you did. These teachers will devote time and resources to educate students about all aspects of dental assisting. Plus, they will respond to students’ concerns and questions and do everything possible to prepare students for the everyday challenges of working as a dental assistant.
Howard Healthcare Academy teachers are in a class all their own. Each teacher has at least eight years of dental and teaching experience. Our teachers also take continuing education courses for leadership and classroom management and stay up-to-date on new dental assisting technology and techniques. That way, our teachers can share unprecedented dental assisting insights with students.
5. Read a dental assistant school’s course curriculum.
Check out a school’s course curriculum so you know what classes you will need to become a dental assistant and how much time it will take to finish a dental assisting training program.
Howard Healthcare Academy’s course curriculum consists of three components: hands-on lessons, training in a real-world setting, and training with the latest dental assistant equipment and materials. Our Dental Assistant Program is offered in partnership with The Super Dentists, San Diego’s premier pediatric dentistry. We challenge our students every day and provide a well-rounded education to ensure they can perform day-to-day dental assistant duties. As a result, students who complete our course curriculum become valuable contributors in all types of dental practices.
6. Find out what dental assistant school graduates have to say.
Ask a dental assistant school for student testimonials. With firsthand insights into students’ experiences, you can determine if this school meets your expectations. You can also find out how dental assistant school graduates are currently using their education in the real world.
Howard Healthcare Academy graduates rave about their dental assistant school experiences. Today, our graduates perform key tasks at dental practices across the United States. Some of our graduates have even used our dental assisting training program to transition into careers as registered dental assistants (RDAs) and other dental industry roles.
7. Prioritize job placement assistance.
Select a dental assistant school that helps you find a job after graduation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the employment of dental assistants will grow 19% between 2016 and 2026. Yet the U.S. job market offers no guarantees, even for a highly trained and skilled dental assistant. Fortunately, by enrolling in a school that offers job placement tools and resources, you can boost the likelihood of quickly finding your dream job following graduation.
Howard Healthcare Academy offers lifetime job placement assistance that other dental assistant schools simply cannot match. We educate our students about the process of searching for a job and help them to craft their resumes and cover letters. We also put our students in contact with our network of dental offices and share tips on how to find jobs. We even offer interview preparation tips and provide students with opportunities to interview with working dentists from The Super Dentists of San Diego.
There is a lot to consider as you search for the right dental assistant school. The above tips can help you streamline your search to find a school that suits you perfectly. The Howard Healthcare Academy team can make it simple to enroll in a best-in-class dental assisting training program. To learn more, please contact us today at 1 (619) ACADEMY.