The Path to Becoming a Dental Assistant
Becoming a dental assistant typically involves three steps: education, practical experience, and certification. Let’s break down each of these steps to get a sense of the timeline involved.
The first step towards becoming a dental assistant is to complete a dental assistant education program. This program should provide a comprehensive understanding of dental assisting’s fundamental tasks and duties. The length of these programs can vary depending on the format and the institution. Some programs may take up to a year or longer to complete, especially if they are part-time.
However, at 90 Day Dental Assistant, we believe that quality education can be both efficient and flexible. Our online dental assistant program is designed to be completed in 90 days or less if you study full-time. It’s self-paced, allowing you to fit your education around your other commitments. This means that you could potentially start your new career in dental assisting in as little as three months!
2. Practical Experience
While the educational component of the training can be completed relatively quickly, gaining practical experience is also a vital part of becoming a dental assistant. This experience is typically acquired through an externship, where you’ll have the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge you’ve learned in a real-world dental office setting.
The length of the externship can vary, but typically they last a few weeks to several months. At 90 Day Dental Assistant, we provide externship coordination at no extra cost to help our students gain valuable practical experience.
Once you’ve completed your education and gained practical experience, the final step is to become certified. The certification process involves passing an examination, such as the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) exam or the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam.
Preparation for these examinations can take a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on how much time you dedicate to studying. Once you pass the exam, you are eligible to work as a certified dental assistant.