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Registered Dental Assistant

Registered Dental Assistant

Two dental assistants sitting chairside with a young patient
Course Description
This is a comprehensive course that prepares students for the field of Dental Assisting. The course includes classroom theory, clinical/lab practice, and community classroom (internship) hours.  The course has been approved by the Dental Board of California, which allows those students successfully completing the course to take the examination for licensure as registered dental assistants. 
There are 47 modules including: 
  •       Terminology     
  •       Front office operations
  •       Radiology
  •       Chair side procedures
  •       Infection Control
  •       CPR 

Why a Registered Dental Assistant? 

Dental assistants perform many tasks, ranging from patient care and taking x-rays to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments.

Dental assistants typically do the following:

  •                Ensure that patients are comfortable in the dental chair
  •                Prepare patients and the work area for treatments and procedures
  •                Sterilize dental instruments
  •                Hand instruments to dentists during procedures
  •                Dry patients’ mouths using suction hoses and other equipment
  •                Instruct patients in proper oral hygiene
  •                Process x rays and complete lab tasks, under the direction of a dentist
  •                Keep records of dental treatments
  •                Schedule patient appointments
  •               Work with patients on billing and payment

 Career Outlook

Employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health and general health will continue to increase the demand for preventive dental services. Dentists  will continue to hire dental assistants to complete routine tasks, allowing the dentist to work more efficiently. As dental practices grow, more dental assistants will be needed.

Careers in Dental

  • Dental Assistant  (Requires on-the-job training or a certificate program)
  • Dental Hygientist  (Requires an Associate’s or Bacherlor’s degree)
  • Dentist (Requires a doctoral or professional degree)

Median Salaries for Dental Assistants by Industry*

Government                        $41,480
Offices of dentists               $37,620
Offices of physicians          $35,290
 *Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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