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Online Dental Assistant Programs

Bring a Bright Smile on People's Faces with an Accredited Online Dental Assistant Degree

If you're looking for a fast way to qualify for a rewarding career, online dental assistant programs offer professional certification in less than a year. In today's ever-changing healthcare industry, dental assistants remain in high demand and are essential part of a dental team.

Like nurses in hospitals and physicians' offices, dental assistants are often the public face of dental care. They provide vital services to both dentists and their patients, helping the dentist schedule appointments and maintain dental records. They also carry out various clinical services like applying anesthetics and sealants, taking tooth impressions and dental x-rays, performing radiographs and sterilizing instruments.

Online dental assistant degree program provides you with applicable knowledge, skills, and training to execute all of the above tasks efficiently and impeccably. You will learn how to provide chairside assistant, handle dental emergencies, perform dental radiology and carry out administrative tasks.

And like all healthcare professions, the field of dental assistants requires compassionate, driven professionals who take health care seriously and are willing to stay on top of the latest professional developments and innovations.

But unlike other healthcare professions, dental assistants can earn their professional certification much faster than other fields, and eDegreeSteps can help you find the top online dental assistant programs that fit your individual needs.

Who Should Enroll in Online Dental Assistant Courses?

Good dental assistants are more than their professional degrees. You will need patience and compassion to effectively meet the needs of your patients, who may not always be in the best of moods. Like nurses, dental assistants must have strong communication skills and the innate ability to put people at ease.

Dentistry is a highly technical healthcare field, so good dental assistants feel comfortable working with technology and continuing their professional development long after school is over. Although you can specialize in either administrative or clinical online dental assistant programs, many professional offices need assistants who can multitask and fill both roles.

Helping dental professionals is a challenging career, but one that offers many rewards and fulfilling experiences. The best dental assistants are good communicators with a knack for technical skills and organizational finesse. This skill set is the same you will need for success in a distance learning environment, where you can set the pace for your education. And you need no experience in health care to apply for online dental assistant courses, only a high school diploma and a compatible computer.

What Will You Learn in Online Dental Assistant Programs?

Most online dental assistant degree programs require some hours of hands-on experience, but most students can complete their online dental assistant programs in under 1 year, some for as few as 6 months.

Most online programs prepare you to pass the Dental Assisting National Board Examination (DANBE), required of all certified dental assistants (CDAs). Many programs allow you to specialize in administrative dental assistant courses, geared to front-of-the-office tasks such as record keeping and appointment scheduling, billing and dental insurance claim processing.

The clinical dental assistant courses, focused on back-of-the-office procedures such as pre-op, post-op, hygienic procedures, preventive dentistry, instrument sterilization, tooth impressions, dental x-rays, and patient care and education.

You will study several basic healthcare topics, including

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Radiology
  • Preventive Dentistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Anesthesia
  • Patient Care & Communication
  • Dental Materials
  • Dental Health Safety
  • Dental Health and Diseases
  • Medical Record Keeping

Although most of your course work can be completed at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home, you will be required to complete an internship at a dental office or hospital. But this restriction is necessary, given the nature of your professional goal, and most students are well prepared after their course work and hands-on experience to pass the DANBE.

Dental Assistant Career Overview and Growth Prospects

Your online dental assistant degree makes you eligible for many entry level positions in dental clinics, public and private hospitals, and other dental facilities. After some experience, you can take on more challenging job as dental assisting instructor, dental insurance claim processor or dental hygienist.

Qualified dental assistants are in high demand today for numerous reasons besides the effects of the Affordable Care Act. New technology is making cosmetic dental procedures more affordable than ever, increasing the demand for services. Also, the aging US population will demand more dental services in the future.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this career is growing much faster than other occupations through 2020:

Dental Assistants
Dental Hygienists

Salary Guidelines for Careers as a Dental Assistant

Certified dental assistants and hygienists earn competitive salaries and excellent benefits. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, average annual salaries for dental assistants and hygienists in 2010 were:

Dental Assistants
Dental Hygienists

Many accredited online dental assistant programs can qualify you for a rewarding career as a dental assistant. Let eDegreeSteps guide you to the best accredited online programs.

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