Overview of Online Dental Assistant Programs
There are online dental assistant programs – although they are fairly uncommon. Training online for a degree as a dental assistant is a very convenient path to help students develop the required skills needed to both work with patients and handle office administrative tasks.
Online dental assistant programs provide students with skills in dental procedures, equipment sterilization, chair-side assistance, patient education and communication. Because of the clinical nature of dental assisting profession, students are required to secure a CPR certification before or shortly after beginning the program.
Online Dental Assistant Programs Requirements
Online dental assistant programs are typically offered in hybrid format. Students are required to have access to a computer that has stable internet connection for taking the program’s coursework.
In some cases, the program can be limited to general education requirements. Other online dental assistant programs allow students to complete core dental assistant courses at home. Students in both programs typically are required to participate in an “on campus” laboratory sessions and a clinical internship at a dental clinic or office.
List of common Online Dental Assistant Programs
In addition to various courses offered, students learn some general education courses in topics such as communication, English, and psychology. Other areas of study include the following:
Medical Terminology and Nutrition
This is an introductory course that looks at dental terminology, job safety, and history of occupation. Other topics taught here include labs where students undertake tasks such as creating dental molds and impressions.
Students learn maintenance of radiographic equipment and also how to produce radiographic images used for diagnosis of oral and dental conditions. Safety radiation topic is learned as well.
Career Information for Online Dental Assistant Programs Coursework
Graduates, who complete the online dental assistant program, often find themselves employed at dental supply companies, private dental practices, dental school clinics, and insurance companies. US BLS predicts a 31% growth in employment opportunities for dental assistants by the year 2020.
This is due in part to the increase in use of dental services by both older adults and children. Furthermore dentists who have just begun in the profession are likely to hire several dental assistants to work in their offices. The salary in May for dental assistants was $34,740 per annum according to the BLS was $34,740.
Continuing Education and Certification
Most states require some type of licensure or certification before one can practice as a dental assistant. This is more especially the case for those who do radiology procedures. Each state across the country has different practicing regulation but many require you have accreditation from the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
To get their certification, DANB requires you get CPR certification and complete one of their approved academic training program or have experience working 3,500 hours. Candidates should also have passed a written exam.
Students who successfully complete their online dental assistant programs will receive a certificate of completion. Such students are prepared to undertake infection control and radiology portions of DANB exam. You will be qualified to practice as a certified dental assistant after you complete two years of practicing and have passed the DANB examination.