Dental Hygienist and Assistant SchoolDental Assistant Degree Programs
If you've gone to the dentist's office and had your teeth cleaned, braces adjusted, gotten an x-ray, a cavity filled, or other dental procedure, you probably had a dental assistant working right alongside your dentist in helping to perform the work. Maybe you've wondered if this type of job would be right for you. If you've ever considered this type of work for your career, you may be interested in knowing that the field of dental assisting is expanding rapidly.
Dental assistant programs are offered at junior colleges, vocational schools, and even at some online learning centers. Typically, these programs take about a year or less to complete.
Working professionals can later go on for certification from The Dental Assisting National Board. The DANB certification program is recognized in 30 states and upon successful completion, recognizes the assets and professional achievement of dental assistants.
Licensing of Dental Assistants
After graduating from a dental assistant program, before you can obtain work, some states require you to be licensed. This usually involves passing written tests, a hands-on examination test, or other tasks. Other states require approved courses to be taken before a dental assistant is licensed. Check with your state board to find out what these requirements are.
Other Dental Programs
Programs for dental hygienists are also available at colleges and online learning centers. Dental hygienists teach patients about oral hygiene, clean and polish teeth, perform x-rays of teeth, and other duties.
Another program in the dental field is in the area of dental technicians. Dental technicians fabricate bridges, crowns, and dentures by working off of dental impressions or molds sent in by the dentist's office. Good hand and eye coordination is an important skill set to have for this dental position.
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Schools in the Spotlight:
Blinn College is a community college with its main campus in Brenham, Texas. Blinn offers a two-year hygienist program which results in an Associate in Applied Science degree. Learn more about this school.
Tyler Junior College is a public college in Tyler, Texas. They have a curriculum that leads to an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Dental Hygiene. It begins in the fall session of each year and has accreditation from the American Dental Association. Learn more about this school.
Dental hygienist schools currently being offered (plus other degree programs in dental assisting) at some of the top learning centers.
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Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) is the designation that the licensed professional receives. The RDH credential proves you have successfully completed an accredited training program, a national written exam, and a regional or state clinical exam.
Programs are typically accredited by The Commission on Dental Accreditation which works to maintain high standards in the nation's training schools and programs.