Dental Assistant Training

Any job a person gets requires some training, even if it is where to put a certain product or tool or what time something is to be started or finished. You can see a sign spinner and know that he has received training before going out to his corner. Any of us could come up with quite a list of products and services that we would have to insist on coming from those well-trained or well-educated.

dental assistant training

When it comes to products and services that could make the difference between one’s pain or comfort, sickness or wellness, injury or safety and life or death, the more significant the education, experience and training becomes. The more specialized the field is (like, becoming a dental assistant), the more specialized the training needs to be.


In 1965 or 1970 one may have easily walked into a dentist office, fresh out of high school, filled out an application, and walked out with crossed fingers that something would happen to the current employee who already had your coveted position.

Most dentists were in their own office with minimal supporting staff, especially in smaller towns. They may have seen just a handful of patients each day. If you went in with a toothache only a few years before that, the tooth was likely pulled.

In those same years we did not have a container of anti-bacterial gel sitting on every counter or a massive container of anti-bacterial wipes by the grocery carts in stores. Then we were merely in the dawn of awareness about germs and bacteria, and the ways that they were bringing detriment to us.

Programs were starting to be taught at elementary schools about why one should brush their teeth three times a day but that was pretty much the extent of the average person’s dental awareness.


Such things just aren’t the case anymore as in the above scenarios. So much has been learned that has made dental assistant training what could be considered a moral must.

Their positions now can carry a weightier responsibility, contributing to and supporting the proper office sterilization procedures and the even more routine steps taken to clean between patients’ use of the dental chairs.

Proper precautions are taught in these programs for the sterilization of instruments, but not only for the pieces of equipment that are put in patients mouths; there are precautions taken in all of the areas where patients are treated.

Did you know that certain heart conditions require that an anti-biotic be administered prior to any dental treatment?

Proper Dental Assistant Training

Whether you get your training online or you choose to attend courses on campus is only a personal preference.

dental assistant training program

Colleges have fine-tuned training online to teach students as expertly as is done in the classes in any classroom. The most important decision for you to make is that you are, indeed, getting the proper training.

We live in an era like never before where education is expected for landing a job, much more so, in landing a good job, and even more it is the case in landing a good job that involves a specialized field.

Today, you begin with a resume and cover letter that had better have some significant information that convinces your potential employer to give you consideration.

Being considered means being remembered and being remembered for the right reason. The right reason being that you are able to present yourself with a dental assistant certification and meeting minimum requirements at the least.

The significant information that makes employers put your resume in the “call” pile instead of the “file” pile is all about (and especially without an abundant amount of experience) your specialized education and dental assistant training.

Keeping in mind how the hiring process usually works today, it is logical that we must make a good impression on paper. Job-hunting in the past meant showing up at the place we knew to be hiring and going from there. Now it is highly likely that we are sending off resumes and cover letters to yet nameless and faceless employers.

It’s like they are untouchable until you have passed your first test of verbally selling yourself on paper, which is done through your cover letter and resume.

Call Pile or File Pile

As much as we can wish it weren’t so, we know well what makes the difference in which pile our resume lands. What will not make a difference is whether you have chosen from one of the online programs or from the courses that take place in the classroom.

The bottom line is, if you have had not take any courses, your resume will not likely fall on top of the call pile, but instead, the file pile.

The Big Deal

You might be wondering why so much emphasis is being put on training even with the information that has been discussed. Yes it is true that dental assistants have been, and in a few odd cases, still are trained on the job.

But it will behoove you to face reality regarding the likelihood of getting into the call pile if you have not shown enough concern for your own endeavor to seek out courses to prepare yourself for the important position you are seeking.

The field of dentistry has become very extensive and specialized. That’s a big deal too. As you make a choice, which may be dental assistant training online or a different avenue to learn the requirements for this position, you will see more and more that training programs will cover important basic and deeper understanding of scores of procedures and valuable knowledge which will prepare you for your new vocation.

Did you know that there are close to 100 terms that are very specific to dental procedures, and most will be commonly used within the setting of a dental practice? Being familiar with them or not could be a big deal.

Your training may get you to an interview, and in your interview you can show off a little bit that you have cared enough to become educated, but not if you are unaware that every tooth in your mouth has it’s own name! You will be much happier and things will go much more easily if you are entering into your dental assistant career with ample training.

Requirements vary from state to state and it is an individual responsibility to know what your state’s stipulations are before deciding on the right classes.

Your college experts will know that as well. But there is one move that you can make that is a definite step in the right direction and that is beginning the process of looking at the programs of the colleges available to you.

Staying Out of the File Pile

If you want this, you can have it. You can become a dental assistant and experience an exciting new career. With much expected growth in the field of dental assisting jobs still on the horizon, it is a perfect time to get started.

Get your training started, that is, by choosing a college that suits you best.

It can be a stress-free process because colleges today are striving to fit into your lifestyle. If you have not yet checked into the flexible programs being offered, it could be a little difficult to believe how easy it has been made for you.

Once you begin checking into programs, you will see that there is one right for you.

As you pursue your training and the degree to which you choose to become educated, think about your resume being an extension, or representation of yourself.

You are going to be given the once over (via resume and cover letter) and you are going to get categorized by the pile you go in; either the call pile or the file pile.

Remember what you know in your heart, that if that resume hits the file pile it may not get picked up again. So you have one shot to get placed on the top of the call pile; just the one shot that could land you in the file pile.

And you also know in your heart that it is the education and training that you know the employer will want that will land you where you want to be too. That is a decision that you make right now.


19 Responses to Dental Assistant Training

  1. I’m currently employed by a dentist I want to become a dental assistant but don’t know where to study I’m live in south africa pietermaritsburg

    • Hi Nosipho – have you looked into online options? You may be able to take online classes and then get the hands on experiences through your current employer – I would mention it to him/her and see how they can help – good luck!

      • i’m a dental asnastist shifting between ortho surgery asnastist during works’s pretty much fun job to hv the income in health professions is high in addition, U’ll gain knowledge N this field..sorry 4 nt giving more info. bt U can ask me one by one Q.. =)

  2. I last worked as a dental chairside assistant in 2003, in live in south africa johannesburg. Where i go and study just to refresh my skills?

    • Hi Charity – thank you for the training question – do you still live in Johannesburg? If so, do they have any local classes you could attend? Where did you go before? You may also be able to study online – it really depends on your end-goals and where you want to be overall – all the best!

    • Hi Stephanie – thank you for the question – class requirements and credit hours will vary state-to-state – for Nevada, try checking out this link for more information: – alternatively, if you’re in contact with a school advisor, they should have more information and be able to give you specific details – take care and good luck!

  3. Hi! I live in south africa,Polokwane. Can you pls email me registered institutions that offers a one year dental assistant courses. They can be online, long distance or full time. I’ll highy appreciate your help

    • Hi Kgotso – are you interested in working in the United States or in South Africa? Depending on which you choose, the schooling requirements will be different.

  4. i really would like to be a dental assistant,which is better online courses or on campus courses? i work all the time so i was considering online just not sure which would be the better option?

    • Hi Bre – in-person classes are generally much more social and keep you engage easier – online classes take some real heart and dedication to get through – ultimately, it would be best if you could tone down your schedule slightly and take them on-campus, but that’s totally up to you to decide – good luck!

  5. I worked for a Ortho office when I got out of my classes at TJC in 2008 and I worked for him for a year and then I moved and I let my certification go and Im looking to get it back because i enjoyed doing that and I plan on going back to school for Dental! So if you could tell me what would be the best place to take online classes I live in East Texas near tyler!

    • Hi Kevin – that’s neat that you’re looking to get back into school to earn your certificate again – the best recommendation I can give you is to use the “search schools” feature on our website – it’s in the top left corner. Simply enter your zip code and find a school in your area – the next step will be requesting more information – from there, they’ll follow up and you can get started – take care and good luck!

  6. Im currently enrolled in a Dental Assistant program that is a two year certification. Does that seem like a long time? Also, is there any online reccomendations for obtaining this certification?

    I desperately need some insight and advice! I dont know what to do.

    • Hi Michelle – I’m sorry I don’t have better advice, but a two year certification does seem fine – there are certainly online options for basic classes, but I believe you may need to go in to become certified as there are specific requirements, based on tests and tasks – this all varies state-to-state in the US, so I would recommend talking to a counselor that knows more specific details – all the best!

  7. had always wanted to become a dental assistant and now i applied for a vacancy where i can get full question is with the training can i get a diploma or certificate

    • Hello Jacie – are you asking if you’ll receive a diploma if you train with the dentist? I’m not entirely sure, there’s a chance you could receive “credit” that may transfer to earning a degree – I would ask the person training you what they think – best of luck!

    • Sure Ayaan, go ahead and scroll up to the top of the page and enter your zip code in the box to the left – from there you’ll be given a selection of dental assistant training programs and other options – good luck!

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