How much does a dental assistant make an hour?
While salary can vary based on experience, the state you live in, and your employer, the average hourly pay for dental assistants in the workforce in 2021 was $18.59 per hour, or $38,660 per year.*
What do dental assistants do?
In a typical dental office, dental assistants are those who support dentists and dental hygienists. A dental assistant's daily tasks can vary and include both administrative work and patient support. On a regular day, dental assistants take a patient’s medical history, explain procedures, and assist dentists during procedures. As a dental assistant, you can also expect to be responsible for preparing treatment rooms, including sterilizing medical equipment and tools and preparing patients for x-rays.
What does it take to become a dental assistant
Becoming a dental assistant often requires specific education and training. Depending on your state's regulations, you may also be required to pass a licensing or certification exam. Once you’re hired at an office, you may also complete a period of hands-on training under the supervision of an office manager or experienced dental assistant..
How long does it take to complete a Dental Assistant Program Online?
Many traditional dental assistant training programs can take up to one year to complete, but with Penn Foster’s self-paced online coursework, you can prepare to take the next step toward a career in the field in as little as four months. This course can help you prepare for industry certification exams, such as the National Entry Level Dental Assistant.
Do I need to be certified to become a dental assistant?
Certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, you can find state-specific requirements via the Dental Assisting National Board website. Penn Foster’s Dental Assistant Program will prepare you to sit for the three exams needed for full NELDA (National Entry Level Dental Assistant) certification from DANB: the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam, the Infection Control Exam (ICE), and the Anatomy, Morphology and Physiology (AMP) exam. Because our program is accredited by the DEAC, Penn Foster learners can sit for NELDA certification without needing 300 hours of dental assisting work experience.