Fortunately, dental assisting is one of the few healthcare support professions that can be undertaken with just a high school diploma or GED. A little more than half of dental assistants have gotten a 2 year or equivalent degree. Many community colleges offer courses that take a year or more leading to a DA II certification. Many assistants surveyed learned either on-the-job or through an accelerated learning class like the Dental Staff Institute.
In North Carolina, assistants are classified as DA level I or II. The amount of supervision required and the level of your clinical responsibility is determined by this designation. While a DA II must have an advanced degree (a year of study or at least 3,000 clinical hours of experience) and possess a variety of additional certifications, a DA I can begin earning money shortly after taking an accelerated learning course to obtain their initial state certifications. As your clinical skills progress, you have the option of expanding your responsibilities through continued education, gaining your clinical hours and becoming a part of an organization like the ADAA (American Dental Assisting Association).
|For a more detailed look at DA-I vs. DA-II certifications, click here.|