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Dental Assisting Career Outlook

Dentists are expected to hire more assistants to perform routine tasks so that they may devote their own time to more complex procedures. In addition, numerous job openings will arise out of the need to replace assistants who transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave for other reasons.

Dental Assisting Career Paths

Dental assistants work closely with, and under the supervision of, dentists. For many, this entry-level occupation provides basic training and experience and serves as a steppingstone to more highly-skilled and higher paying jobs.

Some dental assistants become:

  • Chairside dental assistant
  • Dental front office staff
  • Dental office receptionist
  • Office managers
  • Dental assisting instructors
  • Dental product sales representatives
  • Insurance claims processors for dental insurance companies
  • Others go back to school to become dental hygienists

As a dental assistant, you will likely perform a variety of tasks including chairside assisting, patient education, taking radiographs, polishing teeth, taking impressions and much more. In addition, these professionals can also be involved in office-related tasks such as scheduling and confirming appointments, maintaining treatment records, handling patient payments and ordering supplies and other materials.

Dental Assisting Work Environment

Dental assistants work in a well-lit, clean environment. Their work area usually is near the dental chair so that they can arrange instruments, materials, and medication and hand them to the dentist when needed.

About half of all dental assistants have a 35- to 40-hour workweek. Most of the rest work part-time or have variable schedules. Depending on the hours of the dental office where they work, assistants may have to work on Saturdays or evenings. Some dental assistants hold multiple jobs by working at dental offices that are open on different days or scheduling their work at a second office around the hours they work at their primary office.

The information below reflects aggregated data from all of the Herzing University campuses that have students enrolled in the specified program in the specified time period. The information does not reflect data regarding individual campuses unless only one campus had students to report. The reporting period used to obtain this data was 7/1/2012-6/30/2013. If there were less than 10 graduates in a program, median loan debt and on-time completion data were not disclosed for that program to protect the privacy of those students. Tuition and length may vary by campus location. Ranges could not be input for tuition and length, therefore tuition and length reported are the highest tuition rates and longest program length to encompass all campuses. For information regarding specific campus tuition please refer to http://www.herzing.edu/tuition-financial-aid . For a more detailed description of how the data was calculated please refer to the Disclosure Methodology located here http://www.herzing.edu/files/2014Disclosures-Methodology.pdf .

  • Graduates from Akron's dental assisting program will be eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board's (DANB) Certified Dental Assistant (CDA®) exam.
  • Akron graduates will also be qualified to apply for the Dental Assistant Radiographer's Certificate through the Ohio State Dental Board.


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