The steps you have to take to become a dental assistant differ depending on where you live. Around the world, however, dental assistants perform similar duties. They assist with patient intake, help dentists during oral surgeries, process x-rays, help clean teeth, and help remove fillings, among many other things. If you want to enter the dental field as a dental assistant, you usually have to have an educational background that has prepared you to hit the ground running in the dentist’s office. Internationally, few dentists train dental assistants, and that’s why you usually have to have some kind of education or training in the field of dentistry before you’re hired to work as a dental assistant. Here’s what you’ll need to do to become a dental assistant in some of the places in the world with the most dental assistants per capita:
In order to practice as a dental assistant in most parts of Europe, you’ll need to get a Diploma of Dental Hygiene. In order to get a diploma of this kind, you’ll need to go to school for two years at an accredited training school or institute. In order to be accepted to an accredited training school or institute, you’ll usually need to have taken some secondary school prerequisite courses in math, biology, and the other sciences. Before officially accepting you to their programs, most training schools and institutes for dental assistants in Europe will require you to undergo a criminal background check and receive a Hepatitis B vaccination.
If you want to work as a dental assistant in Australia, you’ll either need to go through a two-year program to get your Advanced Diploma of Oral Health in Dental Hygiene, or you’ll need to get your bachelor’s degree in oral health from an accredited 3-year university. There are only a few training programs and universities that offer training for dental assistants in Australia, and they’re very competitive to get into. You typically have to have secondary school prerequisites in the sciences and an above average University Admissions Index to be admitted to most university programs.
To become a dental assistant in India, you’ll need to attend at two-year program at an institution accredited by the Dental Council of India. Once you complete an accredited two-year program, you’ll receive a certificate in Dental Hygiene, Dental Mechanics, or Dental Assistance. All of these certificates will qualify you to work as a dental assistant. However, the type of dental assistant jobs you are able to acquire after graduating from a two-year dental assistant program will depend on the type of training you received in school. To be admitted to any of the programs for dental assistants in India, you’ll need to prove that you successfully passed biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics in secondary school.
You can become a dental assistant in many areas of the United States with a high school diploma. Dentist offices will provide you with on-the-job training for a few months before you can perform all the duties of a dental assistant. There are also many two-year degree programs at community colleges and technical institutions that will allow you to become certified as a dental assistant. Once you complete these two-year programs, you can take a test to become licensed as a certified dental assistant. Certified dental assistants usually have an easier time finding jobs than dental assistants who are not certified. Additionally, in some states, certification is required to perform some on-the-job functions such as radiological procedures.
As you can tell, how you become a dental assistant will depend on where you live. In most places, however, the expectations are similar and require that you complete some kind of educational training or on-the-job training before you can perform all the duties related to being a dental assistant.
Carolyn is a guest post writer on the subjects of education, career growth, and LPN programs.