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How Long Does It Take to Become a Dental Assistant?

Dental Assistant






There’s no requirement of formal education to become a dental assistant. However, what dental assistant candidates may lack in formal education, they make up for in hands-on training and national certification.

Average Timeline

Because these candidates are often expected to have comprehensive training from an accredited program, it typically takes between nine months and two years to complete a certificate program. Upon completing a certificate program, graduates are eligible to take the Registered Dental Assisting (RDA) certification exam offered by American Medical Technologists (AMT). The RDA(AMT) certification is designed to signify entry-level competence in basic dental assisting competencies.
Your Timeline

Most dental assistant certificate programs have the flexibility to accommodate your personal schedule. Your timeline can often complement the program’s timeline. In some instances, coursework can be spaced out, allowing you to still work a part- or full-time job. In other instances, you may graduate and then take your certification exam at a later date.

Skills Learned

Regardless of how long it takes you to become a dental assistant, you can rest assured that you will graduate from your program with chairside skills and a foundation in oral anatomy. Successful completion of dental-specific laboratory procedures, an understanding of infection control fundamentals, and comprehensive medical charting are just a few of the learned skills you can apply in your post-graduate career.

Start Charting Your Dental Assistant Career

Take the first step toward becoming a dental assistant, and enroll in the Northwestern College’s certificate program for Dental Assisting.

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