Dental Assisting

There are many reasons why a dental assistant education and classes from Daymar College are a good move for you. Check out this video to find out why now may be a good time to consider this career

Female dental assistant

What Is Dental Assisting?

If you’ve ever gone to your regular dental check-up, you’ve likely interacted with a dental assistant. They’re a key part of any dentists’ office, although they aren’t the same thing as a dental hygienist (a common point of confusion). Dental hygienists are more directly involved with intensive patient care, including polishing and cleaning teeth, while dental assisting is more focused on the administrative side of things, including prepping and breaking down the office. Dental assistants can also sometimes perform smaller, supervised, patient-centric tasks, like fluoride applications, depending on experience and the work environment.

What Do Dental Assistants Do?

The everyday tasks of a dental assistant can range from pure administration to patient interaction and might vary by where you live and the office you work in. You’ll do things like scheduling patient appointments, working with them on billing and payment, keep records of dental care, settling patients in and ensuring they are comfortable, preparing work areas for treatments and procedures, sterilizing dental instruments, and instructing patients in proper oral hygiene. You may potentially also do things like, handing instruments to dentists during advanced procedures, drying patients’ mouths using suction hoses and other equipment, and taking or processing X-rays or completing lab tasks under the direction of a dentist or hygienist. Depending on your state, you might also be able to apply sealants or topical anesthetics. In all cases, dental assistants work closely with both the dentists and the dental hygienists and are often required to wear safety glasses, surgical masks, protective clothing and gloves to protect themselves and patients.

Dental Assisting Jobs (Career Outlook)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting that employment of dental assistants will grow faster than the average through 2029. There are a few different elements that are contributing to this career being in-demand, including the emergence of ongoing research that has linked oral health with general health. This is expected to boost demand for preventative dental care and require dentists to hire more dental assistants to cover routine tasks so their offices can function more efficiently. On top of this, a large percentage of the U.S. population is aging rapidly while at the same time keeping more of their original teeth than past generations, so the need for them to maintain their dental health will increase. Daymar College’s dental assisting program prepares graduates to secure employment in general/specialty dental offices, public health facilities, hospital dental departments, correctional facilities, schools/universities, clinics and dental suppliers.

Dental Assistant Certification and Education

In order to pursue a career as a dental assistant, the first step is often completing an accredited dental assisting program — like the one offered here at Daymar College in Tennessee — and completing any required state exams. Ideally, you want to find a program like our Dental Assisting diploma that provides a combination of classroom and instructor-led lab work in order to provide hands-on training and experience with the tasks they’ll be performing in a dental office. Those who excel as a dental assistant are often organized, detail-oriented, and good at working with their hands, with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to listen attentively to both their patients and coworkers. Our Tennessee dental assistant program training is approved by the Tennessee Board of Dentistry and can help you gain the knowledge you need to sit for the state board exams to become a registered dental assistant.

What Classes Are Required in a Dental Assisting Program?

At Daymar College, we’ve designed our Dental Assistant diploma program to provide you with the skills valued by employers in the dental field, preparing you to function as a key member of a dental team. As a Tennessee dental assisting program, we teach chairside procedures, how to take S-rays, office and laboratory procedures, as well as various specialty procedures that the state designates can be performed by dental assistants. Students practice procedures and gain proficiency in a spacious classroom and modern dental laboratory using equipment, materials, and instruments comparable to those used in an actual dental facility. 

  • Strategies for Success
  • Fundamentals of Dental Assisting
  • Dental Sciences
  • Dental Emergencies
  • Dental Materials
  • Chairside Assisting
  • Dental Radiology
  • Dental Specialties
  • Dental Administration
  • Advanced Dental Assisting
  • Internship and Professional Seminar

How Much Do Dental Assistants Make?

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for dental assistants in 2019 was $40,080, and the highest 10 percent of workers in this field earned more than $56,930. Of all the most prominent employers of dental assistants, the highest paying employer was the government, with a 2019 median annual wage of $42,960.

Where Can I Get Dental Assistant Training?

Dental Assisting diploma program is available at the following location(s):

If you’re ready to get started, our financial services department can help you discover the types of financial aid in which you may qualify.

View the Dental Assisting Curriculum »