This program is designed to prepare students for employment as entry level dental assistants in dental offices and clinics or to provide supplemental training for persons previously or currently employed in these or other dental auxiliary occupations. Graduation from the program provides the student with the minimum requirements to sit for the National Registry Exam for Dental Assistants and for an advanced dental assistant course in expanded duties. Read our Dental Assistant Success Stories
Approximate completion time: DayŚ7.5 months
NATURE OF THE WORK: Dental assistants perform a variety of patient care, office, and laboratory duties. They work chairside as dentists examine and treat patients. They make patients as comfortable as possible in the dental chair, prepare them for treatment and obtain their dental records. Assistants hand instruments and materials to dentist and keep patients' mouths dry and clear by using suction or other devices. Dental assistants also sterilize and disinfect instruments and equipment, prepare trays of instruments for dental procedures, and instruct patients on postoperative and general oral health care.
Some dental assistants prepare materials for impressions and restorations, take dental X-rays, and process X-ray film as directed by a dentist. They also may remove sutures, apply typical anesthetics to gums or cavity-preventive agents to teeth, remove excess cement used in the filling process, and place rubber dams on the teeth to isolate selected teeth.
Those with laboratory duties make casts of the teeth and mouth from impressions, clean and polish removable appliances, and make temporary crowns. Dental assistants with office duties schedule and confirm appointments, receive patients, keep treatment records, send bills, receive payments, and order dental supplies and materials.
Dental assistants work in a well-lighted, 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. Dental assistants must wear gloves, masks, eyewear, and protective clothing to protect themselves and their patients from infectious diseases. Assistants also follow safety procedures to minimize the risks associated with the use of X-ray machines.
About half of dental assistants have a 35- to 40-hour workweek, which may include work on Saturdays or evenings.
EMPLOYMENT: Dental assistants held about 267,000 jobs in 2004. Almost all jobs for dental assistants were in offices of dentist. A small number of jobs were in the Federal, State, and local governments or in offices of physicians. About 2 out of 5 dental assistants worked part time, sometimes in more than one dental office.
JOB OUTLOOK: Job prospects for dental assistants should be excellent. Employment is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through the year 2018. In fact, dental assistant is expected to be one of the fastest-growing occupations over the 2008-18 projection period.
EARNINGS: Median hourly earnings of dental assistants were $32,380 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $26,980 and $38,960. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,270, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $46,150.
- Information taken from the Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011
DENTAL ASSISTANT PROGRAM - DELTA, BATON ROUGE
Major Occupations for which graduates will be qualified:
|Tuition through Graduation:
|Books and Supplies:
*All required textbooks, workbooks, software, lab supplies, two sets of uniforms, etc. needed to complete the program are included with tuition. Incidentals such as notebooks, pens, pencils, etc. are not included and must be provided by the student. For more information of tuition policies and additional charges see the college catalog
COMPLETION DATA FOR 7/1/2010 - 6/30-2011:
Retention Rate: 88%
Graduates Completing within the normal program time: 47.5%
Graduates Completing within 150% of normal program time: 85%
GRADUATE EMPLOYMENT DATA:
Average Entry-Level Hourly Wage: $9.95
(This data is taken from information voluntarily furnished for graduates during the time period)
Graduation Rate: 73%
Graduate Employment Rate: 72%
(This rate is prepared annually using the formulas and methodologies required by our accrediting commission)
The following data are the median debt levels for graduates of this program upon graduation.
|Title IV Loans*
*Title IV Loans include Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student Loans
**Institutional Loans would include any money due to the college when the student graduates.