Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

How to Become a Pediatric Dental Assistant

Job Descriptions November 6, 2012

A Pediatric Dental Assistant (PDA) is a professional who assists dentists in working with children as patients. In other words, the assistant works to improve the efficiency of a pediatric dentist in their treatment of children and related work. At times, a PDA may be required to do administrative work in the dentist’s office. To be eligible to do the work of a dental assistant, a high-school diploma is usually called for; in addition, a certificate is required. Such certification is awarded to an individual who pass a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) training program that carries the American Dental Association (the ADA) accreditation. Licensing or registration is mandatory in certain states.

Duties of a Pediatric Dental Assistant

The actual duties of a PDA can vary from state to state as defined by the rules and regulations, the individual’s primary responsibility is to tend to young patient in order to ensure their comfort. The assistant is responsible for administrative duties at a dentist’s office; their duties include ensuring dental tools are sterilized and set up, the examination room is cleaned while rendering assistance in various dental processes. In some states, the assistant is expected to apply fluoride treatments, take x-rays and advise patients about taking care of appliances that facilitate orthodontic treatment.

The Route to Becoming a Pediatric Dental Assistant

The ADA does not distinguish between a PDA and an ordinary office assistant working in a dentist’s office; therefore, a person who aspires to become a PDA must meet the same qualifications requirement of a dental office assistant. Apart from on-the-job training, a PDA can achieve accreditation via a six to twelve months training program undertaken at an accredited college followed by taking the certification test.  PDAs who choose to receive on-the-job training can take the test for certification by completing two years working at the dentist’s office. In 2002, as many as 256 dental assistant training programs in the United States enjoyed accreditation (source: ADA website, www.ada.org).

The Skills Needed

While specific knowledge and skills are mandatory for the efficient performance of duties by the assistant, a PDA is required to remain calm in their disposition and able to suppress the sense of fear and anxiety that young patients may have. Additionally, PDAs must perform duties similar to those of dental office assistants. Such duties may require them to create protocols relating to infection control to prevent infections from getting transferred from patients to staff or to other patients.

Career Prospect

Dental office assistants enjoy great job outlook (PDAs are not separately categorized) and the growth rate of jobs projected to be above average during the next decade. This is possibly due to younger dentists who have several assistants helping unlike dentists in the past where they relied primarily on one assistant. The figures for 2012 show variation in the wages earned by dental office assistants across the United States with average hourly wages ranging between $12.00 to $17.50 (source: www.bls.gov).

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
3 Program(s) Found
Fortis Institute , Grand Prairie
  • Apply At Fortis College Today! Explore the Career Programs.
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
3 Program(s) Found
  • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current and relevant.
  • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
  • ABHES-accredited:  An  advantage upon graduation
  • Short-term education:  Programs range from 10 months to 2 years
  • Blackboard Learn mobile allows students to complete assignments on the go.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Ready to earn your business degree? If you identify with at least one of the statements below, GCU could be a good fit for you!
  • I have worked in the business field for a number of years and want to further my education in order to qualify for promotions, leadership positions, and salary increases.
  • I am graduating from high school and am interested in pursuing a career in a business field, but I first need the skills experience.
  • I am interested in a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree in my specialized business area of focus.
  • I want flexible course offerings, such as the option of 100% online, evening or campus classes.
  • I need a university that provides quality educational offerings through academic excellence and real-world relevance. Does this sound like you? Apply today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Ranked among the top 20 Regional Universities in the West in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes Magazine in 2014.
  • More than 97% of tenure-track faculty holds a terminal degree in their field.
  • Student to faculty ratio of 15:1, and 47.5% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
3 Program(s) Found
  • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current and relevant.
  • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
  • ABHES-accredited:  An  advantage upon graduation
  • Short-term education:  Programs range from 10 months to 2 years
  • Blackboard Learn mobile allows students to complete assignments on the go.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
  • Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
  • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
  • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
  • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
  • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!