Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree Programs for Dental Assistants

Majors Overview June 29, 2014

Dental assistants help dentists perform several important tasks, ranging from assisting during surgeries to cleaning teeth. The first step towards a dental career would be an associate’s degree program in dental assistant.

Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree Programs for Dental Assistants

Students enrolled in dental assistant programs are prepared to render assistance to dentists with a variety of tasks, such as surgery and dental check-ups. Dental assistants will become adept in making patients comfortable, conducting basic dental exams, performing cleanings, and answering questions from patients.

Technical schools and community colleges are among those that offer dental assistant associate’s degree programs that take two years or less to complete. Those graduates can seek entry-level work in various settings, such as hospitals, dental equipment suppliers, and dental offices.

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. In certain instances, they may be expected to show proof of CPR certification and current immunizations.

Coursework

Coursework combines classroom lectures and dental laboratory studies, in addition to hands-on experience, imparted through supervised internships or externships wherein students get to work with patients. Rudimentary coursework may include the following topic areas:

•Oral pathology
•Preventative dentistry
•Radiology for dental assistants
•Dental materials
•Dental anatomy
•Emergency medicine
•Infection control
•Dental office management

Job and Wage Outlook

A faster-than-average job growth of 36% has been predicted for dental assistants during the decade of 2008 to 2018 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). In May 2012, dental assistants earned an average annual wage of $34,500 (BLS).

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Registration or licensure is mandatory for dental assistants in most states. In some states, holding a license allows dental assistants to perform advanced procedures, including radiological procedures, while in other states, they would be allowed to perform these procedures only after obtaining additional training. Completion of formal training and passage of an examination are required to obtain licensure. The Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential is offered to qualified candidates by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

Dental assistants that pursue continued education can aspire to become dental hygienists whose responsibilities involve working more closely with patients while often resorting to the use of dental instruments in cleaning and examining teeth. In 2012, dental hygienists earned an average annual salary of $70,210 (BLS).

Akin to dental assistant programs, dental hygienist programs are also available as associate’s degrees; however, interested students can also pursue bachelor and master degree programs in dental hygiene. Students may choose majors at the master’s level in areas such as dental hygiene management or education.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
3 Program(s) Found
  • Kaplan University Online Degree Programs
  • Attend college on your terms. Kaplan University offers fully online degree programs that fit any schedule.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • 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
1 Program(s) Found
  • Available business concentrations include Accounting, Economics, General Management, Marketing, and Human Resource Management.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA and Online Graduate Business Programs in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Programmatic accreditation provided by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
3 Program(s) Found
  • Kaplan University Online Degree Programs
  • Attend college on your terms. Kaplan University offers fully online degree programs that fit any schedule.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Available business concentrations include Accounting, Economics, General Management, Marketing, and Human Resource Management.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA and Online Graduate Business Programs in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Programmatic accreditation provided by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!