4 Ways to Become a Dental Assistant or Dental Hygienist

Have you always dreamed of becoming a dental hygienist or dental assistant? If so, there is a bit of work you must do before you can begin working. There is schooling, licensing, certification, and experience that you must gain before you can land a job. Use the steps below to learn how you can begin the career of your dreams.

Get Your High School Diploma

Sometimes, all you need is a high school diploma or GED to land a job as a dental assistant. If you want to enroll in a college program, you will also need a diploma. The high school classes of chemistry, biology, health sciences, and more can help to prepare you for a job in a dentist’s office. They will give you the knowledge you need to complete the duties of your job.

Join a College Program

There are many educational programs that you can sign up for to grow your knowledge and give you a competitive edge when looking for jobs. You can attend a college and obtain an associates or bachelor’s degree. You also have the option of attending a specialized dental assisting school and gaining a certificate. During all of these programs, you will take classes on subjects like dental anatomy, physiology, dental radiography, and more.

Licensing and Certification

Though the requirements vary from state to state, you will need to obtain a license no matter where you practice. Gaining a license involves obtaining a degree from an accredited dental hygiene program. You will also need to pass written and clinical exams offered by the American Dental Association’s Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations. After gaining your license, you will be able to use RDH after your name to signify that you are a Registered Dental Hygienist.

Finish an Externship

This is a great way to gain some on the first-hand experience, which will make you stand out even more if you are in an area with a lot of job competition. Many academic programs offer voluntary externships as a part of the coursework. During the externship, you can grow your skills in crucial areas like dental pathology, oral hygiene, radiology, dental pharmacology, and more. If you want to get a job in a specialized area of dentistry, you can focus on that area during your externship.

Before you can get a job as a dental hygienist or dental assistant, you must first go to school and gain experience. However, all of the hard work is well worth it so you can land the career of your dreams.

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