How Hard is Dental Assistant School?

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How Hard is Dental Assistant School

The more difficult something is to attain, we usually cling to it longer.

Whether be it an energy that draws us to it, or whatever you may call it, we accept the challenge.

However, sometimes, when something is too hard, we have to consider if we’re capable enough of going through it.

In this case, pursuing a career in Dental Assisting demands responsibility.

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So, follow this article to know whether DA studies are hard and how to decide you’re ready for such a profession.

After deciding to pursue a career in Dental Assisting, the next question mark is how hard are the school and the studies.

From what you have heard, normally, medical and dental careers involve intensive study on science and math.

So, you may wonder if a dental school is the same.

The answer to this question depends on a few factors, but it really depends on your personal qualities and the type of education you consider difficult.

Do You Have the Necessary Qualities?

A major factor in how difficult dental assistant school will be for you is whether you have the basic qualities needed by dental assistants.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), claims that candidates for dental assisting, in general, should be detail-oriented, good communicators and listeners, be organized and good with their hands.

If you don’t possess this full set of qualities, you may struggle more than other students in dental assistant programs.

what is dental assisting

What Exactly Dental Assistants Study Is

Dental Assistants enroll for their studies to earn their Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) accreditation in certificate programs that are accredited by the Dental Assistant National Board (DANB).

While the requirements for dental assistant education are different from state to state, the DANB asks from all dental assistants to pass the exams in General Chairside Assisting (GC), Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) as well as Infection Control (ICE).

Dental assisting courses teach the basic skills in a typically short period of time.

While most of the programs last less than a year.

Study guides for the CDA test are available on the DANB website.

Through them, you will have an idea of what to expect in your dental assistant studies.

Length of Dental Assistant Programs

The American Dental Association (ADA) estimates that most dental assisting programs can be completed in 9 to 11 months, resulting eventually in certification.

More advanced dental careers, however, require associate’s, bachelor’s, Masters’ and Ph.D. degrees.

So by comparison, dental assistant education takes less time to complete than the above mentioned.

While there are accelerated programs available, their courses of study may be more rigorous in order to fit more information into a shorter timeframe.

If you are concerned about the difficulty of a dental assistant program, it may be wise to study in a full-length or part-time program.

Standing Out from the Crowd

To gain an edge on the competition when it comes time to find a job, you may be advised to have more than the basic required dental assistant training.

The types of additional activities you pursue will also have an impact on how difficult it is for you to complete school.

Some students complete additional volunteer hours, internships and externships on top of completing their minimum studies.

So basically, the more effort you put into your career preparation, the more likely you will be to find a job.

Clinical and On-the-Job Training

After the traditional study portion of training, you will learn the most technical skills learned in clinical settings and even at your first job while on-the-job training.

That’s when you really find out if you can handle this career or not-When you try it in practice.

Additionally, chairside assisting, computer programs and assisting techniques are commonly taught in the clinical portion of dental assisting.

Can You Make it Through Dental Assistant School?

The answer to this question depends entirely on you as an individual.

If you are looking for a quick track to a career and are not willing to put the effort, a career in dental assisting may not be your ideal choice.

However, if you possess the necessary qualities, show a willingness to study in an accredited program, and can complete extra opportunities to gain an edge on the job field, a dental assistant school should not be that hard.

One Comment
  1. Avatar for Julie K. Julie K.


    I am curious about a career in the Dental Assistanting program at my college. However, I wondering if you can explain more depth ” good with your hands” means as you stated in the article you wrote. I feel I have all the qualifications needed to take this. But I am nervous about if it will be painful while working? And is this good paying career? I am in my late 30`s and I want make sure this is for me.

    Thank you!

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