Dental care is an industry of the United States’ health care system that is dynamically changing every year.
More and more individuals want to become part of it.
Alongside the dentist and orthodontist, there is another job that is sometimes overlooked, but a lot of people desire it.
This is the job of a dental assistant.
Before one decides to take upon the path of dental assisting he or she has to be aware of all the requirements that come along with the job.
Every state has its conditions and Alaska is no exception to this fact.
Article Table of Contents
How to Become a Dental Assistant in Alaska
In the state of Alaska, around 1,081 people choose to work as dental assistants.
It is expected this number to grow up to 1,373 by the year 2022.
The percentage of this rapid growth is about 29.
What Kind of Education is Required?
There are no specific requirements such as a University degree in the dental field.
Although most dental assistants can be instructed by a dentist who has been licensed, some procedures are requiring the individual to be certified by the Alaska Board of Dental Examiners.
CODA (Commission on Dental Assisting) is accrediting one program in the state of Alaska at the moment and completion of this program can give an advantage to a person looking for a job in this field.
After the completion of the program, which typically has a duration of a year, dental assistants who finish the course successfully will receive certificates.
Students enrolled in the CODA-approved program will be well-educated and will learn the know-how of an entry-level assistant at a dentist’s office.
Individuals also get practical experience in a dental office, where they can use the knowledge they gained throughout the course.
What Does the Program Include?
Since CODA is the only agency in the United States of America that accredits dental-related programs, it is useful to know what their studies include.
They consist of, but are not limited to the following:
- A safe working environment in the dental office
- Dental terminology
- Oral anatomy
- Dental anatomy
- Chairside assisting
- Classification and charting
- Medical emergencies
- Oral surgery and pathology
- Insurance policies
- Restorative procedures
Specific Procedures Requirements
There are a few procedures that will require proper education, training, and certification.
Along with the basic duties of a dental assistant, there are a few others, such as the coronal polishing procedure, that will need certification in the field of coronal polishing.
To become a dental assistant who can perform polishing procedures, one must complete a specific program.
This program must be approved by the Alaska Board of Dental Examiners.
To earn a certificate, you have to apply to the board mentioned above.
Also, you will need to pay a fee of 50 USD, as well as a certification for the same price.
If you are licensed or certified to perform these procedures in another jurisdiction, you can practice it in the state of Alaska as well.
Individuals who want to be able to execute restorative functions and work directly under an overseeing dentist must complete certain training.
To earn these privileges, you will have to enroll and complete a program that has been approved by the CODA or the Alaska Board of Dental Examiners.
Western Regional Examining Board is overseeing the exam.
The application has to be submitted to the Alaska Board of Dental Examiners and the fee for the program is 50 USD.
The cost of the certificate is also 50 USD and has to be renewed at the end of the even-numbered years.
One should note that applications are being reviewed when the Board of Dental Examiners meets.
This happens four times throughout the year.
Usually, those are the months of March, June, September, and December.
Other Education Options
CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) credential is a popular choice and it is voluntary. It is an entry-level certificate and it is approved by the DANB (Dental Assisting National Board). The exam for this certificate has three main components.
- Radiation Health and Safety (RHS)
- Infection Control (ICE)
- General Chairside Assisting (GC)
The requirements for the exam can be found on the DANB official site.
The exam can be taken at 14 facilities throughout Alaska, known as Pearson VUE test centers.
Certificates issued by the DANB are valid for a whole year.
DANB certificate holders have to renew their certificate annually after earning 30 credits in the areas of management of a dental office, clinical practice, volunteer practice or other DANB-approved exams.
The Dale Foundation is an official affiliate of DANB.
You can find helpful courses on their website, to continue your education.
There is a variety of courses offered by the Dale Foundation, including Infection Control, Radiation Health and Safety, and Dental Office Management.
Dos and Don’ts for a Dental Assistant
As a dental assistant in the state of Alaska, you will have the right to perform certain duties and you will be prohibited from doing others.
What can you do under the supervision of a licensed dentist?
- Coronal polishing, if you have a certificated giving you the right to perform this procedure
- You can place a restoration into a cavity
- Other functions of restoration, such as contouring, carving, and adjustment of occlusion and contacts, if you possess a certificate granting you the power to do so
What can you do without the supervision of a licensed dentist?
- You can apply pit sealants
- You can apply fissure sealants
- You can perform radiographic procedures
- You can use dental equipment, such as x-ray equipment
- You can perform safety procedures
What are you prohibited from doing?
- Removing accretions, calcareous deposits, and stains using scaling and/or polishing techniques
- Dealing with nitrous oxide and oxygen conscious sedation, as well as local anesthetic agents
- Using local periodontal therapeutic agents
- Doing a nonsurgical periodontal therapy
- Diagnosing patients
- Planning a treatment
- Prescription writing
- Writing authorizations for orthodontic appliances
- Surgical or operative procedures, etc.
What is the Salary of a Dental Assistant in Alaska?
On average dental assistants in Alaska earn around 40,000 USD annually.
The salary depends on the qualifications of the individual, the dental office and the city.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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