How to Become a Dental Assistant in Oklahoma

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Dental assistants play a crucial role in dental offices by providing support to dentists and dental hygienists. They assist with various tasks, ensuring smooth operations and quality patient care. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a dental assistant in Oklahoma, here is what you need to know:

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What is a Dental Assistant?

Dental assistants perform both administrative and clinical duties in dental offices. Their responsibilities may include:

  • Assisting dentists during procedures by handing them instruments, sterilizing equipment, and ensuring patient comfort.

  • Taking and developing dental x-rays.

  • Preparing and maintaining dental instruments and equipment.

  • Educating patients on proper oral hygiene techniques.

  • Scheduling appointments and managing patient records.

  • Administering dental treatments under the supervision of a dentist.

Where does a Dental Assistant work?

Dental assistants primarily work in dental offices. They may also find employment in hospitals, dental schools, and public health clinics. Some dental assistants may choose to specialize in specific areas such as orthodontics or pediatric dentistry.

How to Become a Dental Assistant in Oklahoma?

To become a dental assistant in Oklahoma, first, complete a dental assisting education program lasting 1 to 2 years. Next, obtain certification by passing the CDA exam from DANB. With certification, pursue job opportunities in dental offices or clinics statewide, earning a competitive salary based on skills and experience.

Requirements to Become a Dental Assistant in Oklahoma

To become a dental assistant in Oklahoma, you need to fulfill certain education and legal requirements. These include:

  • Education: While a high school diploma or GED is the minimum educational requirement, many dental assistants complete a dental assisting program. These programs are available at vocational schools, community colleges, and dental schools. They typically take 9 to 11 months to complete and cover topics such as dental anatomy, radiography, and dental office management.

  • Legal Requirements: Dental assistants in Oklahoma must obtain a Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) certification. This certification requires passing the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination, which consists of three components: General Chairside Assisting (GC), Radiation Health and Safety (RHS), and Infection Control (ICE). Additionally, dental assistants must maintain current CPR certification.

Where can I find Dental Assistant classes in Oklahoma?

Dreambound is the largest platform for students to find and compare vocational training programs, including dental assistant classes in Oklahoma. By visiting Dreambound's website at dreambound.com, you can access a comprehensive list of dental assistant training programs available in Oklahoma City, OK (view here) and Tulsa, OK (view here). Dreambound provides detailed information about each program, allowing you to compare courses, tuition fees, program duration, and other relevant factors to make an informed decision.

Dreambound simplifies the process of finding dental assistant classes near you, making it convenient and efficient to pursue your career goals.

Exploring a Career in Dental Assistant Outside Oklahoma

If you've been reading this article and aspire to become a Dental Assistant, but you reside in a different state, rest assured that achieving your goal is still within reach. You might consider exploring opportunities to become a Dental Assistant in Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, South Dakota, or West Virginia. Don't worry if you haven't found your location among these, because Dreambound makes it easier than ever to pursue your dreams regardless of your location by simplifying the process of finding and comparing Dental Assistant classes through a convenient search by zip code. With dedication and access to the right resources, you can confidently pursue a successful career in healthcare, no matter where you live.

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How do I get my Dental Assistant certification?

If you're interested in becoming a dental assistant, obtaining certification is an important step to help you stand out in the job market. Certification demonstrates your commitment to professionalism and ensures that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in this field.

To become certified as a dental assistant, you will need to complete an accredited dental assisting program. These programs can be found at community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools. The program typically takes around one year to complete and includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training.

In addition to completing a dental assisting program, you will also need to pass the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exam. This exam is a comprehensive test that covers a wide range of topics, including dental anatomy, dental radiography, dental materials, infection control, and more. Passing this exam is a requirement for certification in most states.

Once you have completed your dental assisting program and passed the DANB exam, you can apply for certification through the Dental Assisting National Board. They will review your application and, if approved, will issue you a certificate as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

How do I get a job as a Dental Assistant?

Once you have obtained your dental assistant certification, the next step is to find a job in the field. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Update your resume: Make sure to include your dental assistant certification on your resume, along with any relevant work experience or internships. Highlight your skills and accomplishments in the field to make yourself stand out to potential employers.

  2. Network: Reach out to friends, family, and any connections you may have in the dental industry. Let them know that you are looking for a job as a dental assistant and ask if they have any leads or recommendations.

  3. Apply to dental offices: Check online job boards, dental association websites, and local classifieds for job postings in your area. Submit your resume and cover letter to dental offices that are hiring, and follow up with a phone call or email to express your interest.

  4. Attend job fairs: Look for dental job fairs in your area, where you can meet with potential employers and learn more about available job opportunities. Bring copies of your resume and be prepared to talk about your skills and experience.

  5. Consider internships or externships: Some dental offices offer internships or externships for dental assistants. These programs can provide valuable hands-on experience and may even lead to a job offer. Contact local dental offices to inquire about any available opportunities.

  6. Prepare for interviews: Research common interview questions for dental assistant positions and practice your answers. Dress professionally and be prepared to discuss your skills, experience, and why you are interested in the field.

Remember, finding a job as a dental assistant may take time and effort. Be patient, stay positive, and keep applying and networking until you find the right opportunity.

Career Paths and Opportunities after Becoming a Dental Assistant

Once you have become a certified dental assistant, there are several career paths and opportunities available to you. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Dental office: Many dental assistants work in private dental offices, where they assist dentists with various procedures, take x-rays, prepare patients for treatment, and perform other administrative tasks. With experience and additional training, dental assistants may also be able to take on more advanced roles, such as dental office manager or dental treatment coordinator.

  2. Specialty offices: Some dental assistants choose to work in specialty dental offices, such as oral surgery clinics, orthodontic practices, or pediatric dentistry offices. These specialized practices often require additional training and knowledge in their specific area of dentistry.

  3. Public health clinics: Dental assistants can also work in public health clinics, providing dental care to underserved populations. These clinics often focus on preventive care and education, and may offer services such as dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, and sealant applications.

  4. Dental schools and teaching: With additional education and experience, dental assistants may also have the opportunity to work in dental schools or teaching institutions. In these settings, they can train and educate future dental assistants, dental hygienists, and dentists.

  5. Sales and product representative: Some dental assistants transition into careers as sales representatives for dental product companies. In this role, they promote and sell dental equipment, supplies, and products to dental offices and other healthcare facilities.

  6. Further education: If you're interested in advancing your career in the dental field, you may consider pursuing further education. Dental assistants can go on to become dental hygienists, dental therapists, or even dentists with additional schooling and training.

No matter which career path you choose, obtaining dental assistant certification is an excellent foundation for a successful and fulfilling career in the dental industry.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a dental assistant can be a rewarding career choice, offering job security, competitive pay, and the opportunity to make a difference in patients' lives. By obtaining your dental assistant certification, you can set yourself apart in the job market and open up a world of career opportunities.

If you're interested in becoming a dental assistant, start by researching accredited dental assisting programs in your area. Choose a program that fits your schedule and offers comprehensive training in both the theoretical and practical aspects of dental assisting. Once you have completed your program, don't forget to study and prepare for the DANB exam to ensure your success.

Remember, a career as a dental assistant is just the beginning. With dedication, hard work, and a commitment to lifelong learning, you can achieve great success in the dental field. Good luck on your journey to becoming a certified dental assistant!

Are you thinking about a job change or wanting to learn more about different career paths? Feel free to check out these additional articles:

Athena Kan
Written by
Athena Kan

Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.

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