Dental assisting is a rewarding and in-demand career path that can be a great fit for individuals who enjoy working with people and are interested in the healthcare industry. If you’re considering becoming a dental assistant and live in the Houston area, you’re in luck. Houston is home to several top-notch dental assistant schools that can provide you with the education and training you need to succeed in this field.
When choosing a dental assistant school, it’s important to consider a variety of factors, including the quality of the program, the cost, the location, and the availability of career services and job placement assistance. Additionally, you’ll want to look for a program that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), which is the national accrediting body for dental assisting programs.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the best dental assistant schools in Houston, as well as detailed information about the programs they offer, the costs involved, and the skills and training required to succeed in this field. Whether you’re just starting out on your career path or are looking to advance your skills and knowledge, we’ve got you covered.
Understanding Dental Assisting
Dental assisting is a vital role in the dental office. Dental assistants work alongside dentists and dental hygienists to provide patient care, assist with dental procedures, and manage the day-to-day operations of the dental office.
Dental assistants perform a variety of tasks, including preparing patients for treatment, taking X-rays, sterilizing instruments, and assisting with dental procedures. They also perform administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing patient records, and ordering supplies.
To be a successful dental assistant, one must possess a variety of skills. These skills include strong communication skills, attention to detail, the ability to work well under pressure, and a willingness to learn. Dental assistants must also be able to work well with others and have a strong commitment to patient care.
In addition to these basic skills, dental assistants must also have a strong understanding of dental procedures and be able to assist the dentist during these procedures. This includes knowledge of dental anatomy, tooth morphology, and dental materials.
Overall, dental assisting is a challenging and rewarding career that requires a combination of technical skills, interpersonal skills, and a commitment to patient care. With the right training and education, anyone can become a successful dental assistant and make a positive impact on the lives of their patients.
Why Choose a Career in Dental Assisting
Dental assisting is a rewarding career that offers a wide range of employment opportunities. As a dental assistant, you will work closely with dentists and dental hygienists to provide quality dental care to patients. If you are considering a new career or looking to achieve your career goals, dental assisting may be the perfect choice for you. Here are some reasons why you should choose a career in dental assisting:
Job Growth and Stability
The demand for dental assistants is growing rapidly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. This means that there will be plenty of job opportunities for dental assistants in the coming years. Additionally, dental assisting offers job stability, as dental offices are essential healthcare providers and are unlikely to be affected by economic downturns.
Dental assisting is a fulfilling career that allows you to make a difference in people’s lives. As a dental assistant, you will work directly with patients to help them achieve good oral health. You will also play an important role in educating patients on proper oral hygiene techniques and assisting dentists during procedures. The work is challenging but rewarding, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a positive impact on people’s lives.
Short Training Programs
One of the best things about dental assisting is that you can start your career quickly. Most dental assistant programs take less than a year to complete, and some programs can be completed in as little as eight weeks. This means that you can start working as a dental assistant in a relatively short amount of time, without having to spend years in school.
Dental assisting offers a competitive salary, with the median annual wage for dental assistants being $42,090 as of May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, dental assistants may receive benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans, depending on their employer.
If you are motivated by the desire to help others and make a difference in people’s lives, then dental assisting may be the perfect career for you. Dental assisting allows you to work directly with patients to improve their oral health and overall well-being. You will also have the opportunity to work as part of a team of healthcare professionals who are dedicated to providing quality care to patients.
In conclusion, dental assisting is a fulfilling and rewarding career that offers job growth and stability, short training programs, competitive salary, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives. If you are considering a new career or looking to achieve your career goals, dental assisting may be the perfect choice for you.
Top Dental Assistant Schools in Houston
Houston is home to several excellent dental assistant schools that offer comprehensive training programs. These schools provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to become successful dental assistants. Here are some of the top dental assistant schools in Houston:
Houston Dental Assistant School
The Houston Dental Assistant School is a highly reputable institution that offers an accelerated 10-week program. This program is designed to provide students with hands-on training in dental assisting skills, including chairside assisting, radiology, and dental practice management. The school also offers job placement assistance to graduates, helping them secure employment in the dental industry.
College of Health Care Professions
The College of Health Care Professions (CHCP) is a well-known institution that offers a Dental Assistant program. This program provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to become successful dental assistants. The program includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training in dental procedures. Graduates of the program are well-prepared to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) certification exam.
Fortis is a nationally recognized institution that offers a Dental Assistant program at its Houston campus. This program provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to work in a dental office. Students receive hands-on training in dental procedures, radiology, and dental office management. The program also includes an externship, allowing students to gain real-world experience in a dental office setting.
Houston Dental Assistant Academy
The Houston Dental Assistant Academy is a well-respected institution that offers a Dental Assistant program. This program is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to become successful dental assistants. The program includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training in dental procedures. Graduates of the program are well-prepared to take the DANB certification exam.
Overall, these dental assistant schools in Houston provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the dental industry. Whether you are looking for an accelerated program or a more traditional program, Houston has a dental assistant school that will meet your needs.
Detailed Overview of Dental Assisting Programs
Dental Assisting Programs are designed to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to become a dental assistant. These programs are typically offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and universities. The curriculum of a Dental Assisting Program usually includes a combination of lectures, online lectures, and hands-on training in in-person labs.
The coursework in a Dental Assisting Program covers a range of topics, including dental anatomy and terminology, dental materials, dental radiography, dental office management, and infection control. Students also learn about dental procedures such as fillings, extractions, and root canals.
Most Dental Assisting Programs require students to complete an externship, which provides them with real-world experience in a dental office. During the externship, students work under the supervision of a licensed dentist or dental assistant and assist with patient care.
Dental Assisting Programs are typically offered as certificate programs or associate degree programs. Certificate programs can be completed in as little as nine months, while associate degree programs take two years to complete. Associate of Applied Science degrees in Dental Assisting are also available.
In summary, Dental Assisting Programs provide students with a comprehensive education in dental assisting, including lectures, online lectures, hands-on training, and an externship. These programs are available as certificate programs or associate degree programs and prepare students for a rewarding career as a dental assistant.
Understanding the Costs
When it comes to pursuing a career as a dental assistant in Houston, it’s important to understand the costs associated with attending a dental assistant program. While the cost of tuition can vary depending on the school and program, there are a few things to keep in mind when considering the financial aspect of your education.
The cost of a dental assistant program in Houston can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the school and program. It’s important to research and compare different programs to find one that fits your budget and offers the education and training you need to succeed.
Many dental assistant programs in Houston offer financial aid options to help students cover the cost of tuition. This can include scholarships, grants, and loans. It’s important to research the financial aid options available at the schools you’re considering and apply for any that you may be eligible for.
Flexible Payment Plans
Some dental assistant programs in Houston offer flexible payment plans to help students manage the cost of tuition. This can include monthly payments or other arrangements that allow students to pay for their education over time. It’s important to discuss payment options with the school’s financial aid office to find a plan that works for you.
Some dental assistant programs in Houston offer options for students to graduate debt-free. This can include scholarships or other financial aid options that cover the entire cost of tuition. It’s important to research and apply for these options early to increase your chances of receiving them.
Overall, while the cost of attending a dental assistant program in Houston can be significant, there are options available to help make it more affordable. By researching different programs, financial aid options, and payment plans, you can find a program that fits your budget and sets you up for success in your career as a dental assistant.
Skills and Training Required
Becoming a dental assistant requires a combination of skills and training. Dental assistants must have a solid foundation in clinical skills, dental radiology, radiation safety, CPR, infection control, office management, and materials.
A good dental assistant training program will provide students with the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary to develop these skills. In addition to classroom instruction, students should expect to spend a significant amount of time in a clinical setting, working with patients and practicing their skills.
One of the most important skills that dental assistants must possess is the ability to take dental radiographs. This requires a thorough understanding of radiation safety and the use of dental radiology equipment. Dental assistants are responsible for ensuring that patients are properly positioned and that the equipment is functioning correctly.
In addition to clinical skills, dental assistants must also be knowledgeable in infection control and sterilization techniques. They must be able to follow strict protocols to ensure that the dental office is a safe and clean environment for patients and staff.
Office management skills are also important for dental assistants, as they are often responsible for scheduling appointments, managing patient records, and handling financial transactions. Dental assistants must be able to communicate effectively with patients and other members of the dental team and should have strong attention to detail.
Finally, dental assistants must be familiar with a variety of dental materials and instruments. They should be able to identify and prepare materials for procedures and should be able to assist the dentist during procedures by passing instruments and materials as needed.
Overall, dental assistant training programs should provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the skills and knowledge necessary to become successful dental assistants. With the right training and experience, dental assistants can play a vital role in providing high-quality dental care to patients.
Career Services and Placement
Houston has a variety of dental assistant schools that offer career services and placement assistance to students. These services can help students prepare for their job search, refine their resumes, and practice interviewing skills.
Many schools have dedicated career services departments that provide students with resources and support to help them find employment in the field of dental assisting. These services may include job boards, networking events, and workshops on topics such as resume writing and interview techniques.
In addition to career services, some schools offer placement assistance to students. This may include help with job applications, referrals to employers, and assistance with scheduling interviews. Some schools also have partnerships with dental practices in the area, which can provide students with opportunities for internships or job shadowing.
When looking for a dental assistant school in Houston, it is important to consider the level of career services and placement assistance that is offered. Students should research the school’s website or contact the admissions office to learn more about the resources that are available.
Overall, career services and placement assistance can be valuable resources for students who are preparing to enter the workforce. By taking advantage of these services, students can gain a competitive edge in the job market and increase their chances of finding a fulfilling career in dental assisting.
State and National Certification
In order to become a Dental Assistant, it is important to obtain both state and national certification. The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) is responsible for regulating and enforcing the laws and rules related to the practice of dentistry and dental assisting in Texas. The TSBDE requires that all Dental Assistants be registered with the state.
To become a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in Texas, individuals must complete an accredited dental assisting program and pass the Texas RDA exam. The exam consists of two parts: a written component and a clinical component. The written component covers topics such as infection control, dental anatomy, and dental materials. The clinical component assesses the candidate’s ability to perform various dental assisting procedures.
In addition to state certification, many employers require that Dental Assistants also obtain national certification. The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) offers several certifications, including the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification. To obtain the CDA certification, individuals must pass three exams: General Chairside Assisting, Radiation Health and Safety, and Infection Control.
Obtaining both state and national certification demonstrates a Dental Assistant’s commitment to their profession and ensures that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe and effective patient care. It can also lead to increased job opportunities and higher salaries.
Overall, it is important for aspiring Dental Assistants to research the specific requirements for certification in their state and to ensure that they are obtaining the necessary education and training to meet those requirements.
Online and In-Person Learning Options
Students seeking to become dental assistants in Houston have the option of choosing between online and in-person learning. Some dental assistant schools offer hybrid programs that combine online coursework with in-person lab practicals.
Online dental assistant programs offer the flexibility of learning from anywhere with an internet connection. Students can complete coursework at their own pace and on their own schedule. However, online programs may not provide the same hands-on experience as in-person programs.
In-person dental assistant programs typically involve attending classes on campus and participating in lab practicals in real-world medical settings, such as a dental office. Students can gain valuable experience working with dental equipment and interacting with patients. Some programs may also offer Saturday classes to accommodate students with busy schedules.
When choosing between online and in-person dental assistant programs, students should consider their learning style, schedule, and career goals. Those who prefer a more digital learning experience and have limited availability may benefit from an online program. However, students who want real-world experience and interaction with dental professionals may prefer an in-person program.
Overall, both online and in-person dental assistant programs can provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in this rewarding career.
Specific Dental Procedures
Dental assistants are responsible for a variety of tasks, including patient care, office management, and laboratory duties. They work closely with dentists to perform specific dental procedures, such as fillings and teeth whitening.
One of the most common procedures performed by dental assistants is fillings. Fillings are used to treat cavities and prevent further tooth decay. During the procedure, the dental assistant will assist the dentist in removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling the cavity with a material such as amalgam or composite resin. Dental assistants must be knowledgeable about the different types of fillings and the materials used to ensure that the procedure is performed correctly.
Another procedure that dental assistants are involved in is teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that involves the use of bleaching agents to remove stains and discoloration from the teeth. Dental assistants are responsible for preparing the patient for the procedure and assisting the dentist in the application of the bleaching agent. They must also be knowledgeable about the different types of bleaching agents and their potential side effects.
In addition to fillings and teeth whitening, dental assistants may also be involved in other dental procedures, such as root canals, extractions, and crown placements. They may assist the dentist in preparing the patient for the procedure, taking X-rays, and sterilizing instruments. Dental assistants must be knowledgeable about the specific procedures and the equipment used to ensure that the procedure is performed safely and accurately.
Overall, dental assistants play a crucial role in performing specific dental procedures and ensuring that patients receive high-quality dental care. They must be knowledgeable, confident, and skilled in their work to ensure that procedures are performed accurately and safely.
Do Your Research
When it comes to finding the best dental assistant schools in Houston, it’s important to know who you’re dealing with. The schools you choose should be reputable, experienced, and committed to providing quality education to their students.
One of the top schools in Houston is Houston Dental Careers, which has been providing dental assistant training for over 20 years. Their experienced instructors are passionate about helping students succeed in the field of dentistry, and they offer hands-on training in a state-of-the-art facility.
Another great option is the Dental Assisting Program at Houston Community College. This program is designed to prepare students for a career in dental assisting through classroom instruction and hands-on training in a clinical setting. Graduates of the program are well-prepared for entry-level positions in dental offices and clinics.
Pima Medical Institute in Houston is also a great choice for those looking to become dental assistants. They offer a comprehensive program that covers everything from dental anatomy and terminology to dental radiography and chairside assisting. Graduates of the program are well-prepared for the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exam.
No matter which school you choose, it’s important to do your research and make sure they have a solid reputation in the industry. By choosing a reputable school with experienced instructors and a comprehensive curriculum, you’ll be well on your way to a successful career in dental assisting.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some dental assistant schools in the Houston area?
There are several dental assistant schools in the Houston area, including Houston Community College, Fortis College, and Houston Dental Assistant School. These schools offer comprehensive dental assistant programs that include classroom instruction, laboratory work, and hands-on training in dental offices.
Are there any online dental assistant courses available in Texas?
Yes, there are online dental assistant courses available in Texas. However, it’s important to note that online courses may not provide the same level of hands-on training as in-person programs. Some schools that offer online dental assistant courses in Texas include Penn Foster Career School, Ashworth College, and Texas A&M University.
How long does it take to complete a dental assistant program in Texas?
The length of a dental assistant program in Texas can vary depending on the school and program. Most programs take between 9 and 12 months to complete and include both classroom instruction and hands-on training. Some programs may also offer part-time or evening classes to accommodate students who work during the day.
What is the average salary for a certified dental assistant in Houston?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a dental assistant in Houston is $38,790 per year. However, this can vary depending on factors such as experience, education, and location.
Where are some of the highest-paying locations for dental assistants in Texas?
Some of the highest paying locations for dental assistants in Texas include the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area, the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area, and the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area. These areas have higher costs of living, which can contribute to higher salaries.
What are some reputable trade schools for dental assistant training in the Houston area?
Some reputable trade schools for dental assistant training in the Houston area include Houston Community College, Fortis College, and the Texas School of Business. These schools have established dental assistant programs that provide comprehensive training and hands-on experience in dental offices.