If you are considering a career as a dental assistant, you may be wondering about the different job possibilities that exist once you actually get into the field. You have a number of options, some of which include dental assisting positions that require more training.
Here is a basic list of the job titles for which you will be qualified after you complete the required coursework, tests and other requirements:
This is an entry-level position. In the state of Texas, a dental assistant can perform basic supportive dental procedures such as patient reception and accommodation and equipment handling under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. While no education requirements exist for this level of dental assisting, it is nevertheless to your advantage to seek training at a qualified institution such as the Dental Assistant Training School of Harlingen.
Registered dental assistant (RDA)
An RDA is considered the next step above a dental assistant. To qualify, you need to do the following:
- complete a course in basic life support; and
- complete another course, as specified by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE), that includes procedures for positioning and exposing dental x-rays, jurisprudence and infection control.
You can also opt to earn the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certificate and complete the Texas Jurisprudence Assessment (TJA). Once you have done one or the other of these pairings, then you need to apply for RDA registration with the TSBDE.
Dental assistants are qualified to perform expanded functions
A dental assistant or RDA can eventually get licensed to perform more complex procedures. They include pit and fissure sealant application, coronal polishing and nitrous oxide administration. Following are the licensing requirements for each duty:
Pit and fissure sealant application
- two years of dental assisting experience
- completion of a course in basic life support
- completion of a minimum of 8 hours of a TSBDE-approved instruction/clinical training in pit and fissure sealants registration with the TSBDE
- two years of dental assisting experience OR
- completion of a minimum of 8 hours of TSBDE-approved instruction/clinical training in coronal polishing OR
- attainment of DANB CDA certification and completion of the TSBDE jurisprudence assessment OR
- graduation from a Commission for Dental Accreditation (CODA)- accredited dental assisting program that includes instruction/clinical training in coronal polishing and completion of the TSBDE jurisprudence assessment
- registration with the TSBDE
Nitrous oxide administration
- completion of a TSBDE-approved nitrous oxide monitoring course
- registration with the TSBDE
With each new level of competency comes a corresponding increase in salary. Eventually, the training and experience you can gather at each of these levels can help propel you into more challenging careers in dental hygiene or even dentistry itself.
At the Dental Assistant Training School of Harlingen, we can not only give you the edge in a challenging job market but also give the solid foundation you will need to build a successful career in the dental field. Your future is looking brighter than ever as a dental assistant. So contact us today for the information you need to get started on your path to a career that will grow with you.
Call DATS today at (956) 200-3177 and start on your path to a better career!