If you are a "hands-on" person, enjoy people, like fast-paced work, like variety, and enjoy the thought of helping people; then Dental Assisting might be for you.
Salary Range Potential:
Community College or Technical Degree
Problem-Solving, Mathematics, Communication, Critical Thinking
Types of Employers:
Dental Assistants help a Dentist work on patients in a dental office or clinic. They take dental x-rays, make study models, help with dental procedures, do coronal polishes, apply sealants, and maintain infection control of dental operatory, instruments, and equipment. They calm patient's fears, maintain patient's dental records, make appointments, answer the telephone, and help with patient oral healthcare education.
Dental Assistant- $37,0000%
Cashier - $20,8800%
Waitress/Waiter - $20,7700%
Fast Food Workers - $20,7700%
Security Guard - $26,1700%
Private Sector - $41,6000%
We believe that learning opens doors for the dental assistant; doors to increased pay, professional recognition, advanced career opportunities, and a matchless feeling of personal accomplishment. The Dental Assistant Program is a 12-month course of study, beginning in the Fall and ends in the Summer. There are two degree options: Technical Degree or Associate of Applied Science. Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exam will be taken in 3 parts: Infection Control, Radiology and General Chairside. Once all three exams are passed, and course curriculum completed with a C average, student becomes a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).
Length of Program:2 years
Summary of Program Requirements:
Forrest County Center
This one (1) day, non-credit healthcare training prepares the dental assistant applicant currently certified by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) and/or who is a graduate to a dental assisting program accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA) to apply for a Mississippi radiology permit. Upon successful completion of the program and obtaining the permit, the graduate is eligible to pursue additional opportunities in the dental field related to radiologic procedures.
Length of Program:1 Day
Summary of Program Requirements:
Jefferson Davis Campus
"The Dental Assisting Technology program at Meridian Community College is a one-year certificate program designed to prepare the student for employment and advancement in the dental assisting field. Upon successful completion of this program, the student will have performed a variety of patient care, office and laboratory duties. The program includes lecture hours, lab hours, and supervised clinical experiences. Students will complete 300 hours in local dental offices. In the clinical experiences, the student will assist the dentist at chairside both in private offices, clinics, and state facilities as applicable. Upon graduation from the program, the student will be able to apply for a Mississippi Radiology Permit which is necessary for legally using X-rays to make radiographs or capture digital images in Mississippi dental offices. Students are required to take two of the three components of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exams while in the DAT program. Student will take the Infection Control Exam (ICE) and the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam. Graduates from the program can then qualify to take the final component, the General Chairside (GC) exam. If all three components are passed within a five year period, the assistant will become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). This CDA certification usually brings a higher salary for the dental assistant."
Pre-requisites required:Attain a 17 or better composite score on the ACT; or score 251 or above on the ACCUPLACER Reading section and a 251 or above on the Arithmetic section; or complete 15 semester hours with a "C average or above at an accredited college or university with six (6) of the hours being awarded in English Composition I (ENG 1113) and Public Speaking (SPT 1113). Developmental coursework does not satisfy this requirement; and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 ('C" average) on all previous college coursework; and attend a DAT Information Session offered in late spring. Students will receive notice from the Register's Office about scheduling their information session.
Length of Program:1 year
Summary of Program Requirements:Attain a 17 or better composite score on the ACT; or score 251 or above on the ACCUPLACER Reading section and a 251 or above on the Arithmetic section; or complete 15 semester hours with a "C average or above at an accredited college or university with six (6) of the hours being awarded in English Composition I (ENG 1113) and Public Speaking (SPT 1113). Developmental coursework does not satisfy this requirement; and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 ('C" average) on all previous college coursework; and attend a DAT Information Session offered in late spring. Students will receive notice from the Register's Office about scheduling their information session.
Skills NeededCritical thinking skills; interpersonal skills sufficient to interact with co-workers and patients; written and verbal communication skills; fine motor skills; hand-eye coordination.