Dental Assistant Programs in Tennessee
If you’re interested in starting a career in healthcare, there are many in-demand career paths you may consider. One option that is growing quickly is dental assisting. Dental assistants have specialized training in administrative tasks and patient care tasks, allowing them to become an important part of their dental office’s daily operations.
This is a fairly flexible field that allows you to choose the training option that fits you. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about dental assistant and dental hygienist schools, Tennessee is a great place to start.
Use the list of dental assisting programs below to contact schools that interest you.
Dental Assistant Schools in Tennessee
Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs are very similar, but there are some slight differences that set these two options apart. Dental assistant programs range from one year to two years in length, leading to either a certificate, diploma, or Associate’s degree.
On the other hand, you need an Associate’s degree to become a dental hygienist. Furthermore, dental hygienists are trained in a greater number of duties than dental assistants.
As a dental assisting student, you may take a number of courses to develop your understanding of this field. You may learn about dental terminology, the proper use of dental tools, dental anatomy, and basic dental procedures.
Dental Assistant Programs: Tennessee Course Options
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Oral Diagnosis
- Dental Materials
- Operative Dentistry
- Practice Management
To round out your education, plan on completing quite a bit of clinical experience. By working with patients of different ages, backgrounds, and dental needs, you can build the confidence you need to work in any type of dental clinic.
Whether you spend one or two years in school, you may want to save as much money as possible on tuition, tools, and books. Consider applying for the Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship through the DALE Foundation.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Tennessee
Your dental assistant courses are designed to prepare you for the certification process in Tennessee. Tennessee has slightly different certification levels than other states.
The lowest level of certification is a Practical Dental Assistant. To reach this level, you must receive chairside training from a dentist or be currently enrolled in a dental assisting program.
To become a Registered Dental Assistant, you need CPR certification, a high school diploma, and approval from the Tennessee Board of Dentistry. Once they accept your registration, you may become a Registered Dental Assistant.
At different dentist schools, Tennessee students get experience at various local clinics, both privately owned clinics and community clinics. You may look into employment options at these clinics, particularly if you perform well and make a good first impression.
Overall, demand for dental assistants may increase 16% in Tennessee between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2017). The average salary for a Tennessee dental assistant is $34,970 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
Now it’s time to get going on the path to a new career.