Have you ever thought about working in a dental office but are not sure if you want to go to school for six to eight years?
If so, you could gain experience as a Georgia Dental Assistant first and earn a decent salary.
- Licensing Requirements to Become a Georgia Dental Assistant
- 5 Dental Assistant Schools in Georgia
- Frequently Asked Questions
Licensing Requirements to Become a Georgia Dental Assistant
If you plan to concentrate on clinical duties in a Georgia dental office, you will need to complete your X-ray certification requirement within your first 30-90 days of employment.
Your employer must document this Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) training.
At least six hours of radiology training is required as decided by the Georgia Department of Human Services.
Dental Assistants who perform basic office duties don’t have many strict requirements.
However, you might decide you want to earn an Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA) credential.
This permits you to take on some hygiene and restorative dentistry responsibilities, for instance, as directed and supervised by a licensed dentist.
Regarding restorative treatments, the Georgia Board of Dentistry mandates at least eight hours of training for rubber cup prophy administration, which allows you to assist with teeth polishing and dental material shaping.
If you want to make sure you meet all the state’s educational requirements, you can sign up with a school that offers a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certificate, diploma, or associate program.
Make sure this training is approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
If it’s not CODA-approved, make sure local, certified dentists recognize it and that the Georgia dentistry board approves.
By the way, your school should also prepare you for your CDA exam, which is offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) and the Infection Control (ICE) exam.
5 Dental Assistant Schools in Georgia
1. Albany Technical College
At Albany, you could start with the Dental Assisting Diploma training.
It does not specify on the program description page how long the coursework will take.
However, most certificate programs are two to three semesters.
This 55-credit program includes core courses you can take either in the spring or the fall.
For the job-specific training, you have to sign up in the fall or wait until the following year to complete it after you have taken the foundational requirements.
Hands-on practice is included, and you also learn preventative, restorative, and chairside dentistry concepts.
This school meets CODA standards and prepares you for the DANB CDA, RHS, and Infection Control (ICE) exams.
2. Gwinnett Technical College
Gwinnett teaches you the foundations of dental assisting, such as related medical terms and anatomy.
However, you also will gain time in a dental office environment where you can practice the skills your instructors teach you.
Your training shares essential infection control, office management, and radiation safety with you, for instance.
Then, you apply that in the real world under dental supervision.
You could start with the Basic Dental Assisting Certificate, which takes less than a year to complete.
Otherwise, you could enroll in the three-semester Advanced Dental Assisting program.
3. Athens Technical College
Your Dental Assisting coursework will teach you how to become a licensed dentist’s extra set of hands.
This clinical training will prepare you for chairside assistance under the supervision of a licensed professional.
It also will introduce you to how a dentist diagnoses teeth and gum conditions.
You would not have the authority to diagnose, but this does provide you with understanding for your job.
In addition, you will receive information about specialized dentistry, such as orthodontics, pediatrics, or prosthodontics.
Additionally, you will receive hands-on training, which includes practice with using radiology equipment and time in labs.
What is more, you’ll know the correct way to sterilize instruments and equipment by the time you complete this program.
This CODA-accredited Athens Dental Assisting training may take you up to four semesters unless you arrange for taking certificate courses for an entry-level position when available.
4. Atlanta Technical College
The Dental Assisting Diploma Program is a 55-credit course.
However, some of those credits are earned in an externship, so you would complete your training in about six to nine months.
While enrolled in this coursework, you will practice your newly acquired dental assisting skills in a real lab and become familiar with chairside tasks.
This includes making sure you sterilize all dental instruments, machines, and equipment.
You can also use your training to prepare for your DANB exam.
In addition, this coursework offers you the chance to become a certified EDDA.
5. Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC)
The GNTC Dental Assisting program starts with preparatory courses, including psychology and an introduction to medical office procedures or computer training.
You also will need to take a basic anatomy or biology class.
After completing your general education requirements, you would begin your job-specific training, which includes general chairside, radiology, DANB exam prep, and therapeutics classes.
You also will have three different practicum blocks to complete, during which time you experience what it’s like working in a dental treatment environment.
Dental Assistant Schools in Georgia – Summary Table
Top 5 Schools in Georgia
|Albany Technical College||1704 S Slappey Blvd, Albany, GA 31701|
|Gwinnett Technical College||5150 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Lawrenceville, GA 30043|
|Athens Technical College||800 US-29, Athens, GA 30601|
|Atlanta Technical College||1560 Metropolitan Pkwy SW, Atlanta, GA 30310|
|Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC)||265 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring, GA 30739|
The average amount of money that a Georgia Dental Assistant makes per year totals approximately $39,588.
Yearly incomes usually range from $35,112 and $43,925.
Additional certification and skill updates could increase your salary to more than $47,873.
Find jobs in Albany, Atlanta, Alpharetta, and Marietta.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Dental Assistants in Georgia
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the job prospects for Dental Assistants in Georgia?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 11% job growth outlook until 2030.
This means an average of 44,000 job openings per year during this period.
What are the job duties of a Dental Assistant?
Tasks may vary, depending upon the structure of your employer.
You could end up coming in first thing in the morning before a licensed dentist arrives.
If so, you would open the office and welcome patients, and you would perhaps set up the dental equipment for the first patient of the day.
Your job might also require recordkeeping and taking X-rays and performing chairside duties as directed by the dentist.
Where would I work as a Dental Assistant in Georgia?
Most DAs work in private offices.
However, you could find employment at long-term stay facilities, universities, camps, or public clinics.
Otherwise, you might end up assisting a pediatric, surgical, or orthodontics dentist.
How long does it take to complete Dental Assistant training?
The average time to complete entry-level requirements is about six to 12 months.
The EDDA or CDA training could take you at least 18-24 months.
Your start date and course availability may affect how long it takes you to finish your training.
How much does Dental Assistant training cost in Georgia?
It could cost you an average of about $10,000 for the year-long program.
This doesn’t include the costs of the exams, which vary.
You might want to ask your school of choice if they include the exam cost in your tuition.