One way to enter the field of dentistry without attending several years of school is to become a dental assistant.
Most entry-level positions require a year or less of formal training.
- Kentucky Requirements to Become a Dental Assistant
- 5 Dental Assistant Schools in Kentucky
- Frequently Asked Questions
Kentucky Requirements to Become a Dental Assistant
The Dental Auxiliary in Kentucky performs some of the same duties as would a Dental Assistant in another state.
At this level, you can perform basic duties without much training or certification.
Your allowances are limited, however.
If you want to perform a comprehensive set of services for patients, you will want to train for the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) credential.
State exams are required for this, and your certification will require several components, such as Coronal Polish, Radiology (RHS), and Infection Control (ICE) portions.
Other certificate training will prepare you for administering IVs to patients, such as when providing them sedatives.
You don’t necessarily need to wait until you’re done with your certifications to find a job, however.
Oftentimes, dental assistants find employment while still in school and learn on the job at the same time.
Most of the certification exams you must pass include those offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
There’s also what is called the Expanded Duties Dental Assistant (EDDA) role you can train for.
5 Dental Assistant Schools in Kentucky
1. Big Sandy Community & Technical College
Big Sandy equips you with knowledge and skills that will put you in the running for a job alongside a dentist.
They say that you can “create beautiful smiles” on people for a living.
You could train here either for a dental assistant or a dental hygienist position.
You will start out practicing on mannequins.
Then, transfer into a real-world clinical setting where you help dentists perform cleanings and restorative work on real patients.
Learning how to schedule patients or retrieve and manage patient records also may be a part of your curriculum, depending on the courses you take.
They have a two-year associate program, but you will have to check if they have any certificate courses you can take immediately before enrolling in a degree program.
2. West Kentucky Community & Technical College
Training at West Kentucky will enable you to perform chairside, office, and lab assistance to a licensed dentist.
The certificate training program provides you with information about HIPAA patient privacy information.
In addition, you will gain knowledge about the importance of infection control.
Your coursework will also provide you with practical lab experience.
Get ready for work in a clinic, private office, or specialty care center after training at West Kentucky.
This school appears on the DANB website approved list of CODA-accredited schools.
3. MedQuest College
At MedQuest, you can take the eight-week Basic Dental Assisting and the Basic Dental Business Courses.
You would take these certificate courses at the same time during this period.
The Basic Dental class provides you with 47 hours of classroom instruction.
This is where you will become acquainted with Ex-Ray procedures, restorative dental materials, and more.
This course also includes 160 hours of externship at a dental office.
The Dental Business training prepares you for scheduling patients and filing their records.
It includes 40 hours of externship training in a dental office.
You also can take the Advanced Dental Assisting Certificate course.
This one also comes with 48 hours of time spent in class and another 160 hours of time working in a dental office setting.
Another option this training center provides is the four-month Diploma Program.
Here, you will receive a brief introduction to orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, oral surgery, and periodontics.
Additional intros to the world of what a dentist does are covered, and you also will receive 300 hours of hands-on training.
4. Medical Institute of Kentucky (TMIKY)
At this Kentucky training center, you will immerse yourself in the world of all things assisting a dentist.
For instance, you will learn how to place a filling and the correct crown fabrication procedures.
In addition, you will become familiar with the differences between periodontics, pediatrics, orthodontists, general dentists—and others.
This course will send you on the way to obtaining the necessary EDDA (Expanded Duty Dental Assistant) training, which also is an option for you.
This relates to becoming what the state calls an RDA, but you should confirm that this school offers you the training you need.
The Dental Assisting program offered by TMIKY lasts for 22 weeks.
You will receive a Certificate of Completion from the school.
You are going to have to find out if this training lines up with DANB or CODA expectations, however.
You could verify by asking local dental centers too.
It does include 80 hours of externship experience, which does prepare you for real-work DA work.
5. Emergency Medical Training Professionals LLC (EMTP)
The EMTP dental assistant program will teach you how to keep on office running efficiently.
In addition, you will learn how to take patient vital signs, administer CPR, and run X-ray machines.
This training includes 179 hours in the classroom and 120 hours of externship time.
Part of your training covers basic dental assisting, and it also prepares you for an EDDA role.
HIPAA patient privacy lab supplies and infection control courses also are a part of this education.
Check the DANB or the CODA websites to verify this training will suit you.
Chances are it will because it covers just about any topic related to dental assisting that you can think of.
The State of Kentucky can provide you with more information too.
Dental Assistant Schools in Kentucky – Summary Table
Top 5 Schools in Kentucky
|Big Sandy Community & Technical College||1 Bert Combs Dr, Prestonsburg, KY 41653|
|West Kentucky Community & Technical College||4810 Alben Barkley Dr, Paducah, KY 42001|
|MedQuest College||10400 Linn Station Rd #120, Louisville, KY 40223|
|Medical Institute of Kentucky (TMIKY)||2720 Old Rosebud Rd # 230, Lexington, KY 40509|
|Emergency Medical Training Professionals LLC (EMTP)||1141 Red Mile Rd Suite 101, Lexington, KY 40504|
By April 2022, Kentucky dental assistants earned an average of $38,401.
Yearly incomes range between $34,059 and $42,610.
With advanced training and additional experience, you can make more than $46,441.
Look for jobs in cities such as Crestview Hills, Florence, Georgetown, Lexington, or Owensboro.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Dental Assistants in Kentucky
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I will be able to get a job in Kentucky?
To make sure you are hirable, make sure you receive Dental Assisting training from a school that local dental offices recognize.
If they do not know about it, you should consult the DANB or look for other opportunities.
You need a school approved by this state’s dentistry board or by CODA.
Will I have to perform both clinical and office duties in KY?
No, you may not have to.
It depends on the place where you work and why they hired you.
Smaller offices with only a single dentist usually require you to fulfill a broader scope of duties than a larger university, dental practice or clinic with several licensed dentists on staff.
Do I have to renew my dental assisting certificates?
Yes, you will, and this usually requires taking continuing education (CE) courses to update your skills.
Your employer might fund part of this cost, or financial aid might cover it.
Is there a high demand for KY dental assistants?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 11% growth for this profession until 2030.
You might find jobs in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods where they do not have as much access to quality care as in other locations if you cannot find a job right away.
However, the natural course is usually to transition into a paid position while you are still in a hands-on training program at a local dental office.
What duties in KY does a dental assistant perform?
The short answer is, that whatever you were trained for in school and whatever a licensed dentist is allowed to train you for is what you would do.
You might start out preparing instrument trays, answering calls, and scheduling appointments.
Then, you may move on to sterilizing equipment and taking on a more active role in assisting with restoration, repair, and cleaning.