South Dakota Dental Assistant Schools and Salary Guide

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While dental hygienists work one-on-one with patients, dental assistants assist by providing direct aid to them.

It is easy to enroll in a dental assistant school in South Dakota as these schools feature advanced dentistry programs.

Although the dental assistant salary in South Dakota entirely depends on a wide range of factors, the job rewards well.

The average base salary of dental assistants in South Dakota increases depending on the graduate’s certification level.

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5 Dental Assistant Schools in South Dakota

South Dakota is home to many colleges and universities.

There are schools in this state that offer accredited dental programs.

Below are five dental assistant schools in South Dakota.

Lake Area Technical College

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Lake Area Technical College is a public community college in Watertown, South Dakota.

The school’s curriculum meets South Dakota’s educational requirements for professional licensing.

Their in-state tuition fees are $6,862.

Lake Area Technical College offers an 11-month-long in-person Diploma or a part-time E-degree that takes seven semesters.

The college trains on dental topics such as:

  • Dental and oral anatomy
  • Basic life support
  • Oral health
  • Clinical skills
  • Dental radiography

The good thing about studying dental assistant in South Dakota is that this state has a CODA-accredited program that helps when combined with other certifications.

With maximum time and flexibility, you can earn crucial hands-on dentistry experience.

To acquire certification from Lake Area Technical College, you will complete online courses and on-campus laboratory requirements.

It amounts to 12 days per semester.

You will also have to complete 300 hours of clinical experience in a dental office.

University of South Dakota

University of South Dakota Logo

The University of South Dakota is known for its excellence in the Dental Hygiene program.

Their program provides one with the necessary dental assistant real-world skills to apply in various settings.

This university offers a two-year Bachelor’s of Science in dental hygiene.

The following are topics that they cover:

  • Organic biochemistry
  • Fundamentals of speech
  • Human anatomy

To graduate, you must complete at least 3,500 hours of approved work.

The above topics help graduates become capable professionals who deliver high-quality care to their patients.

The University of South Dakota offers reasonable tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. In-state students pay $18,856 while out-of-state students pay $22,366.

Through direct patient care that students learn at this university, they promote oral health in any setting they enter.

Western Dakota Technical College

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The Western Dakota Technical College’s diploma curriculum in dental assistant equips graduates with good oral health practices.

This college trains dental assistants to work closely with dentists as they treat patients.

Their technical diploma curriculum takes one semester, and it covers the following topics:

  • Dental radiography
  • Oral hygiene
  • Chairside skills
  • Dental anatomy
  • OSHA standards
  • Communication skills

Graduates become certified after completing an examination by the Dental Assisting National Board.

The dental assistant program costs about $5,800, covering tuition and basic program fees. You may incur additional fees for stationery and testing.

Southeast Technical College

Southeast Technical College Logo

One requires one year to cover a dental assistant program at the Southeast Technical College, South Dakota.

Combined tuition and fees for this program amount to $7,470.

Southeast Technical College equips its graduates with a dental apprenticeship program that assists them in tracking their way to a dental career.

The curriculum covers:

  • Dental therapeutics and medical emergencies
  • Dental procedures and techniques
  • Infection control
  • Communications requirement

The Southeast Technical College trains dental assistants on how to provide direct patient care.

The program meets the standards of the South Dakota Dental Association with the help of the Southeastern District Dental Society.

Presentation College

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For six months (240-course hours), Presentation College in South Dakota offers the dental assistant program.

The program goes for $1,995, inclusive of tuition and fees.

The course equips graduates with comprehensive skills for entry-level dental assistant positions.

One also learns critical foundational skills that are essential for patient care.

The course covers:

  • Performing diagnostic coding
  • Dental terminology
  • Dental anatomy
  • Procedural dental care

Upon completing this course at Presentation College, one can look for career opportunities to pursue in the dental assistant field.

Dental Assistant Schools in South Dakota – Summary Table

Top 5 Schools in South Dakota

School NameAddress
Lake Area Technical College1201 Arrow Ave NE, Watertown, SD 57201
University of South Dakota414 E Clark St, Vermillion, SD 57069
Western Dakota Technical College800 Mickelson Dr, Rapid City, SD 57703
Southeast Technical College2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57107
Presentation College1500 N Main St, Aberdeen, SD 57401

Dental Assistant Salary in South Dakota

Upon graduation, you acquire the necessary certification that will help you to become an advanced dental assistant.

To qualify, you will have to either possess a CDA certification or graduate from a CODA-accredited institution.

The earnings of dental assistants in South Dakota vary widely depending on the following factors:

  • Certification
  • Experience
  • Location
  • Education level
  • Additional skills that one possesses

The average dental assistant salary in South Dakota is $40,809 as of April 26, 2022.

The range falls between $36,194 and $45,281.

To acquire the above salary, one requires 1 to 3 years of experience. Additional specialized training and certification come in handy too.

As a new dental assistant, your salary may not be as high as experienced ones.

However, Dental assistants in Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city, earn more due to their location.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Dental Assistants in South Dakota

City NameSalary
Sioux Falls$36,634
Rapid City$35,418
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in South Dakota

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Rapid City, SD240$43,170$20.76$49,040$37,290
Sioux Falls, SD340$45,950$22.09$50,330$38,280
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Dental Assistants, OCC Code 31-9091, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dental assistant a career?

Dental assisting is a career that is fulfilling both personally and professionally.

Hygienists and Dentists rely on dental assistants to help patients.

What is the most challenging part of being a dental assistant in South Dakota?

Dealing with patient anxiety is the most common challenge most dental assistants undergo.

Once a patient gets in the room, gently talk to them, as it will help to calm them down.

What are the Dental Assistant requirements in South Dakota?

To successfully become a dental assistant in South Dakota, one must graduate from a CODA-accredited program or hold the current Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification.

Is the Dental licensure requirement in South Dakota mandatory?

All dental assistants must complete 60 hours of board-approved continuing education in each five-year licensure cycle.

Do dental assistants have a good work-life balance?

According to US News, dental assistants’ work-life balance score is eight out of ten.

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