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Dental Assistant


Dental Assistant

Fast Facts

National annual wage range:
$25,460 to $52,000*
Tuition and fees:
$17,057 to $17,059
Program length:
36 weeks

As the population grows and ages, dentists’ workloads are expected to increase, driving a need for dental assistants with the skills to perform routine tasks so dentists may devote more time to complex procedures. In fact, dental assisting is projected to be among the fastest-growing occupations in the nation through the year 2024.* At Brightwood Career Institute, you could acquire the relevant education and hands-on training to help start your career in dental assisting.

If you want to become part of a dental practice, our Dental Assistant Diploma program can provide you with the relevant training, knowledge, and skills. We offer flexible class schedules so you could meet the demands of your family, work, and education.

Dental Assistant Diploma Program Features

Our curriculum offers hands-on training to help you develop the skills to succeed on the job as soon as you graduate. You could develop the skills to perform duties such as instrument sterilization, tray setups, four-handed dentistry, equipment maintenance, impressions, model trimming, charting, and dental reception duties. In addition to office management and communications, records management and ethics, and an introduction to basic computer skills, study includes the following:

  • Chairside assisting, including handling dental instruments, controlling infection, and planning treatment in the eight specialty areas of dentistry
  • Handling dental emergencies, such as an abscessed tooth, alveolitis, or a broken tooth or prosthesis
  • Identifying structures of the oral cavity, the different types of teeth, and universal codes for each tooth
  • Preventive dentistry

Dental Assistant Education and Training

Brightwood Career Institute is proud to offer a Dental Assistant Diploma program that is market-driven with curriculum designed to serve local employment needs. When you earn your diploma at Brightwood Career Institute, you have the opportunity to gain not only dental assistant knowledge and skills, but also professional skills that you could apply to your everyday life.

The objective of the dental assistant program is to prepare you to pursue positions as a member of a dental health team and to perform chairside assisting and related office and lab procedures under the direct supervision of a dentist. Before you graduate, you will be required to complete an externship at a general dental office, clinic, or other dental facility where you can actively participate in patient care.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

The duties of a dental assistant are diverse, designed to support the dentist, and include performing a range of daily activities:

  • Caring for patients in the treatment room
  • Taking impressions of patients' teeth
  • Demonstrating preventive dentistry to patients
  • Assisting with oral surgery
  • Performing oral evacuations
  • Infection control and sterilization

Administrative Skills Training

Dental assistants often perform administrative responsibilities to help maintain an efficient, productive dental office. Your training will include classes in dental office procedures such as taking inventory, managing patient records, and communicating verbally and through written correspondence.

Potential Dental Assistant Career Opportunities

As a graduate of the dental assistant program at Brightwood Career Institute, you may apply for an entry-level positions in dental group practices, public health institutions, clinics, dental insurance agencies, and for dental product distributors. Dental assistants can continue to grow in their careers and become office managers, enter dental sales positions, or obtain positions at research facilities or insurance companies.

The College makes no representation, promise or guarantee that completion of this program either assures passage of any certification examination or acceptance by any state board. Prospective and current students, as well as graduates, are responsible for researching and understanding all examination, registration or licensure requirements in any state in which they seek to become registered, licensed or employed. Brightwood College does not guarantee employment or career advancement.

* The median annual wage for dental assistants was $36,940 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,460, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $52,000. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Dental Assistants, on the Internet at (visited August 23, 2017).National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

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