It’s true that most states don’t require any certification to work in a dental office as an assistant (unlike a dental hygienist), but certification makes you more competitive in the job market and helps you secure a much higher rate of pay.
Specializing in pediatric dentistry helps you even more, as you will have all the knowledge a general dentist who works with a lot of children would require, as well as the specialized knowledge that a pediatric dentist looks for. The question is, if you want to become a certified dental assistant (CDA), what program should you choose?
Long Versus Short Dental Assistant Programs
You might not realize it, but there are a wide variety of dental assistant programs out there! While each one has to cover the requisite subjects, they can do so over a range of different time frames. So, what’s the difference between the nine-week dental assistant program at PDAS and a program that lasts twelve months, or even twenty-four months?
The difference between these programs, aside from your time investment, is the money you pay. Long programs can cost tens of thousands, compared to just a few thousand for a short course. Our short program has you do the book-learning at home while we concentrate on the clinical, hands-on experience and training you need to excel at your new career.
The main thing to keep in mind is that the duration of the class doesn’t inherently make a difference to your education. It’s the quality of the instruction that will help you get a job, because you want those credentials to be backed up with actual knowledge and skills! (Another important factor is whether the school you choose offers job placement aid, which we do.)
Get Started and Get It Done
If you choose a nine-week course with PDAS, you’ll only have to devote a couple months to schooling before you’ll be out in the workforce, making the kind of money you’ve been working toward.
Each program is different, but longer programs stretch out the time it takes to finish your coursework. They don’t give you the clinical skills you need to be a great pediatric dental assistant either, so if you want to work with children, we’re your best choice! It’s also worth noting that the longer you have to wait for the payoff, the more likely it is that you’ll give up before you secure that higher-paying career you wanted all along.
Don’t forget that your position as a Pediatric Dental Assistant could be just the beginning! There’s always an option to advance to become a dental hygienist if you like the work of a dental assistant and excel at it.
To learn more about what makes our nine-week dental program unique, feel free to explore our website or contact us today!
~ Dr. Rhea Haugseth