Do You Need a Degree to Be a Dental Assistant?

Posted on: June 1, 2021 | Blog

A dental assistant helps dentists, hygienists, dental surgeons and other dental professionals complete tasks and treat patients. The tasks a dental assistant performs will vary somewhat from office to office. The degree requirements and career path for dental assistants also varies somewhat from state to state. In this blog post, we’ll address the question of whether you need a degree to be a dental assistant in Nevada. We’ll also provide tips about how you can get into this field.

Do You Need a Degree to Be a Dental Assistant?

You do not need a college degree to be a dental assistant. However, some states require a degree from an accredited dental program. Or, you may be required to pass a Dental Assisting National Board Certification test.

Some states also have different requirements for different types of dental assistants, such as an Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary (EFDA) or a dental anesthesia assistant in Washington. There are other requirements that vary by state as well, such as education and training concerning x-ray machines, bloodborne illnesses, infections and more.

Let’s take a closer look at the degree requirements and training in Nevada.

Do You Need a Degree to Be a Dental Assistant in Nevada?

In short, you do not need a degree to be a dental assistant in Nevada. However, there is training and instruction required, which an accredited dental assistant course will provide.

In Nevada, a dental assistant does not require a degree, but they must work under the supervision of a licensed dental hygienist or dentist. When the licensed hygienist or dentist renews their license, they must provide a certified statement attesting that all dental assistants working with them have been trained in the following:

  • Instruction in safe radiographic procedures (x-ray procedures)
  • CPR training at least every two years
  • At least four hours of continued education in infection control every two years

A dentist or dental surgeon running an office must attest that their dental assistants are properly trained to operate x-ray equipment, maintain sanitary conditions, and respond in an emergency situation. This means that, though you do not need a degree to be a dental assistant in Nevada, a dental professional will not hire an assistant without the proper training. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the education and training that will help you get a job as a dental assistant.

What Education and Training Do You Need to Be a Dental Assistant in Nevada?

Most dental assistants work in private offices run by dentists, oral surgeons, or similar professionals. Before hiring a dental assistant, the dentist must be confident that the assistant can safely operate equipment and work with patients.

If the assistant doesn’t have the knowledge or training to do so, they will be a liability that the dentist must take responsibility for. To reduce their liability, dentists and other professionals are more likely to hire dental assistants that can prove they have the skills, education and training necessary to operate equipment and work with patients. An accredited dental assistant training program will give you these skills.

In an dental assistant training program, you’ll learn:

  • How to recognize and respond to emergency situations
  • Essential information about anatomy, wellness and disease
  • How to prevent the spread of blood borne diseases in a clinical setting
  • Dental structures and how they’re affected by disease
  • Dental instruments and how they’re used
  • How to properly assess and record patient information
  • How to perform chairside and administrative duties

You will also gain hands-on work experience in a clinical setting. This will give you firsthand experience, so you can start your new career with confidence.

Should You Become a Dental Assistant?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for dental assistants is growing. More and more people are conscious of their oral health and want to maintain it into the future. With an average salary of about $41,000 ($19.80 hourly), as well as comfortable working conditions in a clinical setting, a dental assistant is a great job and a great career to get started in. There are also opportunities for advancement in this career; with additional training, you can become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant in a surgical setting.

You do not need to change your life to start training for this career. BDG Academy offers Saturday classes to train students to become dental assistants. In 11 weeks, you will have the training and education you need to get started in this career.