Are you interested in becoming a dental assistant? To become a dental assistant, you can complete trade school training. Students will study dental concepts and take part in hands-on training to prepare themselves for work in the field, which may be a clinical, laboratory or office setting.
The job outlook for dental assistants is in the midst of an upward trend. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment is projected to grow 19%  between 2016 and 2026.
When preparing to become a dental assistant, it is important to be aware of training costs.
What Is A Dental Assistant?
Dental assistants typically have a variety of duties that correlate to aiding patients and providing care.
These individuals work under the direction of dentists. A dental assistant can perform a number of tasks  like:
- Sterilizing dental instruments
- Ensuring that patients are comfortable in the dental chair
- Preparing patients and the work area for treatments and procedures
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Drying patients’ mouths using suction hoses and other equipment
- Instructing patients in proper oral hygiene
- Processing x rays and completing lab tasks, under the direction of a dentist
- Keeping records of dental treatments
- Scheduling patient appointments
- Working with patients on billing and payment
Where Can I Study and How Much Does It Cost to Become a Dental Assistant?
Trade schools, like Midwest Technical Institute (MTI), offer the following training that will equip students with the necessary skills for entering the industry. The MTI Dental Assisting Program is a 9-month (35-week) program that can include night or daytime classes, depending on campus location.
Students will learn to assist in laboratory procedures, x-rays, CPR and other assessments. Students will learn to perform sterilization and infection control techniques in addition to equipment maintenance.
MTI classes included in the Dental Assisting Program are:
- Orientation and Introduction to Infection Control
- Restorative Dentistry & Dental Charting
- Prosthodontics & Dental Office Lab
- Dental Radiology & Office Administration
- Dental Specialties & Preventative Dentistry
- Employment Preparation & Review and Externship
Community colleges may also offer dental assisting programs. These programs are typically a 2-year minimum commitment and may require full-time enrollment. According to a 2019 report, the majority of students in the U.S. pay between $6,000 and $15,000* in tuition per year for both public and private two-year schools .
*These tuition ranges do not include room and board, books and supplies, transportation or other expenses and fees.
How Can I Pay for Dental Assisting Training?
Financial aid is available to students who qualify. Financial aid can include, FAFSA, federal grants, federal low-interest student loans, GI Bill Assistance, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and scholarships.
The Financial Aid Office at MTI is available to assist with necessary paperwork and answer tuition questions.
Becoming a dental assistant can start with the proper training and understanding of tuition costs. Contact the MTI Admissions Team to learn more about the program.
Sources https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm#tab-6  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm#tab-2  https://www.valuepenguin.com/student-loans/average-cost-of-college