Learn what it takes to work in a dental office.
Learn what it takes to work in a dental office.
If you’re looking for a healthcare career with faster-than-average job growth, dental assistant training could be right for you. Ultimate Medical Academy offers a Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions diploma program with courses in preventative dentistry, radiology, CPR, and other essential topics.
Your UMA education will include a blended format of campus lab sessions, online coursework, hands-on training through a supervised externship, and preparation to sit for the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) certification exam.
Study and learn from home and train on campus while earning your Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions diploma, and be prepared to pursue an entry-level job in 12 months1! Once you complete the diploma program, you may continue on to the Health Sciences – Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions associate degree program.
A dental assistant with expanded functions performs a wider range of responsibilities such as polishing teeth, applying sealants and topical fluorides, and suture removal. Additional tasks include fabricating temporary restoration and whitening trays, taking digital and analogue x-rays, and creating impressions.
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While you can learn on the job and become a dental assistant with limited functions, people who complete formal education in expanded functions may perform a wider range of dental assistant responsibilities such as polishing teeth, applying sealants and topical fluorides, and suture removal. Additional tasks include fabricating temporary restoration and whitening trays, taking digital and analogue x-rays, and creating impressions.
Formal education and expanded functions training may offer more opportunity within the dental assistant field. UMA’s program is Florida Board of Dentistry approved to provide courses in expanded duties and radiology.
UMA diploma and associate degree students must complete core dental assistant courses in addition to an externship. Associate degree students must also complete general education and elective courses.
Credits: 26 Approx. time to complete: 12 months1
Credits: 62 Approx. time to complete: 20 months1
Dental Assistants typically work in:
Graduates from this program may apply for entry level jobs, such as:
While many dentists have traditional daytime business hours, some offer extended schedules for patients’ convenience. As a result, the BLS notes that some dental assistants may work evenings or weekends, and they may be employed full-time or part-time.12
The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook projects that America’s dental assistant job outlook will remain strong from 2019 through 2029. The BLS predicts 7 percent employment growth13, which is “much faster than the average” for all occupations.
Entry-level positions for this career field could start in the lower range of estimated salaries, which is less than $28,940 annually. The median annual salary for this career field is $41,180.
The top 10 percent of earners in this career field earned more than $58,390. In other words, not many people in this field make more than this amount annually.
Note: Salaries may vary according to location and other factors.
Why choose UMA for dental assistant training?
There are many reasons to choose UMA for your dental assistant training:
At UMA, you won’t feel like just another number. In fact, you’ll participate in classrooms with a maximum size of 25 students. Our student support team can help you with academic support, technical assistance, job search guidance, mock interviews, financial aid if qualified, and more.
Our programs also include 24/7 tech support that helps you become comfortable with computers and in the online environment. Receive guidance from your instructors and learn what it takes to pursue your career.
If you qualify for applicable financial aid, we’ll walk you through the process. Multiple resources may be available to help pay for the cost of your education. Our Student Finance advisors are committed to helping you understand the options you qualify for and can assist you in applying for various forms of financial aid to see if you qualify.
To learn more about financial aid possibilities, contact 727-298-8685.
Try our fun and informational personality quiz for inspiration.
So, with the coursework of a Medical Assistant student at UMA, I’ve been confronted with the challenges of phlebotomy skills, front office skills, balancing checkbooks, and doing accountant work. I am very happy that I decided to attend UMA because they have always helped me through whatever problems I’ve had. Whether it’s from hurricane support...
Angelica V. | UMA Graduate
Everyone here is like family, and the teachers want to do everything in their power for you to get it, for you to understand it, and for you to be perfect at it.
Joshua A. | UMA Graduate
I’ve always had a passion for helping people… With the education that I’ve attained, I’ve opened more doors than I thought could ever be possible.
Jennifer W. | UMA Graduate
Enrolling at UMA was probably the best decision that I have ever made.
Brittney J | UMA Graduate
I could not have asked for a better school.
Dominique B. | UMA Graduate
With discipline and with commitment, we can attain our goals. Even though we have our own personal struggles, there’s always a door that opens. Opening this door to UMA has been the best decision that I have ever made.
Leticia B. | UMA Graduate
I would describe my experience as a UMA student as joyful. I’ve enjoyed the entire experience. I can’t really put it into words how much I’ve enjoyed it.
Heather R. | UMA Graduate
When my mother was having surgery and I was in the hospital, I was thinking I could imagine myself actually doing things like this. I just wanted to do something in life where I would feel like I was not only helping myself but helping others as well.
Miguel R. | UMA Graduate
The diploma curriculum includes core dental assistant courses and prepares students with the skills needed to perform tasks in the field. Students who meet graduation requirements for the diploma program are awarded a Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions diploma in as little as 12 months.1
Those who opt to continue their studies may go on to earn a Health Sciences - Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions associate degree. The associate curriculum includes additional classes in general education and electives. While this type of credential is often referred to as a two-year degree, UMA’s Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions program may be completed in as little as 20 months.1
Your UMA education will include a blended format of campus lab sessions and online coursework, hands-on training through a supervised externship, which takes place at a local dental office. Coursework also includes hands-on dental assistant training in the form of a 240-hour unpaid externship.
UMA’s Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions training prepares students to sit for the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) certification exam, administered by American Medical Technologists (AMT). Graduates must meet eligibility requirements to sit for the exam. Earning this certification may offer a number of benefits including expanding your scope of practice, increasing your earning potential, and making you a more competitive job candidate.
These trained healthcare support employees work under the supervision of a dentist and assist with tasks ranging from patient care to office work. In Florida, a dental assistant with formal education is permitted to perform more duties than one with only on-the-job training.14
Dental assistant responsibilities may include preparing the dentist’s work area, sterilizing instruments, taking X-rays, maintaining patient records, scheduling appointments, processing invoices, and more.
This role differs from that of a dental hygienist since hygienists typically perform more complex work such as patient examinations, dental cleanings, and other preventative oral care.
This title indicates that you have completed formal education to master a broader range of skills and knowledge. In general, expanded functions encompasses tasks like polishing crowns and applying sealant, fluoride treatments, and topical anesthetic.
Different people have different ideas of what makes a top dental assistant school. To us, top schools provide hands-on dental assistant training through on-campus labs and a supervised externship. They should have relevant accreditation and Florida Board of Dentistry approval.
Top dental assistant schools should also provide support every step of the way with services like one-on-one academic support, job search assistance, and more. Finally, you may want to enroll with a dental assistant school that will prepare you to sit for an industry certification examination, such as the RDA certification.
Absolutely. While the basic training may be similar between schools that offer dental assistant programs with expanded functions, UMA is pleased to offer an extensive list of student services, all included in our tuition. UMA’s dental assistant training programs include one-on-one academic support, on-the-job training during an unpaid externship, help with resume writing, job interview coaching, and job search assistance.
To learn about salary statistics, visit the BLS Occupational Employment and Wages page for this profession. Your potential salary as a dental assistant with expanded functions may depend on a number of factors such as where you live and work, your professional experience, whether or not you are certified, and other considerations.
We invite you to visit our blog, In Healthcare Today, where you can find a variety of articles:
UMA’s dental assistant classes are generally about five weeks in length (excluding holidays and breaks). While program completion time may vary by student, the Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions diploma can typically be completed in as little as 12 months1. The associate degree in Health Sciences - Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions will typically take an additional eight months to complete or 20 months1 in total.
Both of these training programs include the same core dental assistant courses plus expanded functions. However, the associate degree curriculum features general education and elective courses which is why the degree program takes longer to complete. Earning an associate degree may make you a more competitive candidate in this field.
At UMA, you’ll earn your diploma first then enroll in the associate degree program.
To earn Registered Dental Assistant certification, you’ll need to meet eligibility requirements, such as formal education from an accredited program or equivalent military/on-the-job training, instruction in several key content areas plus CPR certification from the American Heart Association or American Red Cross.
Upon meeting the eligibility requirements, candidates must take and pass the RDA certification exam.
UMA’s coursework prepares students to sit for the Registered Dental Assistant exam with coverage of all four content areas as well as CPR training.
Tuition at dental assistant training schools can vary widely depending on your location, the type of program, and your choice of school. You can find current tuition rates for all UMA programs in the UMA catalog. Better yet, contact us directly for details on tuition, as well as guidance on your financial assistance options (for those who qualify).
Florida requirements mandate that individuals receive formal education and training in order to become a dental assistant with expanded functions.14 You can complete a diploma program in as little as 12 months or an associate degree program in 20 months1.
Before pursuing a career in this field, you may want to consider earning an industry credential, such as AMT’s Registered Dental Assistant certification, to better position yourself as a more competitive candidate.
The quickest way to complete training for Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions is to enroll in a diploma program.
UMA’s dental assistant education offers multiple start dates throughout the year so you won’t have to plan your education around the traditional Fall and Spring start times.
UMA’s diploma program can also be completed in as little as 12 months1 depending on the individual student, so you could potentially be ready to pursue dental assistant jobs in 12 months1.
Once you’ve attained your diploma, you can also transfer your earned credits into UMA’s Health Sciences - Dental Assistant with Expanded Functions associate degree program if you wish to continue your education.
UMA is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). ABHES is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accrediting agency for the accreditation of private, postsecondary institutions in the United States offering predominantly allied health education programs.