Dental Assistant Training: Frequently Asked Questions

harris school dental assistantGoing to dental assistant school could be the start of something good!

Are you the type of person who brushes your teeth carefully twice a day? Do you make sure you always have dental floss in your cabinet? Do you get a checkup every six months? If you answer yes to these questions, you could have a future as a dental assistant!

What does it take to start this career? Going to dental assistant school! And the good news is that dental assistant training takes only about one year. In other words, by next year at this time, you could be setting out on a new career! To learn more, read our frequently asked questions.

Q: What do dental assistants do?

A: These healthcare professionals are an important part of any dental team. They are there to assist the dentist and the dental hygienist with needed tasks such as sterilizing equipment, setting up exam rooms, setting out the tools for a procedure, and handing the dentist tools during a procedure. In short, the dental assistant is there to help make the dental office run more smoothly.

Q: How do I become a dental assistant?

A: A dental assistant training program can be completed in as little as one year, if you attend all your classes and successfully pass your courses. Programs like the one at the Harris School typically require you to have your high school diploma before enrolling (or equivalent, like your GED). Once enrolled, you will take classes in dental terminology, anatomy, clinical skills, and more. If this sounds scary, don’t worry! Our instructors are here to help you get comfortable with the course material!

Q: How long does the program take?

A: For full-time students who complete and pass all their classes, the program can be completed in one year. If you choose a part-time option, the program can typically be completed in two years. When looking for a dental assistant school near you, be sure to find a school that is accredited with a good reputation in your region.

Q: How much does it cost to get dental assistant training?

A: Tuitions vary depending on the dental assistant school you attend. Before enrolling in any school, it’s a good idea to see if the school accepts financial aid. Schools that accept financial aid, like the Harris School of Business, will typically have financial aid advisors who can help you navigate the process. The first step in determining your eligibility for aid is to complete the FAFSA. Here are some tips for getting your FAFSA started.

Q: How much do dental assistants make?

A: A dental assistant position is usually considered an entry level position. To find out the type of salary you can expect to earn, visit the pay section of the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Keep in mind that salaries will vary depending on the employer, your location, and your experience.

The great news about dental assisting is that it’s a professional career that can be within your reach even if you don’t feel you’re ready for college. You can gain marketable skills in a short period of time, and be ready for a career that you can be proud of!

To find out if dental assisting is for you, try these articles:

5 Things to Know About Becoming a Dental Assistant

Advantages of Being a Dental Assistant


For residents living near Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, Atlantic City, Wilmington, Dover, and Trenton, check out the career-focused training programs at the Harris School of Business. We hope your career journey begins with us. Contact us online to learn more.