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How to become a certified dental assistant in San Francisco

Learn how to become a certified dental assistant in San Francisco using our guide on skills, requirements and salary in this career.?

To become a certified dental assistant in San Francisco, there are several steps that need to be taken. First, an individual must complete a dental assisting program that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). These programs typically take anywhere from 9 months to 2 years to complete and cover topics such as dental anatomy, radiography, infection control, and dental materials.

After completing the dental assisting program, the individual must pass the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exam. This exam consists of three components: general chairside assisting, radiation health and safety, and infection control. Once the individual has passed all three components of the exam, they will receive their Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential.

In addition to completing the dental assisting program and passing the DANB exam, the individual must also meet certain eligibility requirements to become certified. These requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent, current CPR certification, and a certain number of hours of on-the-job training or experience.

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Key skills and competencies

Becoming a certified dental assistant in San Francisco requires a combination of technical skills and personal competencies. Technical skills include knowledge of dental procedures, instruments, and materials, as well as proficiency in infection control and radiography. Personal competencies include communication skills, attention to detail, empathy, and teamwork. Dental assistants must be able to communicate effectively with patients, dentists, and other team members, and be able to anticipate the needs of the dentist during procedures. They must also be able to work efficiently and accurately, while maintaining a calm and reassuring demeanor. In addition, dental assistants must be able to work well in a team environment, collaborating with other dental professionals to provide the best possible care for patients.

Local salary expectations or estimates

As a certified dental assistant in San Francisco, you can expect to earn a competitive salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for dental assistants in California is $44,330. However, salaries can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of dental practice you work in. In San Francisco, dental assistants can earn higher salaries due to the higher cost of living in the area. Some dental practices may also offer additional benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. Overall, becoming a certified dental assistant in San Francisco can lead to a rewarding career with competitive compensation.

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