Working at dental offices of all kinds, dental assistants in Georgia work under the guidance of the dentist to make sure that routine dental procedures and administrative tasks are handled properly. Holding a certification might not be required in all 50 states, yet the current tendency among businesses has been towards only employing individuals who hold a professional certification.

Due to unprecedented demand for new dental assistants in Georgia, this career path is extremely sought after for people looking for an entry-level job in healthcare. As a matter of fact, per the most recent data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 19% growth in dental assistant jobs through the next decade.

What does a dental assistant do in Georgia?

In general, dental assistants in Georgia manage a number of everyday customer service and patient care duties for the dentist. While some facilities may require additional responsibilities, the following link illustrates the principal function of most dental assistants.

How to become a dental assistant in Georgia.

The four steps to becoming a dental assistant in Georgia are detailed below.

Step 1 – Graduate from high school or get your G.E.D.

The very first step towards a career you pursue should always be getting a high school diploma. Working in the healthcare field is no exception. There are jobs in the field that may be held without a high school education, but they typically provide little room for advancement.

While looking for a dental assistant certification class, you may also find that almost all educators require trainees to hold a diploma or G.E.D. before registration. For that reason, if you are thinking about working in medical care, it is a good idea to accomplish this worthwhile first step.

Step 2: Register for a CODA-approved training program

Choosing a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)-accredited course is the next step if you have chosen to get certified. The CODA is a nationally-regarded body that coordinates dental assistant coursework throughout the country.

What is CODA accreditation?

Accreditation by the CODA is deemed essential because only students from a course accredited by this organization can take either of the national certification exams.

A look at online dental assistant programs

As is true with nearly all online education options, online dental assistant programs are a desirable option for pupils who are balancing a number of obligations. In instances where a person may not live near a campus-based class, these classes are likewise ideal.

To explain a common misconception, even though online programs enable students to finish their academic studies through distance learning, the clinical, internship portion of their education must be finished at a physical location.

Step 3: Graduate from the program and complete the necessary internship hours

Once you have located an accredited course that meets your needs, the next step is to complete it. Although each course is a little different, it’s very common for trainees to finish their classroom education and internship in just twelve months.

Most training courses dedicate the academic portion of their curriculum to the subject matter that will probably be included in the national certification exams. The internship, in contrast, will provide you the opportunity to put everything you learn into use in a functioning, professional setting.

Step 4: Pass the NELDA or CDA Certification Exam

The NELDA and CDA are tests that present nationally-recognized dental assistant credentials. Once you have graduated from a CODA-accredited course, you will be eligible to challenge either of them. A passing score on either examination will grant you the distinction Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

Let’s take a closer look at these assessments below.

National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA)

Offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), the National Entry Level Dental Assistant Exam, or NELDA as it is known, is a three-part exam accepted throughout the country. The NELDA includes three component exams (the RHS, ICE and AMP) given in a one-hour, 50-minute timed structure. A passing mark on the exam awards the individual the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) credential.

In order to become eligible to sit for this examination, a test taker must have either:

    • Finished a CODA-approved dental assistant training course, or
    • Acquired equivalent on-the-job experience as a dental assistant

CDA Exam

The other primary national certification test is the CDA, which is sponsored by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). This timed assessment includes 60 questions, offered in a timed structure.

To become eligible to sit for this assessment, candidates have to meet the following criteria:

    • Finished a CODE-accredited dental assistant course, or
    • Gained equivalent work experience as a dental assistant

Dental assistant pay in Georgia

The median yearly dental assistant salary was $37,630 in May 2017 per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The following data reflects the point that this number can differ dependent on which area you work in.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
North Georgia BOSHourly$15.72$18.65$23.53
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA MSAHourly$12.94$18.35$24.76
Rome, GA MSAHourly$13.57$17.30$23.46
Savannah, GA MSAHourly$13.18$17.30$22.85
Athens-Clarke County, GA MSAHourly$13.39$17.20$22.94
Hinesville-Fort Stewart, GA MSAHourly$9.64$16.66$21.93
Macon, GA MSAHourly$12.66$16.07$19.35
South Georgia BOSHourly$10.89$16.02$21.52
Columbus, GA-AL MSAHourly$12.99$15.74$21.94
Middle Georgia BOSHourly$11.38$15.64$18.65
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC MSAHourly$10.75$15.33$20.20
Gainesville, GA MSAHourly$8.65$15.17$22.83
Warner Robins, GA MSAHourly$8.92$15.14$22.92
Chattanooga, TN-GA MSAHourly$9.56$15.03$21.59
Albany, GA MSAHourly$8.15$14.81$23.04
Brunswick, GA MSAHourly$8.25$14.68$22.15
Valdosta, GA MSAHourly$12.25$14.64$19.12
Dalton, GA MSAHourly$8.21$14.01$22.54
East Georgia BOSHourly$8.82$13.51$18.32