Employed at dental offices of all types, dental assistants in New Hampshire perform under the supervision of the dentist to assure that routine dental procedures and administrative tasks are taken care of. A number of assistants can potentially find jobs even if they aren’t certified, but this is definitely becoming rare because the vast majority of facilities now would prefer to hire only applicants who are graduates of a formal program.

This position is a good one for those who are launching their careers in the medical field, because of the increasing need for their abilities in New Hampshire. As a matter of fact, according to the most recent data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there should be a 19% growth in dental assisting employment over the next decade.

What do dental assistants do in New Hampshire?

For the most part, dental assistants in New Hampshire manage a number of everyday customer support and patient care tasks for the dentist. The following link features the traditional assignments that offices put on their assistants.

How to become a dental assistant in New Hampshire.

The process for becoming a dental assistant in New Hampshire may be summarized in the next four actions.

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

Getting your high school diploma is a critical foundation to finding work in any type of professional job. Working in the healthcare field is no exception. There are a few openings in the field that can be held without finishing a high school education, but they typically have very little room for advancement.

While shopping for a dental assistant certification class, you may find that almost all programs require students to hold a diploma or G.E.D. prior to registration. And so, whatever your career goals, be sure that you take this step.

Step 2: Locate a program accredited by CODA and sign-up for classes

Searching for a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)-accredited course is the next step if you have chosen to become certified. This organization coordinates course curricula and guidelines to ensure consistent quality in national dental assistant courses.

Why CODA accreditation is important

Because only students who graduate from a program accredited by the CODA are immediately entitled to take one of the national certification exams, it really is essential that you attend a training program that is accredited by this organization.

Dental assistant classes online

To better provide for individuals who are employed or have other commitments that make going to class difficult, a large number of schools are offering pharmacy tech classes online. These programs are also great for students who don’t live near an institution that provides dental assistant education.

Even though it is quite possible to complete the classroom section of a program online, it’ll nevertheless be required to complete the internship component in-person at a designated location.

Step 3: Meet all required internship hours and finish the program

Graduating from the approved program you decided on in the preceding step is your next order of business. The academic and hands-on parts of the conventional course can oftentimes be finished in 12 months or less.

A lot of training classes dedicate the academic section of their curriculum to the content that is covered in the national certification tests. Allowing students hands-on experience in an actual dental office, alternatively, is the focus of the internship section of a program.

Step 4: Pass the NELDA or CDA Certification Exam

The NELDA and CDA are exams that grant nationally-accepted dental assisting certifications. Eligibility to take these exams calls for you to first graduate from a CODA-accredited training course. Pupils who pass either test receive the nationally-recognized title of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

Next is a short explanation of both tests.

National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA)

The National Entry Level Dental Assistant Exam (NELDA) is administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and is a three-part exam. The one-hour, 50-minute exam is comprised of three component exams (the RHS, ICE and AMP). Upon passing the test, the student receives the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) credential.

To be approved to take this exam, a candidate must have either:

    • Graduated from a CODA-approved dental assistant training program, or
    • Obtained comparable work experience as a dental assistant

CDA Exam

The CDA Exam is provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and also awards the title of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). Test takers get one hour and 45 minutes to finish 60 multiple-choice problems.

Being eligible for this assessment further is dependent upon the test taker having either:

    • Graduated from a CODE-approved dental assistant course, or
    • Gained comparable work experience as a dental assistant

How much does a dental assistant make in New Hampshire?

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

Dental assistant pay in New Hampshire varies somewhat from the national average, as is shown in the table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
New HampshireHourly$16.31$22.10$28.90
Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, MA-NH NECTA DivisionHourly$16.40$24.96$30.14
Other New Hampshire BOSHourly$18.40$24.77$30.98
Nashua, NH-MA NECTA DivisionHourly$15.28$23.46$30.02
Southwestern New Hampshire BOSHourly$16.61$22.34$28.86
Manchester, NH Metropolitan NECTAHourly$19.44$21.88$24.25
Portsmouth, NH-ME Metropolitan NECTAHourly$16.07$21.58$27.33
Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, MA-NH NECTA DivisionHourly$13.59$20.30$28.57
Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, MA-NH NECTA DivisionHourly$10.01$20.21$29.29
Western New Hampshire BOSHourly$16.10$19.18$25.91
Northern New Hampshire BOSHourly$13.74$17.70$26.77