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Dental assistant training in Tennessee is supported incredible growth in total job opportunities for dental assistants across Tennessee in the future. Health care employment is growing across Tennessee too, and dental assistants are some of the best growing fields. Licensed dentists are more and more likely to delegate more responsibilities to those dental assistants who work with them too. The future of dental assisting in Tennessee is very bright!

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Requirements for Becoming a Dental Assistant in Tennessee

There are three levels of dental assistants in TN and the duties they may be responsible for. The three levels are a (PDA) Practical Dental Assistant, a (RDA) Registered Dental Assistant and a (RDA) Registered Dental Assistant that is also qualified to perform expanded functions.

A PDA – Practical Dental Assistant works for a licensed dentist and is currently being trained by the dentist or they are a current a student at a CODA-approved dental assisting program in Tennessee.

A RDA – Registered Dental Assistant is a dental assistant in Tennessee that is currently registered with the Tennessee Board of Dentistry. To get registered as a RDA, candidates must be a minimum of 18 years old, have their H.S. diploma/GED, and also carry a current CPR certification.

The RDA – Registered Dental Assistant (Qualified to Perform Expanded Functions) is a RDA that has been through training has also received a certification from the Board in that specific expanded training. Examples of some of the expanded training are sealant application, coronal polishing, nitrous oxide, and the ability to do restorative/prosthetic duties. Coronal polishing, requires completion of a approved coronal polishing course and the passing of a related examination at the end of the training. Sealants application requires completion of an approved sealant application course or that candidates be currently enrolled into a CODA or TN Board-approved training program that currently has a sealant application course. The ability to monitor nitrous oxide in patients requires that candidates complete a TN Board-approved nitrous oxide course or be currently enrolled in a CODA or TN Board-approved program which includes courses in Nitrous Oxide. Restorative/prosthetic duties requires that candidates have a minimum of two years of continuous, full-time employment in the past three years as a working RDA – Registered Dental Assistant and must have also completed a Tennessee Board-approved certification training course.

CODA Approved Dental Assisting Programs in Tennessee

Chattanooga State Community College
4501 Amnicola Highway Chattanooga 37406-1097

Volunteer State Community College
1480 Nashville Pike Gallatin 37066

Northeast State Community College
300 W. Main Street Kingsport 37643

Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Knoxville
1100 Liberty Street Knoxville 37919

Concorde Career College/Memphis
5100 Poplar Avenue, Suite 132 Memphis 38137

Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Memphis
550 Alabama Avenue Memphis 38105-3604

Each of these examinations are described in greater depth here.

What is the typical dental assistant salary in Tennessee?

In Tennessee as of the year 2018, 6,070 of their citizens were employed as dental assistants. presents data showing that by 2026 there will be a total of 6,930, which would be an increase of 27.2% Our table below show the salary for dental assistants across Tennessee.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
Yearly$25,460 $36,940 $52,000
Yearly$22,980 $35,450 $48,710
Morristown, TNHourly$14.92$20.88$29.76
Yearly$31,020 $43,430 $61,910
Knoxville, TNHourly$15.21$18.65$23.59
Yearly$31,650 $38,790 $49,070
Eastern TennesseeHourly$13.92$18.17$23.49
Yearly$28,960 $37,790 $48,860
Memphis, TN-MS-ARHourly$12.03$17.82$24.92
Yearly$25,010 $37,070 $51,840
Clarksville, TN-KYHourly$11.37$17.03$23.21
Yearly$23,660 $35,420 $48,280
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TNHourly$11.39$17.01$22.52
Yearly$23,700 $35,380 $46,840
Johnson City, TNHourly$12.75$16.99$22.10
Yearly$26,520 $35,330 $45,970
Cleveland, TNHourly$12.06$16.40$20.13
Yearly$25,090 $34,120 $41,860
Chattanooga, TN-GAHourly$9.56$15.03$21.59
Yearly$19,880 $31,270 $44,910
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VAHourly$10.59$14.72$20.66
Yearly$22,020 $30,610 $42,960
North Central TennesseeHourly$8.10$14.69$25.93
Yearly$16,850 $30,550 $53,930
Western TennesseeHourly$8.91$14.64$23.57
Yearly$18,520 $30,450 $49,020
South Central TennesseeHourly$8.43$13.99$18.79
Yearly$17,540 $29,100 $39,090
Jackson, TNHourly$10.53$13.98$18.42
Yearly$21,890 $29,070 $38,310

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