The steps to become a dental assistant in Tennessee is broken down in deep detail below for you! The time for growth in this great allied health career is now.

What does a dental assistant do in Tennessee?

The major duties of the dental assistant in Tennessee center around the things that help the office take care of its customers and provide basic dental care. Though some facilities may require even further duties, the following link shows the primary function of most dental assistants.

The steps to becoming a dental assistant in Tennessee

The process for becoming a dental assistant in Tennessee can be summed-up in the next four actions.

Step 1 – Earn your high school diploma or GED

Earning your high school diploma is a basic fundamental to finding work in any skilled position. This is true with regards to working in healthcare. There are some jobs in the field that can be secured without a high school education, but they typically provide little room for growth.

Step 2: Register for courses approved by the CODA

Looking for a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)-accredited training course is the next step if you have decided to become certified. This body coordinates course curricula and standards to make certain of standardized quality in nationwide dental assistant programs. Because only trainees who finish a training program accredited by the CODA are immediately eligible to sit for either of the national certification exams, it’s crucial that you finish a program that’s recognized by this organization in TN.

CODA Approved Dental Assisting Programs in Tennessee

Dental Assisting – Chattanooga State Community College
Tennessee
Chattanooga State Community College
4501 Amnicola Highway
Chattanooga
37406-1097
423-697-5706
https://www.chattanoogastate.edu/program/nursing-allied-health/dental-hygiene-aas
Program Director: Mr. Mark Justin Matney
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2014
Next Accreditation Visit: 2021

Dental Assisting – Volunteer State Community College
Tennessee
Volunteer State Community College
1480 Nashville Pike
Gallatin
37066
615-230-3439
Program Director: Ms. Desiree L. Sutphen
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2017
Next Accreditation Visit: 2024

Dental Assisting – Northeast State Community College
Tennessee
Northeast State Community College
Northeast State Technical Community College
300 W. Main Street
Kingsport
37643
423-354-5501
Program Director: Ms. Haley Francisco
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2011
Next Accreditation Visit: 2018

Dental Assisting – Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Knoxville
Tennessee
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Knoxville
1100 Liberty Street
Knoxville
37919
865-766-4370
http://www.tcatknoxville.edu/full-time-programs/dental-assisting
Program Director: Ms. Judith Walker
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2011
Next Accreditation Visit: 2018

Dental Assisting – Concorde Career College/Memphis
Tennessee
Concorde Career College/Memphis
5100 Poplar Avenue, Suite 132
Memphis
38137
901-761-9494
http://www.concorde.edu/dentalhygiene
Program Director: Mr. Reagan Williams
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval with Reporting Requirements (intent to withdraw, teach-out)
Last Accreditation Visit: 2016
Next Accreditation Visit: 2023

Dental Assisting – Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Memphis
Tennessee
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Memphis
550 Alabama Avenue
Memphis
38105-3604
901-543-6143
Program Director: Ms. Shelia Schaeffer
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2014
Next Accreditation Visit: 2021

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

The third step is to complete the accredited program you’ve selected. The academic and internship sections of the conventional program may be completed in a year or less.

The academic section of your training will most likely cover all of the concepts and procedural-type information that is found in the certification assessment. Offering college students hands-on training in a real dental office, on the other hand, is the focus of the internship part of a program.

Step 4: Successfully pass either the NELDA or CDA examination

The NELDA and CDA are the two exams that grant nationally-recognized dental assistant credentials. Once you have completed a CODA-accredited program, you will become able to take either of them. You’ll receive the national credential of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) by passing either examination.

Each of these examinations are described in greater depth here.

What is the typical dental assistant salary in Tennessee?

The following data table reflects the most recent data reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the fact that this number varies according to the area you work in the state of Tennessee is to be expected.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
Yearly$25,460 $36,940 $52,000
TennesseeHourly$11.05$17.04$23.42
Yearly$22,980 $35,450 $48,710
Morristown, TN MSAHourly$14.92$20.88$29.76
Yearly$31,020 $43,430 $61,910
Knoxville, TN MSAHourly$15.21$18.65$23.59
Yearly$31,650 $38,790 $49,070
Eastern Tennessee BOSHourly$13.92$18.17$23.49
Yearly$28,960 $37,790 $48,860
Memphis, TN-MS-AR MSAHourly$12.03$17.82$24.92
Yearly$25,010 $37,070 $51,840
Clarksville, TN-KY MSAHourly$11.37$17.03$23.21
Yearly$23,660 $35,420 $48,280
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN MSAHourly$11.39$17.01$22.52
Yearly$23,700 $35,380 $46,840
Johnson City, TN MSAHourly$12.75$16.99$22.10
Yearly$26,520 $35,330 $45,970
Cleveland, TN MSAHourly$12.06$16.40$20.13
Yearly$25,090 $34,120 $41,860
Chattanooga, TN-GA MSAHourly$9.56$15.03$21.59
Yearly$19,880 $31,270 $44,910
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA MSAHourly$10.59$14.72$20.66
Yearly$22,020 $30,610 $42,960
North Central Tennessee BOSHourly$8.10$14.69$25.93
Yearly$16,850 $30,550 $53,930
Western Tennessee BOSHourly$8.91$14.64$23.57
Yearly$18,520 $30,450 $49,020
South Central Tennessee BOSHourly$8.43$13.99$18.79
Yearly$17,540 $29,100 $39,090
Jackson, TN MSAHourly$10.53$13.98$18.42
Yearly$21,890 $29,070 $38,310