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Proper oral hygiene has been proven to positively affect the whole body. Part of maintaining teeth means frequent visits to the dentist, where dental assistants play a key role in this area of health care.

Dental assistants work closely with dentists, orthodontists, and dental surgeons. Their duties range from patient care, performing lab work such as taking x-rays, and preparing instruments for the dental provider. They also work closely with patients, setting appointments and providing instructions regarding proper dental care.

Illinois Dental Assistant Schools and Training Programs

To become a qualified dental assistant and increase earning potential, complete a dental assisting program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

  • Elgin Community College: Located in Elgin, this school offers three certificate programs: Dental Office Aide, Preclinical Dental Assisting, and Clinical Dental Assisting. Training includes 300 hours of clinical experience.

  • Illinois Valley Community College: Located in Oglesby, this school offers certification in dental assisting, allowing students to choose between full-time and part-time schedules. Training is CODA-accredited and includes clinical practice.

  • John A. Logan College: Located in Carterville, offers this CODA-approved certification program, which also serves as the prerequisite program for those wishing to become a dental hygienist.

  • Kaskaskia College: Located in Centralia, this school offers a career and technical certificate. Students receive instruction in a classroom setting as well as in lab and clinical settings, completing a clinical internship in an area dental office.

  • Lewis and Clark Community College: Located in Godfrey, this school offers a certification program and has resources to assist students with job placement after graduation. In addition to standard coursework, students take psychology and communication classes.

In addition to completing a CODA-approved program, you must have a CPR certificate and pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination.

What to Expect from Illinois Dental Assistant Programs

Graduates of a dental assistant program learn how to control infection, radiography, and preventive dental health. Common coursework includes:

  • Infection Control Practices
  • Dental Science
  • Dental Materials and Lab Procedures
  • Chairside Assisting
  • Dental Radiography
  • Preventive Dentistry
  • Expanded Functions
  • Clinical Practice

Programs typically include hands-on clinical work in a real-world dental practice. This experience allows students the opportunity to select a specialty, such as orthodontics or pediatrics, if they choose to do so.

Illinois Dental Assistant License

While there is no requirement to have an education or training requirements to be a basic dental assistant under the supervision of a licensed dentist, there are some licensing requirements to perform the full scope of tasks that fall under the role of dental assistant. To perform the expanded role of a dental assistant without supervision you must:

  • Be at least 18
  • Have 1000 hours of clinical dental experience
  • Complete a CODA-accredited dental assisting program
  • Hold a current national DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Certification
  • Complete an Illinois Board-approved course

DANB CDA certification offers dental assistants improved chances in obtaining employment, as well as increasing their earning power.

Resources for Dental Assistants in Illinois

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More Illinois Dental Assistant Schools

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Chicago
Associate
10,993
Elgin
Associate
9,613
Oglesby
Associate
4,103
Carterville
Associate
7,559
Centralia
Associate
5,041
Godfrey
Associate
7,875
Carbondale
Doctorate & First Professional
20,983

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Dental Assistants

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Illinois. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Dental Assistants

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Dental Assistants relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Carbondale 110 $30,240
Marion 110 $30,240
Champaign 90 $37,650
Urbana 90 $37,650
Decatur 80 $35,580
Bloomington 140 $40,290
Kankakee 70 $30,070
Peoria 290 $39,240
Rockford 370 $36,310
Springfield 210 $41,710

Sources:

  1. Home, Dental Assisting National Board, Inc., https://www.danb.org/, accessed October 1, 2016.
  2. CODA-Accredited Dental Assisting Programs, DANB, http://www.danb.org/The-Dental-Community/Dental-Assistants/Dental-Assisting-Programs/CODA-Accredited-Dental-Assisting-Programs.aspx, accessed October 1, 2016.
  3. Dental Assistants, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm, accessed October 1, 2016.

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