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Dental Assistant Schools in South Dakota.

As a dental assistant, your job is to make things easier for dentists and patients.

Due to the multiple responsibilities that dental assistants have, they are an integral part of the team.

In addition to ensuring that the office runs smoothly, dental assistants work closely with their team and patients to ensure that everyone has a safe experience.

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Fortunately, it is not difficult to become a dental assistant in South Dakota. All you need is training and supervision by a licensed dentist, and you are ready to start your career.

You can begin a dental assisting career by starting at the entry level. While you train, you will be charged with basic tasks, such as:

  • Checking patients into the office and getting them settled
  • Cleaning dental equipment
  • Assisting dentists during procedures
  • Scheduling appointments and picking up calls
  • Educating patients on dental hygiene and post-care methodologies

If you are ambitious, you can also perform extended duties with appropriate qualifications and certification.

Extended dental assisting duties include:

  • Placement of pits and fissure sealants
  • Coronal polishing
  • Applying topical anesthetic
  • Operating X-ray equipment
  • Assisting with and monitoring nitrous oxide analgesia

Under direct or indirect supervision of a dentist or a licensed dental hygienist, you will be allowed to perform primary supportive dental procedures as a dental assistant in South Dakota.

How to Become a Dental Assistant in South Dakota

Dental assistants in South Dakota are under requirements set at the state level.

According to the South Dakota Board of Dentistry (SDBD), you must be at least 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma or GEDs.

Depending on the function you will be performing, all you need is training and supervision to perform chair-side procedures in South Dakota.

However, suppose you desire to be a registered dental assistant and take on additional extended functions.

In that case, you must be licensed by the South Dakota Board of Dentistry.

To be a registered dental assistant, below are the qualifications you must possess:

Having earned the above requirements, you will be qualified to take on expanded functions.

However, you will require a license to practice these functions under the direct supervision of a certified dentist.

Below is a list of expanded functions you can take on and their requirements:

Radiography Requirements:

To operate x-ray equipment and perform dental radiographic procedures, you must be a registered dental radiographer. And to be a dental radiographer in South Dakota, you must be:

  1. Be 18 years of age
  2. Complete a training approved by SDBD on radiography or hold the Dental Assisting National Board’s (DANB) certified dental assistant certification (CDA).
  3. Hold equivalent credentials from other states that meet south Dakota standards.
  4. Apply and submit the required documentation to the south Dakota state board of dentistry.

Administering Intravenous Lines:

To qualify for this permit as a dental assistant or a registered dental assistant, you must:

  1. Take a board-approved course in intravenous lines and anesthetic assisting

General anesthesia, deep sedation, or moderate sedation monitoring:

To get a permit to monitor patients under sedation, you must

  1. Have a certification approved by the American Heart Association for Health care providers
  2. Complete an 8hours course in anesthetic assisting approved by the SDBD

Administering nitrous oxide inhalation analgesia

As a registered dental assistant, to acquire this permit, you must:

  1. Have a certification approved by the American Heart Association for Health care providers
  2. Complete 8 hours of course in anesthetic assisting approved by the SDBD

Dental Assistant Schools in South Dakota

If you are looking to take on these expanded functions, you will have to get formally trained. The CODA usually accredits dental assistant training schools. However, South Dakota only has one CODA-accredited dental assistant training school:

Lake Area Technical College, Watertown

This college offers an online degree in dental assisting. You can learn from the comfort of your home! You will require a high school diploma or GED to get into the program. You will get training in topics such as:

  • Oral Health
  • Dental and oral anatomy
  • Basic life support 
  • Clinical skills
  • Dental radiography

You do not need to worry because South Dakota also has a CODA-accredited program in dental hygiene which will help when combined with other certifications. 

University of South Dakota

The university offers a bachelor of science in dental hygiene. Studying in the university, in topics such as:

  • Human Anatomy
  • Organic biochemistry
  • Fundamentals of speech.

If you can’t attend dental assistant schools, you can enroll in a comprehensive program with Penn Foster.

How to become a Licensed and Certified Dental Assistant

Upon graduation, you must acquire the necessary certifications that would help in making an advanced dental assistant. You’ll have to take a few exams; below are a few certifications and requirements:

Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)

To qualify, you will either have to graduate from a COAD accredited dental assisting program or complete at least 3,500 hours of approved work experience. 

Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA)

To qualify, you must either graduate from a COAD accredited dental assisting program or possess a current CDA certification and verification of competency in each of the four CFPDA function

Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant

To qualify for the examination, you must possess a current CDA certification or graduate from a CODA-accredited school as a dental assistant.

Salary Expectations For Dental Assistants

The average annual pay of a dental assistant in South Dakota is about $64,878 in a year and $31.19 per hour.

Note that the earning range can vary widely, depending on your location and qualification. For example, high earners in South Dakota make about $169,349 annually.

But as a new dental assistant, you can look to make $59,320 in a year. As a dental assistant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city, you should be looking to earn about $22.35 per hour.

Future Career Path in Dental Assisting

South Dakota has about 840 dental assistants, about 290 located in Sioux Falls, its largest city. As a new dental assistant, you may want to work as a dental assistant in hospitals, dental offices, and nursing homes. It will help to explore big cities in South Dakota such as Sioux City, rapid city, and eastern South Dakota. With proper education and training, you can set up your career as a dental assistant by taking on expanded functions. 


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