12 Week Dental Assistant Program FAQ

How long is Academy for Dental Assistants Program?

Program Length is 12 weeks training in our facility and a 200 hour Externship at a local dental office. The Externship is completed in 3 -6 months.

How will I find time for Dental Assistant training?

Any dental assistant training takes time to complete and many students also balance work, childcare and other responsibilities. The benefits of choosing Academy for Dental Assistants as your training school is that you can continue to work while attending any of our Hybrid/Blended Format classes and can finish your dental assistant training and be on your way to pursuing your new career in less than 6 months. Also, our program is a hybrid format so that your class time is 100% hands on training while the instructional material/course work is online or through assignments in your textbook and workbook and can be completed around your schedule in the comfort of your home.

How much will this program cost me?

Tuition and fees: $2595

What financing options are available to help me pay for this program?

We accept check, cash, and all major credit cards.

We also offer in office financing with a $600 deposit and $180 a week for 12 weeks.

We do not accept Pell Grants due to the program only being 12 weeks in length and under $5000.

We also work with CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay to assist students with educational tuition. Students must seek approval from CareerSource on their own before registering for our Program.

CareerSource has many different Programs to assist with Educational Payment Assistance. Visit their website for more information.

What other costs are there for this program?

Students are responsible for their medical scrub uniform, textbook and workbook (see below), Professional Liability Insurance (HPSO.COM) $40/year, no other fees are required.

Required Books

  1. Textbook Modern Dental Assisting, 12th Ed
    by Doni L. Bird CDA RDA RDH MA (Author), Debbie S. Robinson CDA MS (Author)
    ISBN-13: 978-0323430302 ISBN-10: 0323430309 Edition: 12th
  2. Student Workbook for Modern Dental Assisting, 12e Paperback by Doni L. Bird CDA RDA RDH MA (Author), Debbie S. Robinson CDA MS (Author) ISBN-13: 978-0323430319 ISBN-10: 0323430317 Edition: 12th

Required Uniforms
Navy Blue Medical Scrub Uniform and “cuffed” sleeve lab coat (pants, top, jacket)
Purchased at any Uniform Store or Walmart

Required Professional Liability Insurance

Purchased through HPSO.com – $40 for 12 months

We do have optional items for purchase that could help you to better study while at home.

  • Dental Typodonts
  • Bound Dental Instrument Handout Booklet

What certifications will I get after taking your program?

When you complete the 12 week training program and a 200 hour/3 month Externship you will receive your EFDA Certification and Dental X-ray Certification from the Florida Board of Dentistry to become certified as a Florida Expanded Functions Dental Assistant.

You will not have to take any additional classes or pay any additional fees. Both State Certifications and the State Board Exams are in included in the cost of the Program $2595.

Does this program offer a diploma, a degree or a certification in Dental Assisting?

Florida requires dental assistants to have 2 certifications in order to be a Florida Dental Assistant your Florida Expanded Functions Dental Assistant Certification (EFDA) and a Florida Dental X-ray Certification.

Both are provided to the student once they complete the 12 week program and the 200 hour/3 month Externship.

You will not have to take any additional classes, take any additional tests or pay any additional fees. Both State Certifications and the State Board Exams are in included in the cost of the Program $2595.

How many tests are in your program?

There are 4 tests throughout the program, these are your State Board Exams. Each test is made up of an online written test that comes directly from you textbook and clinical hands-on assessment of the clinical procedures we teach you in class that will be in our facility.

The written tests will come directly from the textbook and the hands on assessment will be from clinical skills you have learned in our facility.

These are the State Exams for Certification as a Dental Assistant in Florida. No other tests are required to receive your EFDA and X-ray Certifications from the Florida Board of Dentistry.

After the program will I have to complete any other schooling or take any other tests?

No further schooling or tests will be needed to become a Florida Expanded Functions Dental Assistant. During the program you take the State Board Exams required to become a dental assistant in Florida. Once you complete your 12 Week Dental Assisting Program and the 200 hour/3 month Externship, the dentist will sign 2 forms that we provide you stating you have been formally trained in the EFDA and X-ray procedures along with your hours and dates of training. That form is sent to the school and your EFDA and X-ray Certifications will be provided. There is no additional testing, schooling or funds needed.

You will not have to take any additional classes or pay any additional fees. Both State Certifications are in included in the cost of the Program $2595. 

How long do I have to complete the 200 hour/3 month Externship?

The Florida Board of Dentistry requires a minimum of 3 months and maximum of 6 months to complete your 200 hours.

The 200 hours CANNOT be done any quicker than 3 months (Fl Board of Dentistry Rules).

If you attend your Externship 2 days per week, you can finish your Externship in 3 months. If you can only attend your Externship 1 day per week, you will finish in 6 months.

The dates and times you attend your Externship are set up between you and the Externship site to work around your schedule.

Externships MUST be started by the end of the Program and no later than 1 month after the last day of class and you have 6 months to complete your 200 hour Externship.

How many hours per week must I work in a dental office for my Externship?

The amount of hours you work per week is decided between you and the dental office based on your availability and the dental office needs.

The 200 hours CANNOT be done any quicker than 3 months (Fl Board of Dentistry Rules).

If you attend your Externship 2 days per week, you can finish your Externship in 3 months. If you can only attend your Externship 1 day per week, you will finish in 6 months.

The dates and times you attend your Externship are set up between you and the Externship site to work around your schedule.

Externships MUST be started by the end of the Program and no later than 1 month after the last day of class and you have 6 months to complete your 200 hour Externship.

Do you help me find an office to do my Externship?

We do not set up your Externships but we have an “Externship/Job” board on our website that is only available to current and past students. Externships are just like dental assistant jobs they will require a resume and an interview with the student and Externship Site before starting the Externship.

Dental Offices send us requests for Externs daily. As dental offices send us requests for Externs we will post the information on our “Externship/Job” board for our students.

We also have Affiliation Agreements already in place with most of the large corporate dental offices, such as:  Aspen Dental, Heartland Dental, Great Expressions Dental, Coast Dental, Florida Dental Centers, Greenberg Dental and Orthodontics or you can find any Externship of your choice.

We cannot guarantee we will have an office available for Externship in your area at the time of your Externship, but it has not been an issue for students to find an Externship Site in their community. We will assist students with developing a resume and all the documents needed to present to dental offices to obtain an externship.

Currently, Dental Assistants are in HIGH DEMAND and most of our students are getting hired at their Externships before they are even finished.

How do I find an office to do my Externship?

Most students find a dental office to do their Externship that is close to their home or somewhere they are interested in working after their Externship, some students ask their own dentists. Students typically call, email or drop off their resume with a cover letter to multiple dental offices asking to complete their Externship.

We do not set up your Externships but we have an “Externship/Job” board on our website that is only available to current and past students. Externships are just like dental assistant jobs they will require a resume and an interview with the student and Externship Site before starting the Externship.

Dental Offices send us requests for Externs daily. As dental offices send us requests for Externs we will post the information on our “Externship/Job” board for our students.

We also have Affiliation Agreements already in place with most of the large corporate dental offices, such as:  Aspen Dental, Heartland Dental, Great Expressions Dental, Coast Dental, Florida Dental Centers, Greenberg Dental and Orthodontics or you can find any Externship of your choice.

We cannot guarantee we will have an office available for Externship in your area at the time of your Externship, but it has not been an issue for students to find an Externship Site in their community. We will assist students with developing a resume and all the documents needed to present to dental offices to obtain an externship.

Currently, Dental Assistants are in HIGH DEMAND and most of our students are getting hired at their Externships before they are even finished.

Does my 200 hours have to be as an Externship, I was offered a dental assisting job?

That is the beauty of our program, Florida statue states a dental assistant must have 3 months/200 hours “on the job training” under the supervision of a Florida licensed dentist in addition to classroom training but the statue does not stipulate that the “on the job training” must be done as an Externship.

Some of our students are able to obtain entry level dental assistant positions and earn money while completing their 200 hour/3 month Externship. Or are even hired by their Externship BEFORE they complete their 200 hours/3 months.

It is not typical to get a paid Externship, but not totally out of the question. If you can find a paid Externship, which is now a “job” that is allowed but you still must complete a MINIMUM of 200 hours and 3 months of dental assistant on the job training. If you are lucky enough to find a paid Externship you may have MORE than 200 hours but you still have to be at your Externship site for a MINIMUM of 3 months.

What type of dental office does my 200 hours have to be done in?

Students hours must be completed in a General Dental Office Only. It CANNOT de done at a Specialty Dental office such as:  Oral Surgery, Endodontics, Orthodontics, Periodontics, or Pedodontics.

This is because your certifications will be as an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant and most of those duties are not done in a specialty dental offices with the exception of a Pediatric Dental Office. Special Permission must be given by the Director of the school to complete your Externship at a Pediatric Dental office providing their do general dentistry procedures. (I.e. fillings, temporary crowns, impressions, polishing, dental charting, etc)

What if I finish my 200 hours in 8 weeks because I am working 3 days per week?

The Florida Board of Dentistry states, Certification requires three (3) months continuous experience under the DIRECT SUPERVISION of a Florida licensed dentist and successful completion of a Board of Dentistry approved course.

You can work/extern as many hours as you like but you can only get your Florida Certifications after a MINIMUM of 3 months and a MINIMUM of 200 hours of on the job training.

You can have more than 200 hours but it still must be a MINIMUM of 3 months.

What is your schools accreditation?

Our courses are Approved and Certified by the Florida Board of Dentistry and

Licensed by the Department of Education, Commission for Independent Education Lic # 7538.

Please Note: Florida REQUIRES dental assistants to have their EFDA and Dental Radiology from a Florida Board of Dentistry Approved school, which Academy for Dental Assistants is, Approved Providers of the Florida Board of Dentistry.

Florida does not accept or require DANB Certification (CDA’s) from the Dental Assistant National Board or “CODA” Accreditation – American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

Attending a “CODA” Accredited school is much longer and will allow dental assistants to sit for their “CDA” Certification from DANB (Certified Dental Assistant) but because Florida DOES NOT ACCEPT DANB CERTIFICATION dental assistants will need their EFDA and Dental Radiology Certification from a Florida Board of Dentistry Approved School.

You can find the FAQS on DANB Certification on the Florida Board of Dentistry Website.

Florida Board of Dentistry » Dental Assistant/Expanded Duties FAQs- Licensing, Renewals & Information (floridasdentistry.gov)

Can the Certifications provided by your school be used in other states?

Our courses are approved and certified by the Florida Board of Dentistry and are good for the entire state of Florida. You need to check with each state Board of Dentistry to see what their requirements are to be a dental assistant in their state and if they will accept Florida Dental Assistant Certifications in that specific state since each states Board of Dentistry has different requirements.

Florida’s Board of Dentistry requires a Florida EFDA and X-ray Certification and does may not accept other states certifications or DANB Certification as a CDA (Certified Dental Assistant).

I will be out of town one of the days we are in class how can I make up the work I missed in class?

We understand that things happen in life and things come up or people get ill. But we are very strict on our Attendance Policy.

Attendance in class learning the clinical hands – on skills of dental assisting is an important part of this program since we only have students for 12 weeks/days to train you to become an entry level dental assistant.

Students are allowed to have 1 excused absence from class. After 2 missed classes students will be withdrawn from the program. The clinical hands- on material we cover in class can only be made up by reading that section in your book or online and will be the responsibility of the student to make up the information on their own, there are no “Make Up Clinical Days” since each class builds on to the next class.

Clinical Hands on Assessment Days CANNOT be missed no matter what the reason. Under special situations, if it is the 1st and only missed class and there is a proven emergency and approved by the Program Director in advance, the student may be allowed to retake the Clinical Hands On Assessment by paying a $75 retake test fee and the Assessment MUST be taken BEFORE attending the next class. The Online Written Exams are still required to be submitted online on its due date even if the Clinical Hands- On Assessment is missed.

What is the difference between your program and other programs that are 10 -12 month programs?

The difference is about $10,000 – $18,000 and 6-10 months of your time in a classroom.

We have developed our accelerated program for a disciplined individual that can complete the didactic portion at home around their schedule by following our Course Outline completing Chapter readings and assignments in their textbook and workbook PRIOR to attending class, so we don’t have to do as much “lecturing” and more time with clinical hands-on training of actual dental procedures so they are prepared for their Externships and to work in the dental field.

The student will need to spend approximately 8-10 hours per week of their own time outside of class reading the textbook chapters, complete workbook assignments and watch our Youtube videos on Dental Assisting procedures (by following our Course Outline of dates each chapter will be covered).

Some students may not learn by this accelerated approach or not be disciplined enough to do the 8-10 hours of Course work outside of the classroom and may be a Dental Assistant Program that does include MUCH more lecturing in the Classroom. That is for the student to decide how they learn best.

We have developed this course to teach the current procedures used today and take out the material that you won’t use as a dental assistant (the history of dental, anatomy and physiology of the body, etc).

We have learned that there is only so much we can teach students on models and manikins or other students in the classroom; we prefer students get out in the field working and earning money rather than spending 8-10 months or 3-4 days per week in a classroom.

The program is 12 weeks and the Externship is 200 hours/3 months, total length from start to finish is 6 months. Another difference is we do not charge the student for the Externship that’s why our cost is significantly lower than the other programs.

How can I register for your Dental Assistant Program?

Registration is completed all online on our website.

*From our Home Page at www.academy4da.com

*Under “ALL COURSES” Select the course you want to take. You can choose to pay in full or make your deposit of $600 to hold your spot in the course.

*Select “Add to Cart” and then “Proceed to Check Out”

After your deposit or payment in full is processed you will be directed to a page to select your class date. Once the payment and date have been selected you will immediately have access to the Course material under “My Courses” and can begin to review the Introduction Section and Student Orientation information/Video.

We encourage all potential dental assistant students to take a tour of any School you would like to attend before making a decision to attend to ensure you will be getting a quality education in a properly equipped school/facility. It is not required to schedule a tour of our facility before you register for a course just an option.

To schedule a tour of our facility and speak with our Admissions Representative call or email us for a date and time that will work best for you.

Phone: (727) 914-0599

Email: info@academy4da.com

What is a Dental Assistant?

Dental Assistants assist the dentist in providing more efficient dental treatment with responsibilities like preparing the patient for treatment, sterilizing instruments, setting up the dental trays, passing instruments to the dentist during a procedure, holding suction devices, exposing dental radiographs, taking impressions, and fabricating provisional crowns.

The Dental Assistant is the key person in a dental office to keep the flow of the schedule going and explain the dental procedures to the patient.

How can I become a Dental Assistant?

To become a dental assistant in Florida, you must have 2 dental assistant certifications from the Florida Board of Dentistry (EFDA and Dental Radiology Certification).

When you complete the Academy for Dental Assistants 12 Week Entry Level Dental Assistant Training Program and a 200 hour/3 month Externship you will gain experience with real dental equipment, take your State Board Exams while in the program and receive your 2 Florida Certifications to become a Florida Dental Assistant (EFDA Certification and Dental X-ray Certification).

What is the average pay for a Dental Assistant?

Dental Assistants are currently in HIGH DEMAND. We are getting calls daily from Dental offices seeking externs or looking to hire Dental Assistants.

The average starting pay for a Dental Assistant in Florida ranges from $14-$20 per hour immediately out of school.

Many of our students are getting hired at their Externships before they are even finished so the Dental Office can keep them as their Dental Assistant.

New Student Orientation Information

You review this information in a word document

Review New Students Orientation Information

or watch our Student Orientation Video on our Youtube Channel

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