Why Are Utah Students Paying More When No State Credential Exists Concerning Dental Assisting Fields?


Utah remains one of the states in America with no comprehensive statewide certification when it comes to education and careers in dental assisting and dental administration. This may be an issue for students who are looking to maximize opportunity and minimize expense. It also causes some students to over- pay expensive tuition fees because they do not know all the facts.

“If all a student wants are the skills necessary to become a successful dental assistant, such as state required certifications in CPR and radiology (exams regulated by the Utah Board), then why pay full tuition at a college or applied technical school when they can go somewhere else and get the very same certifications and education for far less money?” says Chief Executive Officer of The Core Foundation, Christie McCutchan.

The facts: Dental assistants in Utah only need to pass a radiology exam approved by the Utah Board that meets the criteria established in Section R156-69-604. All dental assistants must also currently have either Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification. These are the only two required certifications to become a dental assistant in Utah.

All accredited and non-accredited dental assisting programs offer these required certifications, but at widely differing tuition pricing. At Salt Lake Community College of Applied Technology the tuition cost is $16,000. At Vista, the program would cost $14,000, but The Core Foundation offers the very same certifications for $2,999 and all of the above offer the same legal certifications required for a career in dental assisting.

“We are not sure why people looking to get into the field of dental assisting are paying ridiculous, and quite frankly exorbitant , tuition fees when there is no statewide certification,” says McCutchan. “Most students do not realize that unless they are looking to transfer these basic dental assisting credit hours towards a degree in dental hygiene (RDH), there are other, far less expensive, ways of achieving the very same goal.

The Core Foundation is a newly registered school focusing on educating and preparing students for a career in dental assisting and administration. Since there is no statewide regulation governing this process, The Core Foundation is one of the few schools that offers students a true, academic setting complete with classrooms, textbooks, comprehensive curriculum and the opportunity to gain practical hands-on application in their three dental facilities.

This training is held not only in general dentistry, but in a specialty surgical center and pediatric clinics, providing students with a substantially more well-rounded education than many of the other programs out there. Offering a certificate of completion, along with the necessary state certifications required for dental assisting, The Core Foundation began offering classes in summer 2010.

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