Dental Assistant Programs: Degrees, Certificates, and Courses

A dental assistant degree can help you take the next step in your career path, learn about dental assistant programs.
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Dental Assistant Career Facts

Dental Assistant Programs & Degree Options

Before you can start a dental assistant program you need to determine the type of dental assistant degree you need to earn.

There are several educational routes to become a dental assistant. This page shares the dental assistant degree options you have.

1. Dental Assisting Certification

The quickest route takes about 9-11 months to complete a dental assisting certificate sometimes called a diploma. These dental assisting certificates are most often earned at community and career colleges. If your goal is to start working as soon as possible then the career college programs are generally slightly faster to complete.

For more details on getting your dental assistant certification and the different certificates available, we created this guide to becoming a certified dental assistant.

2. Dental Assisting Associates Degree

Getting an associates degree in dental assisting generally takes about 2 years. In addition to your dental curriculum you will also earn some general education. These programs are most often found through career and community colleges.

The good news about associates degrees is that you can use the credits towards a bachelors when you decided to advance your career. This opens to the door to additional opportunities and higher salaries.

Knowing these two routes to becoming a dental assistant, now you can determine which is best for your financial situation and schedule.

Plus it is great to know that dental assistants and dental technicians will have opportunities to advance their careers and become dental hygienists. Dental hygienists will require slightly more education and training but get paid more.

Dental Assistant Classes

You will learn a lot in your dental assisting classes including everything from “chair side assisting” meaning clinically assisting the dentist to general medical and office administration.

Accredited schools are guaranteed to give you all the required skills to become a dental hygienist and begin your career. Good programs will also include clinical practice providing hands on experience working in a dental office to really prepare you for the workforce.

Dental technician classes will vary slightly by each program but the following subjects will always be covered:

  • Dental/Oral Anatomy
  • Dental Ceramics and Molds
  • Dentures and Dental Materials
  • Computer and Administrative Skills
  • Molding, Waxing, and Contouring

Dental assistant programs and dental hygienist programs will include more clinical education and experience to teach skills used in assisting the dentist directly.

Dental assistant courses will vary slightly by each program but the following subjects will always be covered:

  • Handling and sanitizing dental equipment
  • Dental office administration and management
  • Imaging and developing x-rays
  • Periodontal diseases
  • Dental and oral hygiene

Aside from these general courses that overlap in both dental hygienist and dental assistant programs the remaining curriculum would be different and focused around each specific role.

Some specific dental assistant classes are:

  • Dental pharmacology
  • First Aid and CPR
  • Dental Materials
  • Dental Administration
  • Chair-side Manner and Assisting
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Anatomy
  • Radiology
  • Dental Psychology
  • Clinical Procedures

Now you know the types of dental assisting degrees you can pursue and the types of dental assisting classes you need to take.

If you are interested in becoming a dental assistant then click on the blue “Find Schools” button to find the best dental assisting program for you.

List of Accredited Dental Assisting School Programs

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association (ADA) is the organization responsible for accrediting dental assisting programs.

Accreditation provides the following important standards:

  • Accessing federal financial aid
  • Assuring all required curriculum is covered
  • Assuring quality educational programs
  • Creating a credit transfer system between dental programs and schools
  • Increasing employer confidence

For the reasons above, it is important to attend an accredited dental assisting school. Doing so will provide financial aid opportunities, a high quality education, and better job prospects after graduation.

You can click on the blue button that says “Find Schools” to compare accredited dental assisting programs in your area as well as available online dental assisting courses.

The following list of dental assisting schools is a complete list of every CODA accredited dental assisting program in the United States.

ALABAMA

Calhoun Community College
Coastal Alabama Community College
Lawson State Community College – Bessemer
Trenholm State Community College
Wallace State Community College

ALASKA

University of Alaska – Anchorage

ARIZONA

Phoenix College
Pima County Community College

ARKANSAS

Arkansas Northeastern College
Pulaski Technical College

California

Cerritos College
Chaffey Community College
Citrus College
City College of San Francisco
College of Alameda
College of Marin
College of the Redwoods
College of San Mateo
Cypress College
Diablo Valley College
Foothill College
Hacienda LaPuente Adult Ed
Moreno Valley College
Orange Coast College
Palomar Community College
Pasadena City College
Sacramento City College
San Diego Mesa College
San Jose City College
Santa Rosa Junior College

COLORADO

Front Range Community College – Larimer
Pickens Technical College
Pikes Peak Community College
Manchester Community College
Tunxis Community College

FLORIDA

Atlantic Technical Center
Broward College
Cape Coral Technical College
Charlotte Technical College
College of Central Florida
Daytona State College
Eastern Florida State College
Erwin Technical College
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Gulf Coast State College (Day)
Hillsborough Community College
Indian River State College
Lindsey Hopkins Technical Ed Center
Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology
Manatee Technical College
Northwest Florida State College
Orange Technical College – Orlando
Palm Beach State College
Pinellas Technical College
Robert Morgan Educational Center
Santa Fe College
South Florida State College
Tallahassee Community College
Traviss Technical College

GEORGIA

Albany Technical College
Athens Technical College
Atlanta Technical College
Augusta Technical College
Columbus Technical College
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
Gwinnett Technical College
Lanier Technical College
Ogeechee Technical College
Savannah Technical College
Southern Crescent Technical College
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

HAWAII

Kapi’olani Community College

IDAHO

Carrington College of Boise
College of Western Idaho – Cosponsor of Boise State University
Elgin Community College
Illinois Valley Community College
John A. Logan College
Kaskaskia College
Lewis and Clark Community College

INDIANA

Indiana University Northwest
Indiana University School of Dentistry
International Business College
Ivy Tech Community College – Anderson
Ivy Tech Community College – Columbus/Franklin
Ivy Tech Community College – Kokomo
Ivy Tech Community College – LaFayette
Ivy Tech Community College – South Bend
University of Southern Indiana

IOWA

Des Moines Area Community College
Hawkeye Community College
Indian Hills Community College
Iowa Western Community College
Kirkwood Community College
Marshalltown Community College
Northeast Iowa Community College
Scott Community College
Western Iowa Tech Community College

KANSAS

Flint Hills Technical College
Labette Community College
Salina Area Technical College
Wichita State University Campus of Applied Science and Technology

KENTUCKY

West Kentucky Technical College

MAINE

University of Maine Augusta/University College of Bangor

MARYLAND

Hagerstown Community College

MASSACHUSETTS

Massasoit Community College
McCann Technical School
Middlesex Community College
Mount Wachusett Community College
Northern Essex Community College
Quinsigamond Community College
Southeastern Technical Institute
Springfield Technical Community College

MICHIGAN

Baker College-Clinton Township
Delta College
Grand Rapids Community College
Lake Michigan College
Mott Community College
Northwestern Michigan College
Washtenaw Community College
Wayne County Community College

MINNESOTA

Central Lakes College
Century College
Dakota County Technical College
Hennepin Technical College
Herzing University
Hibbing Community College
Minneapolis Community & Technical College
Minnesota West Community & Technical College
Minnesota State Community & Technical College – Moorhead
Northwest Tech College – Bemidji
Rochester Community & Technical College
St. Cloud Technical College
South Central Technical College – Mankato

MISSISSIPPI

Hinds Community College
Meridian Community College
Pearl River Community College

MISSOURI

Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley
Ozarks Tech Community College
State Technical College of Missouri
St. Louis Community College – Forest Park

MONTANA

Montana State University – Great Falls
Salish Kootenai College
NEBRASKA
Central Community College
Metropolitan Community College
Mid-Plains Community College
Southeast Community College

NEVADA

College of Southern Nevada
Truckee Meadows Community College
NEW HAMPSHIRE
NHTI, Concord’s Community College

NEW JERSEY

Burlington County Institute of Technology
Camden County College
Cape May County Tech Institute
Fortis Institute

NEW MEXICO

Central NM Community College
Dona Ana Community College
Luna Community College – Las Vegas
Santa Fe Community College
University of New Mexico – Gallup

NEW YORK

SUNY Educ Opportunity Ctr – Buffalo

NORTH CAROLINA

Alamance Community College
Asheville-Buncombe Tech. Community College
Cape Fear Community College
Central Carolina Community College
Central Piedmont Community College
Coastal Carolina Community College
Fayetteville Technical Community College
Forsyth Technical Community College
Guilford Technical Community College
Martin Community College
Miller-Motte Colleg – Wilmington
Miller-Motte College – Raleigh
Montgomery Community College
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
Wake Technical Community College
Wayne Community College
Western Piedmont Community College
Wilkes Community College

NORTH DAKOTA

North Dakota State College of Science

OHIO

Choffin Career and Technical Center
Eastern Gateway Community College

OKLAHOMA

Francis Tuttle Technology Center
Moore Norman Technology Center
Rose State College
Tulsa Technology Center
Western Technology Center

OREGON

Blue Mountain Community College
Central Oregon Community College
Chemeketa Community College
Lane Community College
Linn-Benton Community College
Portland Community College
Umpqua Community College

PENNSYLVANIA

Harcum College
Harrisburg Area Community College
Manor College
Westmoreland County Community College

PUERTO RICO

University of Puerto Rico, College of Health Related Professions
Community College of Rhode Island

SOUTH CAROLINA

Aiken Technical College
Florence-Darlington Tech College
Greenville Technical College
Horry-Georgetown Tech College
Midlands Technical College
Spartanburg Community College
Tri-County Technical College
Trident Technical College
York Technical College

SOUTH DAKOTA

Lake Area Technical Institute

TENNESSEE

Chattanooga State Community College
Northeast State Tech. Community College
South College
Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Knoxville
Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Memphis
Volunteer State Community College

TEXAS

Amarillo College
Coleman College of Health Sciences
Del Mar College
El Paso Community College
Grayson County College
Medical Education and Training Campus – Air Force Dental Assistant Program
San Antonio College
Tyler Junior College

VERMONT

Center for Technology – Essex

VIRGINIA

Centura College – Norfolk
Fortis College – Richmond
Germanna Community College
Northern Virginia Community College
Reynolds Community College

WASHINGTON

Bates Technical College
Bellingham Technical College
Clover Park Technical College
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Renton Technical College
Seattle Vocational Institute
South Puget Sound Community College
Spokane Community College

WEST VIRGINIA

Mercer County Tech Ed Center

WISCONSIN

Blackhawk Technical College
Fox Valley Technical College
Gateway Technical College
Northeast Wisconsin Tech College
Western Tech College
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

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