Dental assistants perform a variety of duties in the dental office as well as other healthcare facilities. They work closely with dentists, hygienists, and other staff to provide excellent patient care. If you dream of becoming a dental assistant, here are the best trade schools for dental assistants to consider.
A dental assistant trade school can ready you to become a valued and skilled professional going the extra mile in patient care to make a real difference.
Your education can prepare you for a multifaceted job that involves patient care, office, and lab duties. Successful program completion can allow you to become the vital link between the dentist and the patient.
You will learn how to help make a patient feel comfortable, prepare them for their treatment, obtain their records, and assist the dentist as they may need it.
This article provides the 15 best trade schools for dental assistants you can check out. If you stick with us to the end of this article, you will get all the information you need.
Table of Contents
- Why You Should Attend Trade Schools for Dental Assistant
- What are the Courses You Take in Trade Schools for Dental Assistants?
- How Much Does Trade Schools for Dental Assistant Cost?
- How Long Do Most Assistant Programs Taake to Complete?
- Best Trade Schools for Dental Assistants
- 1. Daytona State College
- 2. Florida State College at Jacksonville
- 3. Hillsborough Community College
- 4. Choffin Career and Technical Center
- 5. Eastern Gateway Community College
- 6. Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools
- 7. CUNY (The City University of New York) Lehman College
- 8. Erie Community College
- 9. Hudson Valley Community College
- 10. Monroe Community College
- 11. Stony Brook University
- 12. Franklin Technology-MSSU
- 13. Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City
- 14. Ozarks Technical Community College
- 15. St. Louis Community College
- FAQs – Trade Schools for Dental Assistants
- We Also Recommend
Why You Should Attend Trade Schools for Dental Assistant
The following are some of the benefits of attending dental assistant schools:
You’ll get hands-on training. As a dental assistant student, you’ll learn how to do everything from taking x-rays to cleaning teeth and administering anesthesia. You’ll also learn how to take impressions for dentures and crowns and make temporary crowns for patients who need them during treatment but don’t have time for permanent ones.
Learn and earn at the same time
You’ll get paid while you learn. Many schools offer financial aid through grants or scholarships that don’t have to be repaid — so long as you keep your grades up! Some programs even offer paid internships so you can get experience in your field before graduation.
Find a job
You’ll get job placement assistance after graduation. Many programs help their students find jobs by hosting job fairs and networking events where employers come directly to campus looking for new hires.
Some even provide career counseling services — like resume writing tips — before graduation, so graduates are ready to start their careers immediately after graduation.
Another benefit is that it can help you develop strong interpersonal skills by interacting with patients daily.
This is important because this job requires excellent customer service and communication skills so that patients feel comfortable with their treatment plan and understand what they need to do during their appointments.
What are the Courses You Take in Trade Schools for Dental Assistants?
Dental assistant training programs are designed to teach you the skills you need to work in a dental office. The courses you take will vary depending on the program and where it’s located, but they will often include lessons on:
- Dental anatomy
- Dental physiology
- Anatomy of the mouth
- The nervous system
- Oral Pathology
- Caries(tooth decay) diagnosis treatment
- Treatment planning and implementation
- Preventive dentistry
- Dental radiography
Dental assistant training programs are designed to prepare students for the Dental Assistant National Board (DANB) exam. Individual states usually determine the course content, but the curriculum may include the following:
Introduction to dental assisting
This course covers dental office management and basic anatomy and physiology.
Basic clinical skills
Students learn about filling cavities, taking X-rays, and assisting during minor procedures like root canals, crowns, and fillings.
Advanced clinical skills
Students gain experience with more complex procedures like placing temporary crowns and administering anesthesia.
The coursework may also include instruction in infection control techniques and other safety measures that protect patients from disease transmission in the dental office setting.
How Much Does Trade Schools for Dental Assistant Cost?
Dental assistant training programs have a wide range of lengths and costs, but most are relatively short and affordable.
On average, tuition at private colleges costs between $2,500 and $7,000 per year, while public schools charge between $1,000 and $6,000 per year, depending on where you live and whether you attend part-time or full-time programs.
How Long Do Most Assistant Programs Taake to Complete?
Dental assistant certificate programs range from 8 to 12 months and may be offered as part of a certificate program or as a stand-alone option. These programs usually include both classroom and clinical components.
Associate’s degree programs can be found at community colleges, vocational schools, and four-year colleges and universities. This degree’s programs are usually two years in length, but some are designed for part-time students who attend school on a less than full-time basis.
Bachelor’s degrees typically take four years of full-time study to complete, plus additional time for internships and clinical rotations. Most bachelor’s degrees are offered through community colleges or four-year institutions such as universities. Some schools provide distance learning options so you can complete your studies even while working full-time as a dental assistant.
Best Trade Schools for Dental Assistants
Here are our top picks on the best trade schools for dental assistants:
- Daytona State College
- Florida State College at Jacksonville
- Hillsborough Community College
- Choffin Career and Technical Center
- Eastern Gateway Community College
- Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools
- CUNY (The City University of New York) Lehman College
- Erie Community College
- Hudson Valley Community College
- Monroe Community College
- Stony Brook University
- Franklin Technology-MSSU
- Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City
- Ozarks Technical Community College
- St. Louis Community College
1. Daytona State College
Daytona State College is located in Daytona Beach. It offers a dental assisting certificate program that teaches students about dental instrument sterilization, oral health, patient records, dental radiographs, and infection control.
Students take courses in chairside assisting, biomedical science, dental anatomy, dental radiology, preventative dentistry, nutrition, and practice management. An externship is required.
Graduates are qualified to perform both office and dental procedures. Program prerequisites include:
- Attending an introduction to the dental assisting class.
- A documented minimum period of observation in a dental office.
- Possessing Basic Life Support certification.
2. Florida State College at Jacksonville
Florida State College at Jacksonville offers a 1-year dental assisting certificate program through Florida Coast Career Tech, a division of the school.
This college teaches students about recording patient vital signs, chairside dental assisting, dental radiography, infection control, dental emergencies, and dental materials. Graduates of the program are prepared for the expanded functions credential from the Florida Board of Dentistry.
3. Hillsborough Community College
Located in Tampa, Hillsborough Community College features a dental assisting certificate program that requires 1,230 contact hours and covers expanded functions training.
Students learn about dental impressions, teeth polishing, oral conditions, office management, sealants, and fluoride treatments. The program takes one year to complete.
4. Choffin Career and Technical Center
This school in Youngstown has an accredited dental assisting program that consists of 1,365 hours of training. Applicants to the program need to complete an interview and pass a WorkKeys exam.
Students learn about dental materials, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, lab procedures, and radiology. Graduates qualify for dental assistant, sealant placement, radiographer, and coronal polishing certification exams.
5. Eastern Gateway Community College
The accredited dental assisting program at Eastern Gateway Community College in Steubenville offers students three options. The one-year certificate program covers dental materials, terminology, chairside assisting, and radiography.
The program combines classroom lectures, dental labs, and clinical experiences in dentists’ offices. The certificate program prepares students for dental assistant certification exams.
The second option includes another year of study and results in the student earning an associate degree.
A student can earn an expanded functions dental auxiliary certificate if they choose the third option. The program is only available to certify dental assistants or registered dental hygienists. The program prepares students for the EFDA certification exam.
6. Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools
A nine-month dental assisting program is offered at this school in Groveport. This program offers an intense curriculum of classroom lectures and lab studies.
Internships are completed at Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry and dental offices. Students study dental anatomy, chairside assisting, dental terminology, and x-ray processing.
They also learn CPR and First Aid skills. The program prepares graduates for dental assisting certification exams.
7. CUNY (The City University of New York) Lehman College
This Bronx-based college provides an 80-hour program in dental assisting. Students learn about dentistry history and clinical practices. They perform typical dental duties like sterilizing dental tools, operating dental equipment, and cleaning teeth.
While the program prepares students for entry-level dental assisting jobs, it is also designed for students who eventually become dental hygienists. The school needs to mention whether this program prepares students for certification exams.
Also, see: 15 Best Trade Schools in San Antonio in 2022
8. Erie Community College
Located in Buffalo, Erie Community College offers a dental assistant certificate program that prepares students for state licensure.
The program includes core dental assisting topics, such as anatomy, dental materials, x-ray procedures, and sterilization techniques. The curriculum consists of clinical externships that take place at local dental facilities.
9. Hudson Valley Community College
Troy’s Hudson Valley Community College offers a dental assisting certificate program that takes a year to complete. The program prepares students for dental assistant licensure exams.
The program includes online coursework combined with 225 hours of clinical field training. Courses cover topics in dental radiology, dental materials, and oral hygiene.
10. Monroe Community College
Monroe Community College is located in Rochester and provides two types of dental assisting certificate programs. The on-campus program takes two semesters to complete, and it prepares students for licensing examinations.
The online program is designed for employed dental assistants who desire additional career training. Students in this program receive a minimum of 500 hours of clinical dental assisting experience.
Students who complete this online program also are prepared for certification exams. Courses include dental radiography and dental materials.
11. Stony Brook University
This university in Stony Brook offers a full-time dental assistant program that takes ten months to complete. Students learn in clinical and classroom settings and participate in clinical rotations.
Courses in the program include operative technique, dental assisting, dental radiology, and oral anatomy.
12. Franklin Technology-MSSU
Located in Joplin, Franklin Technology Center offers a 900-hour dental assistant certificate program that includes lectures, clinical rotations, and an externship.
While being trained to work with dentists in private practices or dental clinics, students explore dental anatomy, dental terminology, and radiology, as well as how to work with dental instruments, dental materials, and computers.
Students are required to have 90% attendance and earn an overall grade of 75 or higher. Students who wish to gain Registered Dental Assistant certification after graduation must take the exam administered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT).
13. Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City
Metropolitan Community College offers an associate degree program in dental assisting on the college’s Penn Valley campus in Kansas City. This accredited 2-year program leads to an Associate of Applied Science and prepares students for the CDA exam and employment as dental assistants.
Applicants to the program must complete prerequisites and college placement tests. Enrolled students attend fieldwork experiences and seminars for practical training.
The college also offers a certificate program in dental assisting. This has the exact core course requirements as the associate degree program and only has a few general education courses.
14. Ozarks Technical Community College
Located in Springfield, Ozarks Technical Community College offers a dental assisting program that awards an Associate of Applied Science and can be taken on-campus or in a hybrid format.
The hybrid program allows students to view lectures online while physically attending labs and clinical courses. Completing this accredited associate program prepares students for the CDA exam.
Topics of study in the 2-year program include dental materials, dental anatomy, dental radiology, and dental terminology.
A certificate program is also available. This program requires 21 semester hours to complete.
15. St. Louis Community College
After completing the required 40 credit hours, students at this community college in St. Louis earn a Certificate of Proficiency in Dental Assisting.
Accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, this program teaches students about up-to-date procedures in the field.
Required coursework covers dental office procedures, preventive dental health, integrated dental sciences, chair-side assisting, and dental infection control.
Students also get the chance to participate in several practicums. Graduates can take the exam required to become a CDA.
FAQs – Trade Schools for Dental Assistants
Dental clinics, hospitals, and private dental offices must provide a minimum of 360 hours of work-integrated learning. There is ongoing evaluation. Specific criteria, such as Dental Assisting: Practical and Computer Literacy, evaluate practical proficiency and abilities.
Certified dental assistants made an hourly median wage of $24 in 2022, while uncertified dental assistants made $19.93. With a median hourly compensation of $26, Certified Dental Assistants with additional certificates reported the highest salaries.
Most dental assistants work “regular hours,” meaning Monday through Friday, from 9 to 5. Of course, as we just mentioned, every dental practice differs. However, most are closed on the weekends, so you should be reassured about coming in on Saturday and Sunday.
This is it for the best trade schools for dental assistants. If you are in the US or planning to move to the US, and you are considering or have already chosen dental assistance as a career, our review of this article has given you all the information you need in your journey. This ranges from the cost, benefits, courses, skills, Length, and links to the websites of these various schools.
We hope you found this helpful.
- best-trade-schools.net – Trade Schools With Dental Assistant Programs
- trade-schools.net – Dental Assistant Schools
- midwesttech.edu – HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A DENTAL ASSISTANT?