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Top 3 Dental Assistant Training in US

We all have problems with our bodies, because they’re never going to be perfect.

Whether it be facial problems such as acne, dark spots, aging, or redness, or health problems such as body pains, injuries, illnesses, or anything in between, having struggles with our inner or outer (or both) appearances is inevitable. 

However, one of the most commonly known problems that everyone seems to go through has to do with their teeth, and odds are, you’ll end up being told that you need braces.

This makes orthodontists and dentists very important healthcare professionals of the day, making them known as the people who can give you a more beautiful smile, healthier teeth, stronger gums, and the like.

But the truth is, these dental and hydrogen professionals can’t take all of the credit -- their assistants play an important role in what they do as well.

Dental assistants are the people who see the patient first, tend to their needs first, and evaluate the patient’s current conditions so that they know what message to relay on to the dentist or orthodontist.

So, if you are considering going into the field of dentistry, then becoming a registered dental assistant is an idea worth holding onto.

But, how do you become a dental assistant, and where can you go through the process of dental assistant training that you need?

I am going to be answering both of those questions and more in this list of the top 3 Dental Assistant Training providers in the United States.

Top 3 Resources for Dental Assistant Training

woman having teeth examined - dental assistant training


Going through dental assistant training is one of the very first steps you take when working towards receiving your certification as a registered dental assistant.

The average time frame that a dental assistant training program takes to be completed is anywhere from 9 to 11 months, and at the end of the program, you will receive a certificate or a diploma.  In fact, the training is supposedly recognized as all you need in order to take the exam and receive your certification, an associate’s degree being deemed unnecessary by most.

These programs for dental assistant training are offered in a variety of places and settings. These include community colleges, technical institutes, vocational schools, universities, and dental schools.

However, it is important to know that there is a difference between Registered Dental Assistants (RDA) and Certified Dental Assistants (CDA).

The key difference lies in the fact that as a Certified Dental Assistant, you have simply received certification through going through training and then passing an exam to obtain national certification, which is obtained through the DANB.

Registered Dental Assistants, on the other hand, are required to submit to and pass specific state requirements and regulations, and these will vary from state to state.

So, without further ado, here are the top 3 best places for you to go through Dental Assistant Training.

1. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

The first place that made it on the list is a university: the Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis.  It’s a mouthful, but its dental assistant training program is definitely one of the bests in the country.

The school’s program is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation, as is its online course.

So if you don’t live in Indianapolis, there’s no reason to let location get in the way of receiving your dental assistant training from one of the best of the bests -- you can simply enroll in the online program and complete it from wherever you want.

However, students are required to show up on-campus for 1 to 2 Saturdays per month.

The program consists of 31 credits, and includes lectures, labs, dental therapeutics, practice management, and clinical instruction in oral physiology and pathology.

2. Ozarks Technical Community College

This community college made it onto the list as number two.

That’s because at this community college, their dental assistant training program is not limited to only state certification, or only national certification.  Instead, at the Ozarks Technical Community College, you can receive both.

Like the program offered at Indiana University-Purdue, Ozarks’ online dental assistant training program is accredited as well, except this time by the CODA.

This CODA accreditation means that their dental assistant training program meets the requirements and regulations of Missouri for expanded functions permits within the state.  It also gives its students eligibility to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam.

In this dental assistant training program, classes place a strong emphasis on the subjects of dental anatomy, dental terminology, radiology technique, chairside assisting, dental materials, dental equipment, as well as infection control.

Similar to the Indiana University-Purdue online program, students who are enrolled in the hybrid dental assisting program are able to complete the majority of the course online, but are required to spend a few Saturdays on campus for labs and clinical instruction.

3. Oregon State University

Coming in as number three on this list of top dental assistant training programs is the one offered at Oregon State University.

This school is a bit pricier than the other two previously discussed. However, it also has a much higher graduation rate of 85% and is located in the city of Corvalis, Oregon.

The Oregon State University also equips students enrolled in its dental assistant training for entry-level positions immediately upon graduation, and not only is the program online, but it can also be self-directed.

If you choose to enroll in this dental assistant training program, then you will be expecting to take classes with a strong emphasis on chairside knowledge as well as gain a lot of administrative skills, which can come in handy for any job.

Subject areas also include oral anatomy, dentist equipment, infection control, and radiology techniques that are used in the field of dentistry.

The classes are taught and directed through various methods unique to other dental assistant training programs.  These include learning methods such as multimedia presentations, assigned reading, self-assessment quizzes, supplemental resources (depending on which type of learner you are), and of course, exams.

After graduating the training program, you are eligible to take the Radiology Health and Safety exam, as well as the Infection Control exam.

In the end, this training program takes about 6 months to complete if you are the average full-time student.

What to Look for in Dental Assistant Training Programs

shaken steel human dentistry - dental assistant training


Now that you know the 3 of some of the best schools to receive your dental assistant training from, it’s time to discuss what the best way for you to decide on one is.

It’s important to consider several key factors when looking for the right school, the right courses, and overall, the right dental assistant training program, whether it be to suit your own personal preferences or to ensure that it is a good program with a good reputation.

First of all, it is important to be guaranteed that the dental assistant training program you choose to enroll in will provide you with everything you need to take the exam you want to take. There are several different kinds of exams that you can take to receive your certification for becoming a dental assistant and depending on which one you decide to take should be what you make your school decision around.

Second of all, most of these dental assistant training programs allow students to do the majority of their class work online, but also require them to make an appearance on campus a few Saturdays out of the month for clinical and lab days.

Therefore, it is important that you choose a school that either does not require you to come on campus if you don’t live anywhere near the location, or you choose whether or not you really want to do an online course or not.

And finally, it is quite obvious to make sure that the school and program that you choose is accredited by one of the dental associations or organizations recognized by the United States. If you make the mistake of going through the wrong training program that lacks accreditation, you may not be able to take your exam, and therefore not receive your certification.

Getting Your Dental Assistant Training is the Biggest Step You Make Towards Receiving Your Certification.

If you are considering becoming a Certified Dental Assistant, then choosing the right dental assistant training program is the next big step you can make today.

These top quality dental assistant training programs will take you from knowing nothing about how to do your job as a Certified Dental Assistant to preparing you with everything you need in preparation for exam day.

In fact, getting an associate’s degree isn’t even considered necessary by most dental assistant training programs, because the program itself is all you need to be ready for the day you take your certification exam.

So, are you ready to become one of the United States’ most sought after jobs, and to make a difference in the way people smile?

Then start by taking the next step of choosing the right dental assistant training program for you.