Top Schools for Dental Assistants

Find out which top schools offer programs for dental assistants, which can help them prepare them for the Dental Assisting National Board's certification exam and state licensure. Read about the program options at three national universities, as well as other schools in the U.S. with dental assistant programs.

School Information

Formal education programs for dental assistants typically culminate in a certificate or an associate degree and include courses in oral anatomy, infection control, chair-side support, patient interaction and equipment preparation. Three of the top schools for dental assistants are highlighted below and include the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis and the University of Alabama - Birmingham.

1. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC

School Highlight: The university's School of Dentistry offers programs ranging from the certificate to postdoctoral levels, as well as continuing education.

UNC accepts only 24 students each year to its 10-month dental assisting certificate program. The curriculum includes dental materials labs, chair-side assisting courses and hands-on practice in student clinics as well as dentists' offices.

2. Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, IN

School Highlight: Dental programs at this school have received accreditation from the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.

IUPUI's School of Dentistry offers a 1-year dental assisting certificate program, available on campus and online. Course topics include coronal polishing and fluoride application. Students can also earn a certificate in expanded restorative functions. Graduates of this program are permitted to enter bachelor's degree programs in fields like public health and general studies.

3. University of Alabama - Birmingham

School Highlight: UAB's dental assisting program has received approval from the state board of dental examiners.

The university's School of Dentistry offers a 1-year certificate program in dental assisting. Once enrolled, students complete approximately 500 hours of hands-on practice during clinical rotations. They also take on coursework in dental studies, biomedical sciences and dental assisting.

Top Dental Assisting Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Broward College Offers diplomas and associate degrees in dental assisting Ft. Lauderdale, FL
College of Southern Nevada Dental assisting program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis Las Vegas, NV
Gulf Coast State College Offers a dental assisting certificate that can be completed in ten months Panama City, FL
Northwest Florida State College Full-time dental assisting certificate program takes three semesters to complete Niceville, FL
University of Alaska - Anchorage Students can opt for a dental assisting certificate or Associate of Applied Science Anchorage, AK
University of Maine - Augusta Offers a dental assisting certificate in addition to an expanded function dental assisting program Augusta, ME
University of Southern Indiana Individuals enrolled in the dental assistant program can earn a certificate or associate degree Evansville, IN

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