In some states, dental assistants don't need formal education to start their careers; however, those who plan to earn certification from the Dental Assisting National Board Inc. (DANB) would be wise to choose an educational program that's recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Graduates who hope to earn national certification as an orthodontic assistant will need to gain additional education or experience in an orthodontic setting.
10 Colleges in the U.S. with Orthodontist Aide Programs
This list of colleges and universities identifies a sample of schools offering a dental assisting and/or dental hygiene program.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered*||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)**|
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-district $1,632; In-state $3,360; Out-of-state $3,756|
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Associate's, Bachelor's||$47,750|
|College of Southern Nevada||Los Vegas, NV||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Certificate||In-state $2,805; Out-of-state $9,450|
|Tarrant County College District||Fort Worth, TX||2-year, Public||Associate's||In-district $1,320; In-state $2,064; Out-of-state $4,920|
|Moreno Valley College||Moreno Valley, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $1,416; Out-of-state $7,356|
|City College of San Francisco||San Francisco, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $1,598; Out-of-state $7,554|
|Pima Community College||Tucson, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $1,974; Out-of-state $8,610|
|Broward College||Fort Lauderdale, FL||4-year, Primarily associates, Public||Diploma, Associate's||In-state $2,753; Out-of-state $8,875|
|Indiana University-Purdue University||Indianapolis, IN||4-year, Public||Certificate||In-state $9,056; Out-of-state $29,774|
|Palomar College||San Marcos, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $1,338; Out-of-state $7,078|
Sources: *School website, **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Keep the following things in mind as you search for an orthodontist aide program:
- CODA programs incorporate general education classes with courses in the biomedical, clinical and dental sciences, in addition to providing clinical experience. They also meet qualifications to sit for the DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam.
- Aspiring orthodontic assistants also might want to choose a dental assisting program that includes a basic orthodontics course.
- Graduates of dental assisting programs who plan to pursue CODA certification might choose to seek additional training specific to orthodontic assisting. Individual classes and multi-course programs are offered online and on-campus by community colleges, orthodontic training centers and private companies.
- Some schools offer the option of distance learning programs, which may appeal to students who are not able to relocate.
There are a number of public and private colleges that offer orthodontist aide programs. It's possible to pursue studies to earn a certificate or associate's degree before entering this career field.