Dental Assisting Degree Programs in Vancouver, WA with School Info

There are two Oregon schools within 25 miles of Vancouver, WA, and two Washington schools within 95 miles that offer training in dental assisting. Read an overview of the colleges' program requirements and admission info to find out which one is the right one for you.

Dental Assisting Schools near Vancouver, WA

Aspiring dental assistants in Washington don't technically need to complete a degree or certificate program to become registered. These individuals need only complete seven hours of HIV/AIDS education. However, students who are still looking to learn basic dental assisting skills through a formal education program near Vancouver can find programs available in both Washington and neighboring Oregon. This article provides details on program requirements for each school as well as a table of facts on tuition, graduation rates and more. There's also information on three other area institutions with relevant programs.

  • Clackamas Community College's campus in Milwaukie, OR, is about 22 miles from downtown Vancouver and offers a certificate program.
  • Located around 12 miles from central Vancouver, Portland Community College, in Portland, OR, also has a dental assisting certificate option.
  • Those dental assistants in Washington who wish to earn the expanded functions dental auxiliary licensure (EFDA) through completion of a dental assisting program will need to attend an approved program within the state. The closest approved program is offered at Olympia's South Puget Sound Community College, which is located about 92 miles away from Vancouver's downtown area. The school offers a certificate and associate's degree.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

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Comparison of Schools

Clackamas Community College Portland Community College South Puget Sound Community College
School Type 2-year; public 2-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 6,326* 28,005* 4,951*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city Small city
Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $4,614 in-state; $12,399 out-of-state* $4,088 in-state; $8,840 out-of-state* $4,401 in-state; $9,819 out-of-state*
% of All Full-Time Beginning Undergraduate Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 79%* 70%* 51%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open Admissions N/A - Open Admissions N/A - Open Admissions
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 57% for full-time students* 67% for full-time students* 63% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (for students who began studies Fall 2014) 21%* 15%* 38%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Clackamas Community College

All of this school's Allied Health programs are offered at its Harmony Community Campus, located in Milwaukie, Oregon. Graduates of the program should be eligible to sit for Dental Assistant National Board (DANB) exams and work for private dental practices or clinics.

Certificate in Dental Assisting

Courses to be sequentially completed during this 3-term program include dental radiology, clinical procedures, dental materials, clinical practicum, dental infection control, pharmacology/medical emergencies, dental office procedures and technical math or algebra. Students must give proof of immunizations, take a drug test and earn a current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification. In addition, a criminal background check will be completed on all candidates for this program.

Portland Community College

The health-related programs for this school are offered at the Sylvania Campus in Portland, Oregon. Graduates of the dental assisting program should be prepared to sit for the DANB exams.

Certificate in Dental Assisting

At least 45 credits are required in this program. Courses cover clinical procedures, dental radiology, infection control, dental materials, integrated basic science, dental pharmacology, expanded duties and dental office procedures. Lab sections of various courses take aspiring dental assistants to dental office internships and the Oregon Health Science University Dental School. Applicants to this program should have a current CPR card and proof of immunizations, and will need to pass a criminal background check.

South Puget Sound Community College

Although located over 90 miles from downtown Vancouver, WA, this school is the closest one in the state offering dental assisting programs. Candidates for this school's special admissions programs, including dental assisting, must show proof of immunizations and have a current first aid/CPR certification. It is also expected that applicants will already have completed basic courses in reading, math and writing.

Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary (EFDA) - Certificate of Achievement

This 9-credit certificate program is designed for current, registered dental assistants. Students earning the certificate will complete sequential core dental courses in topics such as pharmacology, restorations, impressions, emergency management, ethics/jurisprudence and root canal treatments. During the last course, students will prepare for the Washington Restorative Exam as well as the Western Regional Exam Board exam.

Associate in Applied Science in Dental Assisting Technology

Students who wish to earn an associate's degree must earn a minimum of 90-93 total credits. Graduates with an associate's degree must fulfill this school's diversity requirement by completing an approved diversity course. Courses for this program include exposure control, dental specialties and instruments, preventive dentistry, pretreatment analysis and dental science. Student must also complete campus dental clinic rotations in chairside assisting.

Other Schools

Other schools offering approved expanded functions training programs in Washington range from 137 miles to 215 miles from Vancouver's city center. They include Seattle Central College, Bellingham Technical College and Skagit Valley College.

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