Although New York has 13 schools that provide dental assisting training, only 7 of the colleges are public or private not-for-profit. The certificate programs include coursework, laboratory components and externships. They provide up to 500 hours of clinical experience.
Some programs offer online instruction and others are designed for employed and experienced dental assistants who want to prepare for licensure. Typically, applicants to these programs must have a high school diploma (or GED), current immunizations and physical examinations.
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 common dental duties like sterilizing dental tools, operating dental equipment and cleaning teeth. While the program prepares students for entry-level dental assisting jobs, it also is designed for students who eventually plan on becoming dental hygienists. The school does not mention whether this program prepares students for certification exams.
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 includes clinical externships that take place at local dental facilities.
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.
Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Center for Workforce Development
Located in Rochester, this school offers a dental assisting program that takes less than 5 months to complete. Students who complete this certificate program are eligible for certified dental assistant licensing. Students must set up and manage their own clinical shadowing experiences. The program culminates in 200 additional hours of clinical experience. Students learn about dental anatomy, chairside assisting and dental terminology.
Monroe Community College
Monroe Community College is located in Rochester and provides 2 types of dental assisting certificate programs. The on-campus program takes 2 semesters to complete, and it prepares students for licensing examinations. The online program is designed for currently 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.
Onondaga Cortland Madison BOCES
Located in Liverpool, this school offers a dental assisting program that trains students for state licensure and takes 24 weeks to complete. Students receive instruction through traditional lectures, labs and 200 hours of clinical fieldwork, which takes place in actual dental offices. Some topics of study found in the curriculum include emergency dental care, radiology and infection control.
Stony Brook University
This university in Stony Brook offers a full-time dental assistant program that takes 10 months to complete. Students learn in clinical and classroom settings, and they participate in clinical rotations. Courses in the program include operative technique, dental assisting, dental radiology and oral anatomy.
In New York, dental assistants do not have to be formally licensed for employment. However, unlicensed dental assistants have very limited job duties and must be supervised by a dentist at all times.
To become licensed in New York, individuals need to complete an approved training program and successfully pass Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exams. Limited licenses are also available for aspiring certified dental assistants who have completed the educational training requirements. This type of license is valid for a year and can only be renewed once.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Dental Assisting Programs Offered||Undergraduate Program Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*|
|CUNY Lehman College||4-year, public; large city||Dental Assistant Program|| $7,210 in-state
|Erie Community College||2-year; public; large city||Dental Assisting Certificate|| $5,575 (in-state)
|Hudson Valley Community College||2-year; public; small city||Dental Assisting Certificate|| $5,812 (in-state)
|Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Center for Workforce Development||<2-year; public; large suburb||Dental Assisting Program||$7,700|
|Monroe Community College||2-year; public; large suburb||Dental Assisting Certificate (On-Campus and Online Options)|| $5,336 (in-state)
|Onondaga Cortland Madison BOCES||<2-year; public; large suburb||Dental Assisting Program||$8,018|
|Stony Brook University||4-year, public; large suburb||Dental Assistant Program|| $9,625 (in-state)
Source: *NCES College Navigator