List of Orthodontist Aide Colleges

The road to becoming an orthodontist aide, more commonly known as an orthodontic assistant, typically begins with completion of a diploma, certificate or associate's degree program in dental assisting. Read on to find out what you should consider when choosing an orthodontist aide program and view some programs available at schools in the U.S.

Many states require dental assistants to be certified in order to practice; undergraduate programs can prepare students to take certification exams. Even for students who don't live in a state that requires certification, these basic training programs can provide a strong educational foundation for the career, and they may improve future job prospects.

10 Colleges in the U.S. with Orthodontist Aide Programs

These schools offer dental assisting and/or dental hygiene programs:

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: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Keep the following things in mind as you search for an orthodontist aide program:

  • For students who plan to work in a state that requires certification, it is critical to ensure that the program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
  • Students may want to look at the pass rates for graduates of the school on the certification exam given by the Dental Assisting National Board Inc. (DANB).
  • Aspiring orthodontic assistants also might want to choose a dental assisting program that includes a basic orthodontics course.
  • Some schools offer distance learning options, which may appeal to students who are not able to relocate or have scheduling constraints.

Certificate Programs

In states where certification is required for dental assistants, a certificate is the minimum educational requirement to take the licensure exam. These programs cover the basics of dental terminology, instrumentation, safety procedures and common dental office practices. In total, they take about a year to complete.

Associate's Degree Programs

At the associate's degree level, dental assisting is usually offered as a concentration within a broader Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program in health sciences or healthcare. Over the course of these two-year programs, students get much of the same fundamental training as students in certificate programs, but they also fulfill general education requirements. The curriculum is typically divided between classroom-based coursework, on-campus lab experiences and clinical rotations.

There are a number of public and private colleges that offer relevant programs for aspiring dental assistants and orthodontic aides. Formal education programs are especially important for students who live in states that require certification.

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