Orthodontic Assistant Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Orthodontic assistants can begin their careers with training in dental assisting through an accredited certificate or degree program. Graduates qualify to work as dental assistants and orthodontic assistants in a variety of settings, including dental clinics, hospitals, armed forces dental facilities and general and specialty clinics.

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Orthodontic Assistant programs can typically be completed in two-years at numerous 2- and 4- year institutions across the United States with annual tuition rates ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.

10 Schools with Orthodontic Assistant Programs

Some orthodontic assistant programs in the country are offered at the institutions listed below:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
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
Palomar College San Marcos, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $1,338; Out-of-state $7,078
Pasadena City College Pasadena, CA 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $1,152; Out-of-state $6,180
Sacramento City College Sacramento, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $1,104; Out-of-state $7,440
El Paso Community College El Paso, TX 2-year, Public Associate's, Post-associate's Skills Certificate In-state $2,386; Out-of-state $4,042
Orange Coast College Costa Mesa, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $1,184; Out-of-state $6,584
Cerritos College Norwalk, CA 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $1,346; Out-of-state $7,926
San Diego Mesa College San Diego, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $1,142; Out-of-state $4,670
San Antonio College San Antonio, TX 2-year, Public Associate's In-district $2,068; In-state $5,550; Out-of-state $10,740

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

Orthodontic assistants support orthodontists in administrative and clinical procedures. Specialized degree programs in orthodontic assisting are less common than programs in dental assisting, which cover competencies needed by both dental and orthodontic assistants.

Consider the following when looking for orthodontic assistant schools:

  • Students looking for an orthodontic assistant school may want to prioritize schools that prepare students for certification exams.
  • Another factor to consider when selecting an orthodontic assistant school is the range of orthodontic education offered by the school.
  • Lab-based coursework and internships are two common approaches to gaining hands-on experience, and students may want to attend a school that offers both opportunities.
  • Some schools offer programs in dental assisting and dental hygiene, while other colleges offer skills certificate programs to students who have already completed their associate's degree in dental assisting.

There are many program options at 2- and 4- year institutions that can be considered for those interested in pursuing studies to become an orthodontic assistant. Although all schools referenced here are public colleges, costs vary widely and should be considered when selecting a program.

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