Whether or not an aspiring orthodontist assistant lives in a state that requires certification, formal education can provide valuable training and improve job prospects. Undergraduate certificate and associate's degree programs are commonly available at community colleges and technical schools.
10 Schools with Dental Assisting Programs
These schools have been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA):
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|University of Alaska Anchorage||Anchorage, Alaska||4-year, public||Certificate, Associate|| $5,545 In-state
|City College of San Francisco||San Francisco, California||2-year, public||Certificate, Associate|| $1,598 In-state
|Pikes Peak Community College||Colorado Springs, Colorado||2-year, public||Certificate, Associate|| $3,240 In-state
|Eastern Florida State College||Cocoa, Florida||4-year, public||Diploma, Associate|| $2,496 In-state
|Kirkwood Community College||Cedar Rapids, Iowa||2-year, public||Diploma, Associate|| $4,194 In-state
|College of Western Idaho||Nampa, Idaho||2-year, public||Certificate, Associate|| $3,264 In-district
|Wichita Area Technical College||Wichita, Kansas||2-year, public||Certificate, Associate|| $7,317 In-state
|Middlesex Community College||Bedford, Massachusetts||2-year, public||Certificate, Associate||$4,514 In-state
|Hennepin Technical College||Brooklyn Park, Minnesota||2-year, public||Diploma, Associate||$5,159|
|Luzerne County Community College||Nanticoke, Pennsylvania||2-year, public||Certificate, Diploma||$4,770 In-district
Source: *NCES College Navigator
College Selection Criteria
Here are some important factors to consider when deciding upon a school include:
- Students should ensure that the program has been accredited by CODA.
- It is important to make sure that the program covers all of the educational requirements for certification in the state in which the student wishes to work.
- Students may want to find out about the pass rates for graduates of the school on the National Dental Certification Exam.
- Aspiring orthodontist assistants may want to find out if the school provides hands-on training opportunities in orthodontist offices.
In certificate and diploma programs in dental assisting, students learn about basic dental treatment techniques, office procedures and safety measures. These programs are typically designed specifically to prepare students for the National Dental Assistant Certification Exam, which is required for practice in many states. In total, certificate programs usually take one year of full-time study to complete, although there are some single-semester programs as well.
Associate's Degree Programs
Associate's degree programs include the same technical training and exam preparation as certificate programs, but they also include general education requirements. Therefore, they take two years of full-time study to complete. Graduates are typically awarded an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree.
Many schools offer certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs in dental assisting for aspiring orthodontic assistants. Accreditation and exam preparation are both key factors to consider when choosing between schools.