Top 5 Dental Assistant Schools You Should Consider

Top 5 Dental Assistant Schools You Should Consider

When it comes to pursuing a career as a dental assistant, choosing the right school is crucial. As someone who has navigated the maze of dental assistant education, I understand the importance of finding a program that not only provides top-notch training but also sets you up for success in the field. After extensive research and personal experience, I’ve compiled a list of the top five dental assistant schools that you should definitely consider.


First on the list is Del Mar College (Texas), renowned for its comprehensive curriculum and hands-on training. This school stood out to me for its state-of-the-art facilities and experienced faculty, providing students with a solid foundation in dental assisting.

Next up is University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine (New York), known for its emphasis on practical skills and real-world experience. The school’s strong connections with local dental practices offer students invaluable opportunities to apply their learning in a professional setting.

I also highly recommend considering Altierus Career College, which excels in combining traditional classroom learning with modern technology. The school’s innovative approach to dental assistant education prepares students for the rapidly evolving landscape of dental care.


Another standout is University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics (Iowa), celebrated for its supportive learning environment and personalized attention to students. The school’s small class sizes and dedicated instructors create a nurturing atmosphere for aspiring dental assistants.

Last but not least, Rutgers University (New Jersey) deserves a spot on this list for its comprehensive career services and strong industry partnerships. The school’s commitment to helping graduates secure employment sets it apart as a top choice for those serious about launching a successful career in dental assisting.

Choosing the right dental assistant school is a pivotal decision that can shape your future in the field. By considering these top five schools, you’ll be well on your way to receiving the best education and training to kick-start your career as a dental assistant.

Overview of Dental Assistant Schools

Dental assistant schools provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to become successful dental assistants. These schools offer a variety of programs that range from certificate programs to associate degree programs. In this section, we will provide an overview of dental assistant schools, including accreditation and certification and program lengths.


Accreditation and Certification

Accreditation is an important factor to consider when choosing a dental assistant school. Accreditation ensures that the school has met specific standards set by an accrediting agency. The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) is the main accrediting agency for dental assistant schools. CODA ensures that the schools meet specific educational standards and that the students receive the necessary training to become successful dental assistants.

Certification is another important factor to consider when choosing a dental assistant school. Certification demonstrates that the dental assistant has met specific educational and training requirements. The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) is the main certification agency for dental assistants. DANB offers several certification options, including Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA), and Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA).

Program Lengths

Dental assistant programs vary in length and can range from several weeks to two years. Certificate programs typically take between 9 and 12 months to complete, while associate degree programs take two years. Some schools also offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as 6 months.

In conclusion, dental assistant schools provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to become successful dental assistants. When choosing a dental assistant school, it is important to consider accreditation and certification, as well as program lengths.


Curriculum and Training

Clinical Experience

One of the most important aspects of dental assistant training is the clinical experience offered by the program. At the top dental assistant schools, students receive hands-on training in a real dental office or clinic. This experience allows students to apply the theory they learn in the classroom to real-world situations. It also provides them with the opportunity to work with actual patients, learn how to communicate effectively, and develop the skills needed to succeed in the field.

During the clinical experience portion of the program, students will work under the supervision of a licensed dentist or dental hygienist. They will assist with a variety of procedures, such as taking x-rays, preparing patients for treatment, and sterilizing instruments. This real-world experience is invaluable and helps students feel confident and prepared when they enter the workforce.

Classroom Learning

In addition to hands-on clinical experience, dental assistant schools also provide students with classroom learning. This portion of the program covers the theoretical knowledge needed to succeed in the field. Students learn about dental anatomy, oral health, infection control, and dental materials. They also learn about the administrative tasks associated with working in a dental office, such as scheduling appointments, managing patient records, and billing.

The classroom learning portion of the program is typically taught through a combination of lectures, discussions, and interactive activities. Students also have the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback from their instructors. By the end of the program, students will have a solid understanding of the dental assistant profession and the skills needed to succeed in the field.

A comprehensive dental assistant program should provide students with both clinical experience and classroom learning. This combination of hands-on training and theoretical knowledge is essential for developing the skills and confidence needed to succeed in the field.

Admission Requirements and Process

To become a dental assistant, one must complete a program from an accredited dental assistant school. Each school has its own set of admission requirements and process. Here are the general requirements and process for admission to a dental assistant school:


  • High School Diploma or GED: Most dental assistant schools require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
  • Age Requirement: Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Immunizations: Applicants must provide proof of immunizations for Hepatitis B, MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), and Tetanus.
  • Background Check: Some schools require a criminal background check.
  • CPR Certification: Some schools require applicants to have CPR certification.


  • Application: Applicants must complete an application form and submit it to the school along with the required documents.
  • Entrance Exam: Some schools require applicants to take an entrance exam to assess their academic skills.
  • Interview: Applicants may be required to attend an interview with the admissions committee.
  • Acceptance: If accepted, applicants will receive an acceptance letter from the school.
  • Enrollment: Applicants must enroll in the program and pay the required fees.

It is important to note that admission requirements and process may vary depending on the school. It is recommended that applicants research the schools they are interested in and review their specific requirements and process for admission.

Career Prospects and Continuing Education

Dental assisting is a growing field, and graduates of dental assistant schools can expect to find many job opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 7 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

Dental assistants can work in a variety of settings, including private dental offices, clinics, hospitals, and public health facilities. They can also specialize in certain areas, such as orthodontics or pediatric dentistry.

Continuing education is important for dental assistants to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and technologies in the field. Many dental assistant schools offer continuing education courses, and there are also many professional organizations that offer continuing education opportunities.

Some dental assistants may choose to pursue further education and become dental hygienists or even dentists. Dental assistant schools can provide a solid foundation for further education in the dental field.

Overall, dental assisting is a rewarding career with many opportunities for growth and advancement. Graduates of dental assistant schools can look forward to a fulfilling career helping patients achieve and maintain good oral health.

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