Dental Assistant Associates Degrees: Online Programs and Schools

Blended online dental assistant degree programs, which combine Internet-based and on-campus learning, are available at the associate's degree level. Get info on choosing a school for your dental assistant studies, and learn about finding an accredited program. Check the coursework in a dental assisting program. Review the certification and licensure requirements for dental assistants. Schools offering Dental Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

An associate's program in dental assisting can help you learn the skills needed to work in the field. Some of these programs have online coursework, though in-person clinical experiences are usually required. After completing an approved program, you can apply for certification, which is necessary in many states.

Programs Partially online programs are available; CODA-accredited programs are preferred
Courses Dental equipment, Dental office management, Tooth anatomy and pathology
Certification Certified Dental Assistant, Certified Orthodontic Assistant

What Should I Look for in a Dental Assistant Program or School?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many dental assistants learn the trade in the course of performing entry-level duties during on-the-job training (www.bls.gov). If you wish to receive formal training, you can pursue an Associate in Applied Science in Clinical Dental Assisting or an Associate of Occupational Science in Dental Assisting. It's important to ensure that the program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), because there are various vocational programs that are not approved and won't make you eligible for certification (www.ada.org).

What Courses are in an Associate Degree Program?

Due to the necessity of hands-on training, programs usually combine online coursework with clinical instruction. In blended learning programs, you can often take general education courses online, while participating in dental assisting courses on-campus. Some programs supplement distance-learning courses with on-site internships supervised by licensed dentists. You may even receive a dental tool kit from your school in order to practice using instruments at home and at your own pace. Dental assistant courses may cover topics such as:

  • Dental office management
  • Patient management and infection control
  • Tooth anatomy and pathology
  • Dental equipment
  • Radiographic imaging
  • Clinical dental assisting

Can I Become Certified?

Upon completion of an accredited associate degree program, you may choose to take the exams administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) and become a certified dental assistant or certified orthodontic assistant (www.danb.org). DANB also awards Certificates of Competency in Radiation Health and Safety and Infection Control to dental assistants upon passing those sections of the exam. The BLS reports that a majority of states recognize or require DANB certification. It's important that you're aware of the certification and licensure requirements specific to your state.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Maine at Augusta

    Campus Locations:

    • Maine: Augusta
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks

    Campus Locations:

    • Alaska: Fairbanks
  • University of Alaska Anchorage

    Campus Locations:

    • Alaska: Anchorage
  • Truckee Meadows Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Nevada: Reno
  • Stark State College

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: North Canton
  • St Cloud Technical and Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Minnesota: Saint Cloud
  • Wichita Area Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Kansas: Wichita
  • Spokane Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Spokane