700 Industrial Drive, Ste K, Cary IL 60013

How to Choose a Dental Assistant Course

If you want to start in this profession, choosing a dental assistant course can be difficult with all the available options. These courses can vary a lot in length, cost, type of certification, and other factors. It is important to do your research and find the program that best fits your needs. To help you with this task, we’ve outlined the things you need to consider before choosing a dental assistant school.

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What should a dental assistant learn during a training course?

Dental assistant training courses provide students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies required for entry-level employment as dental assistants in a variety of settings. Dental assistants are responsible for providing patient care under the supervision of a dentist or other licensed professional, such as an orthodontist or periodontist.

Before enrolling in dental assistant training, all prospective dental assistants should search for a program that appropriately covers anatomy, oral health, practices, procedures, and skills. Obtaining a course content guide from different schools before enrolling is helpful to compare various programs.

What to consider when choosing a dental assisting training program?

Location, length, and cost.

These come in first for obvious reasons. Location is important if you choose an in-person training program. But you can always choose to follow an online training program that can give you the opportunity to choose between the most prestigious dental assistant programs in the country.

The large range of alternatives provided by various training facilities and schools lead to differences in the length of each program. While some institutions offer full-time intensive programs that are quicker to complete, others only offer part-time instruction, which lengthens the training period. Find out how long each one lasts before choosing a program and consider your schedule.

As for the cost, there are many different programs to choose from, and the cost of each can vary greatly. Before enrolling, it is crucial to understand how much different states and institutions charge for their training programs. Depending on the training school they choose, students should also enquire about payment plans and scholarships in addition to tuition costs.

State requirements regarding dental assistant standards

The first step in selecting the ideal educational path for achieving your career goals as a dental assistant is to become familiar with your state’s dental assisting standards. State-specific standards for dental assisting differ, so it’s important to understand what’s needed and which school programs are accepted there.

The majority of states don’t require any formal schooling or training to work as entry-level dental assistants. Dental assistants must, however, fulfill the education, training, and exam criteria of many states in order to carry out certain tasks to obtain state certifications.

Program prerequisites

Some dental assistant training programs require that applicants have specific training or have finished a specific course before the program may begin. The list of prerequisites and courses a trainee must finish before enrolling in a training course must be kept in mind. Job shadowing is another useful pre-enrollment strategy for students interested in dentistry training.


Dental assistants typically complete their education through an accredited institution that offers a certificate program lasting less than two years or a diploma program lasting one to two years. These programs may be offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and traditional four-year colleges and universities.

It is always a good idea to check that the institution is accredited to the proper authorities before choosing one of the many training programs offered today. When a training program is accredited, it demonstrates that it satisfies all quality requirements set forth for training and professional practice.

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) has approved some dental assisting programs that are regarded as the “gold standard” for training dental assistants. State dental boards frequently recognize or mandate CODA-accredited dental assisting programs. Additionally, one of the methods to become qualified to obtain the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification from the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) is to complete a dental assisting program that has received CODA accreditation.

In order to fulfill the requirements for dental assisting, certain states also accept programs and courses that have been approved by the state dental board. Look into your state’s dental assisting standards to see whether it accepts alternative dental assisting programs or courses.

Attending a program that is CODA-accredited, approved by a state regulatory body such as a dentistry board or state department of environmental control, or one that the DANB recognizes or mandates for obtaining certification is typically the best option.

We know, and dental professionals agree, that education is essential to being a valuable member of the dental team when it comes to dental assisting. So before choosing a dental assistant course, take your time and do your research; this will help you start your dental career on the right foot.

And here’s a pro tip for you: Dental scrap recycling can help you pay for your dental courses! Part of the responsibilities of dental assistants is taking care of dental scrap, and since many dental offices don’t consider the income generated from recycling this material, you could take advantage of that profit to pay for your dental training tuition.

Did you know that dental scrap contains precious metals that can be recycled for a profit? Core Scientific is a specialized dental scrap refinery, working with thousands of dental practices in the US. We give our customers the top returns in the industry (2-5 times more than other refineries) and we are endorsed by the American Academy of Dental Office Management as their official dental refiner.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our recycling program.



700 Industrial Drive, Ste K

Cary IL

60013, United States

Phone: 866-660-4631

Working hours:

Monday-Friday: 9:00 – 5:00

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed

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