10 Best Online Dental Assisting Courses in 2023

These best online dental assisting courses will offer exciting learning opportunities for people who want to work in the professional fields of dentistry or dental hygiene. 

Best Online Dental Assisting Courses in 2022
10 Best Online Dental Assisting Courses in 2022

Read on to know:

    • Who are dental assistants?
    • What are the roles of dental assistants?
    • Example Courses for an Online Dental Assistant Certificate and Associate Program
    • Best online dental assisting courses
    • What you can do with a dental assistant certificate or degree

Who is a dental assistant?

A Dental assistant is a paraprofessional who works directly with dental hygienists, dentists, and patients by carrying out various highly essential dental clinic duties in a team setting. It is an in-demand and rewarding career option for people who enjoy working in teams, as well as for those wishing to explore future careers in dental hygiene or dentistry.

What are the roles of dental assistants?

Dental assistants interact with dentists, patients, dental hygienists, and administrative professionals while performing various clinical and administrative jobs, scheduling appointments, and gathering patients’ information and medical history. At the same time, dental assistants provide support to dentists by tending to the dental and oral hygiene needs of their patients.

Dental assistants also sterilize and prepare surgical instruments and equipment, communicate post-surgery care instructions to patients, assist a dentist during a dental procedure, set up and break down operating spaces, and contribute to various office management and administrative tasks.

Example Courses for an Online Dental Assistant Certificate Program

Dental Materials

This course teaches the various materials used in dentistry, both as part of the teeth restoration process and in the lab and. Such materials include amalgam, ceramics (porcelain), and composite.

Dental Radiography

Students learn all about X-rays, how they work and the proper procedure for taking them, how to read and assess radiographs for dental issues like cavities, tooth decay, and impacted teeth.

Dental Terminology

This dental assistant degree online course covers the terms to be used to communicate with dentists, hygienists, and patients as dental assistants, dental anatomy, oral restoration, and dental charts, which stores the health of a person’s teeth and gums.

Example Courses for an Online Dental Assistant Associate Program

Biodental Science

This course teaches students about dental anatomy and physiology with an overview of the human skull, head, and neck. Topics include teeth composition, skeletal structure, nutrition as it relates to dentistry, and human body systems, as well as dental pharmacology too.

Patient Assessment

Patient assessment course is mandatory in any dental assistant online degree program, and it teaches students how to use oral examination to properly create a comprehensive dental treatment plan for patients. Topics include how to obtain a medical history, risk factors, prior procedures, and any past complications.

Dental Nutrition and Prevention

Students study and learn the impact food has on dental health, and how to classify foods according to macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, or fat), and understand their role in oral health. Topics include vitamins, nutritional deficiency, minerals, and the causes and prevention of tooth decay.

Below are 10 accredited dental assisting institutions offering dental assisting programs.

Please note that though Rutgers University and the University of Houston–Downtown are not accredited, they are still offered online dental assisting programs that prepare graduates to sit for the national DANB exam and state-specific dental assisting certification exams.

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Best Online Dental Assisting Courses 

1. Oregon State University

Location: Corvallis, OR

Accreditation: Oregon State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Oregon State University’s school of professional and continuing education partnered with Pearson Education to offer dozens of career training options and a non-credit bearing dental assistant certificate online through eCollege; the interactive learning management system.

Topics covered in this dental assisting program include oral anatomy, dental operatory, tooth, and oral cavity structure, and prevention of dental diseases. After that, students prepare for clinical chairside dental assisting entry-level work. Although all course requirements are completed the majority of dental assisting students in six months, students will receive 12 months to complete their self-paced courses if necessary. Upon completion of the course, graduates qualify to take the Dental Assisting National Board exams on radiation health and safety and infection control. On the other hand, qualified students may choose to complete an externship at a local dentist’s office.

3. Indiana University – Purdue University – Indianapolis

  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
  • Accreditation: American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)
  • Program length: Two semesters

Students must complete a total of 31 credit hours of instruction before they can earn a dental assistant certificate online from the renowned school of dentistry at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. This course takes two full-time semesters to complete. Distance learning students participate in required clinical experiences at dental offices in their communities after completing most of their courses online and.

Required courses include preventative dentistry and nutrition, practice management and ethics, microbiology and asepsis technique, and dental therapeutics and medical emergencies. Clinical experiences and classroom/laboratory work total more than 1,000 hours of instruction when combined. To become certified dental assistants, graduates must qualify to take the Dental Assisting National Board Examination. Earned credits can also be transferred to several IUPUI bachelor’s programs.

4. Monroe Community College

  • Location: Rochester, NY
  • Accreditation: American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)
  • Tuition: $196 per credit (in-state), $392 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Program length: Two semesters

Monroe Community College offers a 24-credit hour online dental assisting rapid track (DART) certificate program available for currently employed dental assistants working with a sponsoring dentist.

Courses include pre-clinical dental assisting, radiography, infection control measures, biomedical foundations, clinical experience, and dental materials. 500 hours of clinical experience with a sponsoring dentist will be completed by students in this program complete as part of their requirements. Graduates of this program acquire advanced skills in chairside dental assisting procedures, manipulation of dental materials, laboratory procedures, and radiographic techniques.

5. University of Georgia

  • Location: Athens, GA
  • Accreditation: The University of Georgia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education, in concert with Education to Go, offers an online self-paced dental assistant certificate program for students to start at any time of the year. There are 150 hours of eLearning course content Program and tuition covers the cost of all required textbooks and materials.

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no prerequisites are required for admission into this open enrollment program, but students should possess proficiency in keyboarding and boast access to Microsoft software(an operating system not compatible with Apple Macintosh computers). There are eight-course sections that cover office equipment and inventory, business communication skills, records management, dental insurance processing, and other essential, introductory knowledge for dental industry professionals. This is a 100% online program that requires no on-site components. Graduates may pursue office management work at dental offices and clinics or entry-level administrative and.

6. Ozarks Technical Community College (Hybrid)

  • Location: Springfield, MO
  • Accreditation: American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)
  • Tuition: $117 to $226 per credit
  • Program length: Two to four semesters

Ozarks Technical Community College offers a 24-credit hybrid certificate in dental assisting, and on-campus laboratory and clinical experience for students to use under the supervision of a dentist. The program prepares students to become valuable members of a dental health team and serve in various roles such as chairside assistant, oral surgery assistant, office manager, laboratory assistant, and orthodontic assistant.

The dental assisting program offers two professional tracks for those seeking a certificate or an associate’s degree of applied science (AAS) in dental assisting. New cohorts begin once a year, and the hybrid program application deadline is in October.

7. Rutgers University

  • Program length: Six to 12 months
  • Location: New Brunswick, NJ
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $2,285

Rutgers University features a completely online dental assisting certificate program that is Nationally recognized and features coursework in records management, office equipment, and inventory, interpersonal communication skills, and dental insurance processing. The university faculty teaches online courses.

After completing the program, students are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to perform essential dental duties, including dental terminology, patient and dental team interaction, DENTRIX software, and assisting dentists in inpatient care.

8. North Carolina A&T State University

  • Location: Greensboro, NC
  • Accreditation: North Carolina A&T State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

North Carolina A&T State University partners with Health Ed Today to offer a dental assistant certificate program for individuals who are busy. The cost of tuition covers all course materials and textbooks in the program, and students receive six months to complete all components at their own time and pace.

As an open enrollment program, no firm admission requirements are required from a prospective student, but the school encourages them to either pursue or possess a GED or high school diploma. students gain knowledge and skills in both clinical and administrative dental assisting Through interactive learning modules and exercises. This includes introductions to the dental office, oral anatomy, dental equipment, and tooth structure. No clinical practice hours are required by the school. After completing this course, graduates may sit for the Dental Assisting National Board exams on radiation health and safety and infection control.

9. University of Houston–Downtown

  • Tuition: $1,199 for online course
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Program length: 140 hours
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The University of Houston–Downtown campus offers a 100-hour fully online dental assisting program with a 40-hour clinical externship designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in dental assisting in clinical and administrative settings. If you are interested in future dental hygienist programs, it is a good course option.

This program coursework covers the anatomy, terminology, legal, and ethical components of dental assisting and instrument identification, equipment maintenance, oral anatomy, anesthesia, sterilization, and charting. A CPR certification course is included as part of the curriculum.

After completion of this program, graduates will be prepared to sit for the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) dental assisting exam offered throughout the state of Texas and DANB exams, including specialized tests for Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) and Infection Control (ICE).

10. Southeast Community College

  • Location: Lincoln, NE
  • Accreditation: Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the American Dental Association – Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Southeast Community College is located in Nebraska and has nearly a dozen campuses and learning centers. In as little as 12 months of full-time study, SCC students can earn a dental assistant certificate online or on campus. Admission requirements include completion of prerequisite courses, a minimum 2.5 GPA,  a resume, submission of transcripts, and proof of CPR certification and health insurance.

Laboratory instruction and clinical experiences (a total of 300 hours at a preapproved dentistry office or clinic), classroom, are combined to ensure that all program graduates qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant Exam, which leads to licensure. Students develop skills in chairside assisting, dental health education, laboratory procedures, radiology processing, management, and business office procedures.

What Can I Do With a Dental Assistant Certificate or Degree?

Knowledge and skill gotten from a dental assistant online degree program is very similar to that of an online certificate. associate degree students take general education courses, such as English, writing, and math while online certificate program students don’t. Earning an online dental assistant certificate online opens opportunities for many of the same jobs as an associate degree, but the degree can make you more marketable. An online associate degree increases your job prospects and earning potential, though it takes more time to complete and costs more overall,

Career paths for graduates of online dental assistant programs include;

Dental Assistants:

Dental assistants are responsible for scheduling appointments, taking patient X-rays, and completing general recordkeeping. The Median Annual Salary is $37,630 and the minimum education requirement is usually a postsecondary nondegree award. 

Dental Hygienists:

Dental hygienist’s duties include teeth cleaning, examining patients for signs of tooth decay and other problems with teeth and gums, and helping patients with preventative care to provide them with a better understanding of their oral health. The median annual salary of a dental hygienist is $74,070 while the minimum education requirement is an Associate degree

Medical Assistants:

The role of medical assistants is primarily to provide administrative and clerical support to medical businesses, including hospitals, clinics, and private practice. The Median Annual Salary of medical assistants is $32,480 and the minimum education requirement is a Postsecondary nondegree award


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