11 Dec

Cost of Dental Assistant Training

If you’ve done some research and read through this site, you’re probably thinking that dental assisting may be the right career for you – but how much does the training actually cost?  Is it prohibitive?  Can you support yourself and pay for school at the same time?

Because the training to become a dental assistant is shorter than a typical bachelors degree at a 4 year school, less credit hours are involved, which means fewer classes are needed, which translates into huge savings for you!  Certificate programs focus ONLY on the information you need to learn to perform your job.  They are not meant to make you a well rounded person, versed in philosophy and the history of anthropology.  They are meant to teach you the skills you need to properly perform your job.

The typical CODA accredited dental assisting course is one year, or two semesters long.  It includes classroom and lab instruction, complemented with real world experience in a dental office or other clinical environment.  CODA accredited courses are the most highly recommended courses because they prepare you for the CDA exam, as well as many state exam requirements.

Since certificate programs are predominantly offered at local community or technical colleges, the cost is drastically less than any 4 year university.  Tuition costs for most programs will range from as low as $1500 all the way to $6000 or $7000.  That does not include books, or any extra supplies required.  Some schools will want you to have immunizations, liability insurance, and health insurance while pursuing your studies (particularly the clinical portion), so there are some added costs.  Overall, the tuition is quite affordable, especially when financial aid or scholarship money is added.

If you’re just finishing high school, and living at home with your parents, you’ll be at a slight advantage over someone who is already living on her own, with rent and bills to pay.  While it’s possible to work while you’re in school, these are full time programs, so your working hours will be limited.  Financial aid can help cover living expenses while you’re in school, with lower or deferred payments until you graduate to ease the burden.

So we’ve given you a price range for your education, but below is a brief overview of the programs and costs offered at different schools around the country.

Cost Comparison of CODA Accredited Dental Assisting Schools in the Southwest / Western US

1.  University of Alaska Anchorage College of Health, Anchorage, Alaska

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: One-year (Fall, Spring, and Summer Semester)

Estimated Cost: Annual In-State Tuition – $5,726

Annual Out of State Tuition – $18,176

Books and Supplies – $1,575

Lab Fees – $1,620

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

Curriculum:  The dental assisting certificate program is a comprehensive program consisting of lecture, hands-on training in clinical procedures and laboratory sessions. Full-time students will complete 17 credits in the fall semester, 14 credits in the spring semester and 3 credits in the summer. The program starts the last week in August, in coordination with all other University of Alaska Anchorage fall courses, and ends approximately June 20.

This program may also be available as a distance learning program; you must contact the school for more information.

2.  Heald College, Honolulu, Hawaii

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Assisting, Two Years

Estimated Cost: Annual Tuition – $13,020

Books and Supplies – $1,500

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

Features: Receive hands-on experience in well-equipped labs:

  • Training rooms with dental chairs
  • Digital radiography equipment
  • A dark room for dental X-ray development
  • Sterilization and materials labs

3.  Rio Salado College, Tempe, Arizona

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: Approximately 12 months, including a 300 hour internship with a licensed dentist in Arizona

Estimated Cost: Tuition, Lab Kits, and Fees – $4539 – $4630 for Maricopa County Residents

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

Curriculum: Introduction to Biology, Human Anatomy, and Physiology, CPR for Healthcare Providers, Communication and Teamwork, Dental Radiographic Imaging, Dental Assisting I- IV, and Clinical Experience through Internship

Admission Requirements: Students will be required to sign an MCCCD Criminal Background Check Disclosure Acknowledgement form. These changes are necessary due to the fact that six of eleven of MCCCD’s largest clinical experience hospital partners have established stringent background check standards that preclude MCCCD from assigning students to those sites who cannot meet those standards.

4.  Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: One-year (2 semesters plus intersession)

Estimated Cost: Annual In-State Tuition – $1,184

Annual Out of State Tuition – $6,320

Books and Supplies – $1,666

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association; Approved by the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, Dental Board of California

Curriculum: Preventative Dentistry, Dental Radiography, Chairside Techniques, Expanded Functions, Practice Management, Clinical Experience

Exam Preparation: Graduates are eligible to take the California Registered Dental Assistant Exam and the National Certification Exam upon program completion and qualify for their State radiation license and coronal polishing, pit and fissure sealant and ultrasonic scaling forcement removal certificates.

**Estimated costs listed here for tuition were provided by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics for the 2012-2013 academic year, and are for informational purposes only.  Please check directly with the school you wish you attend for the latest figures.

 

Cost Comparison of CODA Accredited Dental Assisting Schools in the Midwest US

1.  Kaskaskia College, Centralia, Illinois

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: 50 credit hours spread over two semesters and two summer sessions – completion time is just over 1 year

Estimated Cost: Annual In-District Tuition – $3,328

Annual In-State Tuition – $6,112

Annual Out of State Tuition – $12,864

Books and Supplies – $1,350

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

Curriculum: Classroom, lab, and clinical instruction provides students with a broad background in all aspects of dentistry.  Clinical internship provides students with experience in area dental offices under the guidance of licensed dentists.

Admission Requirements: High School Diploma or GED; Students must place in English 101 or must have completed English 100 with a C or better.

2.  Ivy Tech Community College, Kokoma Campus, Indiana

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: One-year technical certificate program, 41 credits.

Estimated Cost: Annual In-State Tuition – $3,455

Annual Out of State Tuition – $7,302

Books and Supplies – $1,070

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

Curriculum: Includes clinical practice, oral and human anatomy, dental materials and radiology. Included in the radiology training, students will take the Dental Assisting National Board Radiation Health and Safety exam and will be eligible to apply for a state license after graduation.

Admission Requirements:  The Dental Assisting program is a selective admission program. When you apply to the College, you will be accepted into Healthcare Support with a concentration in Dental Assisting while you complete the prerequisite requirements. The Dental Assisting program accepts a limited number of students each year and there is a separate application process.

3.  Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: 10 month certificate program, two-year associate degree program

Estimated Cost: Annual In-District Tuition – $2,811

Annual In-State Tuition – $5,619

Annual Out of State Tuition – $8,187

Books and Supplies – $1,661

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

Curriculum: Students learn through a combination of classroom, laboratory, and clinical educational experiences.  Each student will partake in clinical practice at an off-campus dental office.

Exam and Licensure Preparation: Graduates of the program are qualified to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board CDA exam to become a Certified Dental Assistant and the State of Michigan RDA exam to become a registered/licensed dental assistant.

4.  Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Degree Type: Technical Diploma

Financial Aid Available:  This program is fully eligible for financial aid.

Start dates for the first semester: June and August.  The Dental Assistant Technical Diploma is a one-year, three-semester program.

Cost:  $135.30 per credit for Wisconsin residents
Upon graduation, a student will have completed 33 credits, which works out to $4464.90 in tuition fees for 2013.

Additional Required Supplies or Incidental Costs:
Students will be required to purchase personal protection equipment/clothes, pay for liability insurance for dental clinical experience courses and provide their own transportation to the dental office.  Students are required to complete an American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR course during their first semester.  Submit required immunization documentation. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.

**Estimated costs for tuition were provided by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics for the 2012-2013 academic year, and are for informational purposes only.  Please check directly with the school you wish you attend for the latest figures.

 

Cost Comparison of CODA Accredited Dental Assisting Schools in the Northeast US

1. Monroe Community College, Rochester, NY

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: One-year

Estimated Cost: Annual In-State Tuition – $3,772

Annual Out of State Tuition – $6,912

Books and Supplies – $1,200

Curriculum:  In 30 credit hours, students are taught to perform chairside assisting, related laboratory and office procedures and all delegable expanded functions permitted by the State Education Department. Instruction includes lectures/laboratory coursework, hands-on clinical experience and formal clinical internships.

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, Registered with the State Education Department.

Examination Preparation: Graduates will be eligible to take the National Certification Exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board or a New York State specific certification exam.

Admission requirements: CPR for health professionals (adult, child and infant CPR – no on-line courses), a high school diploma or GED, and CPR certification. ESOL and Transitional Studies courses must be completed prior to matriculation.

Admission to this program is conditional upon meeting medical requirements, clearance of existing problem(s), and ability to meet technical standards (physical demands) of the program.

2.  Massasoit Community College, Brockton, Massachusetts

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: One-year (2 semesters)

Estimated Cost: Annual In-State Tuition – $4,056

Annual Out of State Tuition – $9,000

Books and Supplies – $1,000

Accreditation: Board of Higher Education Approved Certificate Program, Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

Curriculum:  40 credit hours including English composition, dental office management, dental science, dental materials, dental radiography, chairside assisting, psychology, and an externship.

Admission Requirements:  Clinical placement for accepted students requires a Criminal Offender Record Information (C.O.R.I.) check be completed.

3.  Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: One-year ( semesters)

Estimated Cost: Annual In-District Tuition – $5,055

Annual In-State Tuition – $6,870

Annual Out of State Tuition – $9,945

Books and Supplies – $1,728

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

Curriculum: This curriculum is designed to prepare students to:

  • Perform radiographic techniques in all types of dental offices
  • Assist a dental practitioner in all office procedures
  • Perform routine office management operations effectively
  • Function in the office laboratory environment
  • Participate as an integral member of the dental health team
  • Sit for the Dental Assistant National Board examination
  • Apply the role of dental assisting to various practice settings

Admission Requirements:  Entry into this program is not guaranteed with admission to the College; you will be admitted as a pre-dental assistant student and work with your advisor to apply to the clinical/core component of the program. Specific criteria must be met including physical examination and required immunizations, background checks including Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, FBI Check, and State Police Criminal Record Check, Drug and Alcohol screenings, and current certification in CPR.

Other criteria for admissions is determined on a point based system.

**Estimated costs for tuition were provided by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics for the 2012-2013 academic year, and are for informational purposes only.  Please check directly with the school you wish you attend for the latest figures.

 

Cost Comparison of CODA Accredited Dental Assisting Schools in the Southeast US

 

1.  H. Councill Trenholm State Tech, Alabama

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: One-year ( semesters)

Estimated Cost: Annual In-State Tuition – $3,240

Annual Out of State Tuition – $5,856

Books and Supplies – $1,200

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

Admission Requirements:  Students must undergo a physical and receive certain immunizations before beginning the program.

2.  Meridian Community College, Meridian, Mississippi

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: One-year certificate program

Estimated Cost: Annual In-State Tuition – $2,230

Annual Out of State Tuition – $3,610

Books and Supplies – $1,400

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

Curriculum: The program includes lecture hours, lab hours, and supervised clinical experiences. In the Clinical experiences, the student will assist the dentist at chairside a diverse set of locations, both in private offices, clinics, and state facilities as applicable.

Exam and Licesure Preparation: Upon graduation from the program, the student will be able to apply for their radiography permit which is necessary for taking x-rays in a Mississippi dental office. The student will have taken 2 of the 3 parts (Infection Control and Radiation Health Safety) of the Dental Assisting National Boards (DANB). The student will be given the application form for the 3rd portion (General Chairside). If taken and passed within 5 years of completion of the Dental Assisting program, the dental assistant will be able to secure their CDA credential. Graduates of the 12-month program will be awarded a certificate of completion.

3.  Atlanta Technical College, Atlanta, Georgia

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: 56 Credits

Estimated Cost: Annual In-State Tuition – $2,242

Annual Out of State Tuition – $4,162

Books and Supplies – $1,000

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

Curriculum: Introduction to healthcare, introduction to computeres, basic human biology, preventative dentistry, microbiology and infection control, oral pathology, dental biology, dental assisting general chairside, dental assisting expanded functions, dental radiology, clinical experience

Exam Preparation: Graduates of the program receive a Dental Assisting diploma and are eligible to sit for a national certification examination.

Admission Requirements:  Must be 17 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED and submit official transcript to apply.  Must have achieved minimum program admission scores in Reading, English, and Math.

4.  Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth, Florida

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: 10 month program beginning in the fall semester each year.  Graduates of the program receive a Post Secondary Adult Vocational Certificate, which includes Dental Radiography and Expanded Function certification, and are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board Exam.

Estimated Cost: Annual In-State Tuition – $2,378

Annual Out of State Tuition – $8,612

Books and Supplies – $1,500

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, approved by the Florida State Board of Dentistry.

Admission Requirements:  In addition to the Palm Beach State College general application, the applicant must also submit the Dental Assisting program application. All documentation must be received in the Admissions Office by the deadline date of July 1st in order to be eligible for consideration for selection.

5.  Pulaski Technical College, North Little Rock, Arkansas

Dental Assistant Training Program Length: 9 month certificate program, starting in August and ending the following May each year

Estimated Cost: Annual In-State Tuition – $3,183

Annual Out of State Tuition – $4,923

Books and Supplies – $1,200

Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

Admission Requirements:  Program applicants must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or have earned a GED. Students will be chosen for the program based on criteria determined by Pulaski Technical College.

**Estimated costs for tuition were provided by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics for the 2012-2013 academic year, and are for informational purposes only.  Please check directly with the school you wish you attend for the latest figures.