Top Schools for Dental Assistants

Find out which top schools offer programs for dental assistants, which can help them prepare them for the Dental Assisting National Board's certification exam and state licensure. Read about the program options at three national universities, as well as other schools in the U.S. with dental assistant programs.

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School Information

Formal education programs for dental assistants typically culminate in a certificate or an associate degree and include courses in oral anatomy, infection control, chair-side support, patient interaction and equipment preparation. Three of the top schools for dental assistants are highlighted below and include the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Indiana University - Purdue University and the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Top U.S. Schools with Dental Assistant Programs

1. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranked 29th among national universities by U.S. News and World Report in 2012. The university's School of Dentistry offers programs ranging from the certificate to postdoctoral levels, as well as general and customized continuing education. The certificate program in dental assisting has a competitive admissions process and may be completed in less than a year. The School of Dentistry also participates in an outreach program where dental students provide care to patients throughout the state.

2. Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), a partnership between Indiana University and Purdue University, ranked as one of the country's top three up-and-coming institutions in 2012, according to U.S. News and World Report. IUPUI's School of Dentistry offers a 1-year dental assisting certificate program, available on campus and online. Course topics include coronal polishing and fluoride application. Students can also earn a certificate in expanded restorative functions.

3. University of Alabama - Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a public institution that The Princeton Review identified as one of the best schools in the Southeast for 2012. The university's School of Dentistry offers a 1-year certificate program in dental assisting. Once enrolled, students complete approximately 500 hours of hands-on practice during clinical rotations. The university is also home to the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, one of the most prominent biomedical reference collections in the region.

Ten Good Schools with Dental Assisting Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Broward College Dental Research Clinic offers continuing education for dentists Ft. Lauderdale, FL
College of Southern Nevada Full-time or part-time dental assisting program Las Vegas, NV
Gulf Coast State College Dental students treat patients in an on-campus dental clinic Panama City, FL
Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis Oral Health Research Institute is a prominent location for product testing Indianapolis, IN
Northwest Florida State College Dual enrollment in high school and college for qualified high school students Niceville, FL
University of Alabama - Birmingham Administrative headquarters for the Dental Practice-Based Research Network, an organization devoted to discovery and improvement in dental care and funded in part by a branch of the National Institutes of Health Birmingham, AL
University of Alaska - Anchorage Nursing school include the Alaska Center for Rural Health (ACRH) Anchorage, AK
University of Maine - Augusta Offers a dental assisting and an expanded function dental assisting certificate program Augusta, ME
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Only 24 dental assisting students admitted each year Chapel Hill, NC
University of Southern Indiana College of Nursing and Health Professions houses a simulation lab for dental students in training Evansville, IN
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