List of Orthodontist Aide Colleges

The road to becoming an orthodontist aide, more commonly known as an orthodontic assistant, typically begins with completion of a diploma, certificate or associate degree program in dental assisting. Graduates who hope to earn national certification as an orthodontic assistant will need to gain additional education or experience in an orthodontic setting.

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How to Select an Orthodontist Aide College

In some states, dental assistants don't need formal education to start their careers. However, those who plan to earn certification from the Dental Assisting National Board Inc. (DANB) would be wise to choose an educational program that's recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

CODA programs incorporate general education classes with courses in the biomedical, clinical and dental sciences, in addition to providing clinical experience. They also meet qualifications to sit for the DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam, which was required or recognized by 37 states in 2010. CDA status also is required for three of the four paths that can lead to DANB's Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) credential.

Aspiring orthodontic assistants also might want to choose a dental assisting program that includes a basic orthodontics course. Most schools incorporate some basic orthodontic assistant skills, such as removing arch wires and placing elastic bands, into their curricula to help students meet state dental assistant licensing requirements. Another option for prospective orthodontist aides is selecting a school that will allow them to complete their clinical practice in orthodontists' offices.

Graduates of dental assisting programs who plan to pursue COA certification might choose to seek training specific to orthodontic assisting. Individual classes and multi-course programs, which are offered online and on-campus by community colleges, orthodontic training centers and private companies, explore subjects like impression and space closure techniques, orthodontic instruments and band fitting.

Colleges in the U.S. by Student Enrollment

College/University Student Population Institution Type
Houston Community College48,1692-year, Public
New York University42,1894-year, Private not-for-profit
College of Southern Nevada40,3104-year, primarily associate's, Public
Tarrant County College District39,5962-year, Public
Riverside Community College36,1462-year, Public
City College of San Francisco34,8682-year, Public
Pima Community College34,1362-year, Public
Broward College33,4484-year, Public
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis30,3004-year, Public
Palomar College26,8052-year, Public
Pasadena City College26,7132-year, Public
Portland Community College26,2782-year, Public
Sacramento City College26,1282-year, Public
Florida State College at Jacksonville25,9034-year, primarily associate's, Public
El Paso Community College25,8182-year, Public
Palm Beach State College25,1224-year, Public
Central New Mexico Community College24,8702-year, Public
Orange Coast College24,7422-year, Public
Hillsborough Community College24,0372-year, Public
Cerritos College23,2362-year, Public
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