Online Associate Degrees in Dental Assisting

An online associate degree in dental assisting program may provide students with skills and training ranging from dental care to administrative work. In these two-year programs, students may learn how to sterilize dental instruments, assist dentists, and process lab work. Coursework within these dental assisting programs may include several general education requirements alongside electives and major-specific classes, such as microbiology and pathology, dental terminology, and radiography.

Graduates of online associate degree programs may pursue entry-level employment or further their education and enroll in baccalaureate-level programs in dental hygiene. Associate-level graduates may find employment opportunities at dental offices, insurance companies, and dental supply manufacturers.

Program Overview

  • Prerequisite: High School Diploma or GED
  • Program Length: Two years to complete
  • Post-Grad Options: Entry-Level Employment or Bachelor’s Program
  • Projected Employment Growth: 31% (2010-2020)*

Program Coursework

The curriculum within an online associate-level program in dental assisting may include just a few general education requirements along with major-specific courses and electives. In these two-year programs, students may study clinical, administrative, and radio-graphic procedures. Core online dental assisting courses may include the following:

  • Radiography
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Dental Terminology
  • Dental Assisting Materials
  • Diagnosis and Treatment Plans
  • Dental Office Procedures
  • Microbiology and Pathology

Career Options

Graduates of online associate-level dental assisting programs may find career opportunities in dental offices, dental clinics, dental supply manufacturers, and insurance companies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for those pursuing careers as dental assistants are expected to increase by 31% from 2010-2020.*

Possible careers include:

  • Dental Assistant
  • Clinical Assistant
  • Dental Receptionist
  • Infection Control Manager
  • Dental Practice Manager

Continuing Education

Graduates of an online associate degree in dental assisting may continue their education and enroll in a bachelor’s-level program in dental hygiene. These four-year programs may provide students with additional training on dental hygiene and may include courses on public health and management. Depending upon the state, individuals seeking a career as a dental assistant may need to graduate from an accredited program and pass a state exam while other states may have no formal education requirements. Applicants may obtain the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification offered through an exam administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

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