Best Dental Assistant Schools in Los Angeles | Cost, Requirement & How To Apply

Choosing a dental care program is an important decision. The best dental assistant schools in Los Angeles offer a combination of classroom knowledge and hands-on training to prepare you for a career as a dental assistant.

Dental assistant schools in Los Angeles are designed to keep students abreast of modern and traditional clinical practices, as well as the latest technology, allowing them to transition quickly from the classroom to the clinical environment.

Are There Dental Assistant Schools In Los Angeles?

Yes, there are dental assistant schools in Los Angeles designed to provide you with a combination of dental theory and practical skills. Throughout the program, you will receive hands-on training to prepare you to work in modern medical and dental facilities.

Dental assistant schools in Los Angeles cover a variety of topics and terminology to help you accurately perform dental exams, procedures, and daily tasks.

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How Much Do Dental Assistant Schools Cost In Los Angeles?

Certificate and diploma programs are shorter (and therefore more affordable), while graduate programs are longer and more expensive.

Keep in mind that California dentists prefer to hire dental assistants who have an associate’s degree, so while a degree program may be cheaper and faster, it may limit your employability.

Type of ProgramLengthCost
Certificate / Diploma6 – 15 Months$2,990 – $34,970
Associate Degree2 Years$8,750 – $53,540

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What Are The Requirements For Dental Assistant Schools In Los Angeles?

Some dental assistants learn their skills on the job without needing formal training. However, those who complete advanced training or study for a diploma or certificate in dental assisting have an advantage when it comes to getting a job.

A National Senior Certificate or Grade 10 is required to study most courses. Check with each institution for their specific requirements, but the following topics are recommended:

  • Physical science
  • Biology
  • Mathematics

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What Are The Best Dental Assistant Schools In Los Angeles?

There are several possible paths to becoming a dental assistant. Some states require dental assistants to complete an accredited CODA program and pass an exam.

In other states, there are no formal educational requirements, and dental assistants learn to perform their duties through on-the-job training.

Listed below are schools offering dental assistant programs located in Los Angeles State, sorted by CODA accredited schools and post-secondary vocational schools.

Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill

Diablo Valley College provides students with a solid foundation for dental care through its quality education. The on-campus dental clinic serves the community by providing affordable dental services.

Diablo Valley College offers two program options: Certificate and Associate. Beginning in the fall semester, only 24 students are accepted each year. The certification program includes technical courses and lasts nine months.

Associate’s takes more time, as do technical courses; you must also complete general education courses. To be eligible for both programs, you must have a high school diploma and successfully complete a dental assistant training course.

Students pursuing an associate’s degree must complete nine additional units of general education courses before graduation and before applying for the licensure exam.

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While the coursework you receive as part of a certificate program provides the necessary training needed for this career, an associate’s degree, which also includes general education courses, is broader in terms of knowledge and helps develop critical thinking and communication skills.

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Pasadena City College, Pasadena

Pasadena City College provides a conducive learning environment with state-of-the-art facilities and dedicated faculty who help and support students throughout.

With clinical training at multiple sites, graduates are ready to begin their dental careers shortly after graduation.

You can earn a certificate or associate degree offered by the college. To qualify, you must graduate from an accredited school with a minimum 2.0 GPA and hold CPR certification throughout the program.

To earn a certificate, you must complete 37.5 credits of coursework. The employee needs additional general education courses to help advance your career.

The coursework is designed to help you pass various exams such as Certified Dental Assistant, Certified Orthodontic Assistant, and Registered Dental Assistant.

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Palomar College, San Marcos

Palomar College offers one of the most affordable dental assistant programs. With an excellent faculty teaching students, the RDA exam pass rate is above the state average.

In addition to improving clinical and technical skills, the college encourages students to intern at local dental offices and gain hands-on experience. The college offers a ten-month California Dental Assistant Certificate Program that begins each fall.

This full-time program covers coursework that will train you to be competent in providing safe and professional dental care to patients by assisting the dentist during various dental procedures.

You will learn about dental law and ethics, sealant application, radiation safety, crown polishing, infection control, in addition to dental office management and administration.

You can also earn an associate degree in dental assisting at Palomar by completing general education courses in addition to your dental assistant coursework.

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San Joaquin Valley College, Visalia

Graduates of San Joaquin Valley College of Dentistry are known to be job-ready because of the rigorous hands-on training they receive. In addition, the college provides a caring environment where students are guided throughout, from admission to finding a suitable job.

With this 11-month certificate program, you can enter an allied dental field. This coursework prepares you for the skills and knowledge required to perform routine tasks such as managing a dental office, using dental software, understanding oral anatomy and dental radiology.

Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to take the state licensing exam for Registered Dental Assistant status.

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Foothill College, Los Altos Hills

Foothill College provides rigorous training for aspiring dental assistants who aspire to become an integral part of the dental team.

With a dedicated faculty and carefully designed curriculum, students graduate ready to face the real-time challenges this career presents.

The college offers two options: a certificate and an associate degree. The certificate can be obtained in 9 months, on a daily basis.

An associate’s degree takes longer and provides a more comprehensive learning experience, including general education courses.  Students of both programs begin their studies in the fall.

You begin with core courses related to dental care, including orientation to dental care, specialty practice procedures, dental science, dental radiography, dental office management, and fissure sealants.

Students pursuing an associate’s degree must complete all general education courses to graduate, usually within two years of enrollment.

An externship, where students apply professional knowledge while assisting a dentist at the UCSF School of Dentistry, is an important component of the coursework.

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Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa

Orange Coast College’s dental career education includes intensive training through classroom work, laboratory sessions and 300 hours of clinical training at the UCLA School of Dentistry and nearby dental offices.

Obtaining a dental care certificate takes 48 weeks. The curriculum prepares you for dental assisting duties in a variety of settings such as private dental offices, public hospitals, specialty practices and dental schools.

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The program begins in the fall and courses are offered in sequence. Before starting the program, you must complete the prerequisite courses in Medical Profession and Medical Terminology with a minimum grade of “C”.

For those seeking an advanced associate dental certificate, some credits from this program may be transferred to a dental hygiene degree.

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Carrington College

With multiple campuses in the state, Carrington College is a convenient choice for a dental assisting education because of its nearby campus.

This dental assistant school in California prepares students to work in dental offices, private and public clinics. You can gain professional skills by completing a certificate or associate degree program offered by the college.

The certificate is a short course of less than one year that teaches you the technical skills to help you understand the various dental procedures performed in a dental clinic.

An associate degree, on the other hand, provides a broader knowledge base, including general education courses in communication skills, computer use, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Both programs include an externship where you will apply your professional knowledge to patients in real time.

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Concorde Career College

Concorde Career College’s conveniently located Southern California campuses make getting to college a breeze.

You can choose any location as they are all well-equipped with learning resources and provide sufficient support to help dental students achieve their academic goals.

In a short eight-month period, this Diploma in Dental Assisting offered by Concorde teaches you the entry-level skills needed to provide chairside assistance and front office management in a dental practice.

The concise curriculum includes courses in dental terminology, dental specialties, dental materials, dental clinic management, dental radiology, orthodontics, and diagnostics.

To sharpen professional skills, the coursework includes an externship, locally in a dentist’s office. After completing the program, you will be able to pass the state exam and become a registered dental assistant.

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UEI College

The dental assistant profession is in high demand and UEI College prepares you for this career with great aplomb. With 13 locations in Southern California, you can attend any campus that suits you.

To become a dental assistant in California, you may want to consider this 10-month certificate program that prepares you for entry-level oral surgery assistant, surgical dental assistant, and orthodontic assisting positions.

Coursework covers a variety of topics, from dental emergencies to chairside care, radiography to dental materials, preventive dentistry to dental specialties and prosthodontics, and administrative duties in a dental clinic.

After completing all courses, you will be given the opportunity to complete an internship at a local dental clinic where you will put your newly acquired professional skills into practice. Often this opportunity turns into placement.

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How Much Do Dental Assistants In Los Angeles Earn?

In Los Angeles, California, as of November 29, 2021, dental assistants typically earn between $40,499 and $50,660 per year, according to salary.com.

The average salary for dental assistants currently working in Los Angeles is $45,655 per year. In addition to where they work, the starting salary for a dental assistant also depends on their education level, certifications, skills and previous work experience.

When comparing dental assistant salaries in San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento, Los Angeles has the second highest salary range.

Dental assistants in San Diego earn between $38,644 and $48,339, dental assistants in San Francisco earn between $44,761 and $55,991, and assistants in Sacramento earn between $38,706 and $48,417.

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How Do I Become A Dental Assistant In Los Angeles?

Becoming a dental assistant in Los Angeles, CA requires formal education and/or training and licensure. To become a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) licensed by the California Board of Dentistry, you must complete the following steps8:

  • Get formal education or training through one of the following:
  • Complete a board-approved RDA program.
  • Complete at least 15 months of experience as a dental assistant under the supervision of a licensed dentist in the US.
  • Complete a 4-month program approved by the California Department of Education and 11 months of work experience under the supervision of a licensed dentist in the US.
  • Take Board-approved crown polishing and radiation safety courses.
  • Complete a board-approved course in the Dental Practice Act within five years of filing.
  • Complete a Board-approved eight-hour course in infection control within five years of filing.
  • Take a basic life support course from an instructor approved by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.
  • Provide fingerprinting authorization from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Take the RDA General and Law and Ethics Written exam.
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Although entry-level dental assistants can learn on the job, a certificate program is a profitable path for those who want to become a licensed dental assistant.

A definite advantage of certification programs is that they typically include Board-mandated courses related to crown polishing, radiation safety, infection control, and basic life support.

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Best Paying Dental Assistant Jobs in Los Angeles

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook2, dental assistants typically work full-time and also work evenings and weekends. The top three employers of dental assistants:

  • 90% – Dental office
  • 2% – Doctors’ office
  • 2% – Govt

The Dental Assistant program aims to prepare graduates for entry-level dental assistant positions by providing the necessary knowledge and skills.

Because National Career College dental assistants are trained in clinical and radiographic procedures, their services are also sought by: general dentists and dental offices specializing in pediatrics, orthodontics, endodontics and other specialties.

They are also sought by dental schools, dental equipment manufacturers and hospital dental departments, dental laboratories and dental insurance companies.

Dental Assistant Schools In Los Angeles FAQs

Are Dental Assistants In Demand In Los Angeles?

Dental assistant jobs in Los Angeles are in high demand right now. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects dental assistant employment to grow 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

How Long Is Dental Assistant Schools In Los Angeles?

It will take you anywhere from six months to two years to complete a dental assistant program in California, depending on the type of program you choose. Certificate and diploma programs are shorter (and therefore more affordable), while graduate programs are longer and more expensive. Keep in mind that California dentists prefer to hire dental assistants who have an associate’s degree, so while a degree program may be cheaper and faster, it may limit your employability.

Where Do Dental Assistants Work In Los Angeles?

Dental assistants work with dentists and other oral health professionals to perform a variety of routine duties in the dental office, freeing dentists to see more patients and use their time to perform complex procedures.

Do You Need License To Work As Dental Assistant In Los Angeles?

Certification is not required to become a dental assistant in California, however, all dental assistants must register with the California Dental Board and obtain state licenses/certifications if they wish to perform certain job duties, such as operating dental x-ray equipment, making x-rays. , as well as assistance with general anesthesia during oral surgical procedures.

Conclusion

Dental assistant schools in Los Angeles are designed to provide you with a combination of dental theory and practical skills. Throughout the program, you will receive hands-on training to prepare you to work in modern medical and dental facilities.

A dental assistant training program will cover a variety of topics and terminology to help you accurately perform dental exams, procedures, and daily tasks.

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