Best Dental Assistant Schools in Georgia – 2023
Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Dental assistants act as jacks-of-all-trades in a dental practice. You’ll find them chair-side as dentists treat patients or in the office, taking appointments over the phone. Georgia also recognizes an “expanded duty” class of dental assistants who perform dental radiographic and venipuncture procedures. (In order to qualify for the “expanded duty” designation, you’ll have to take special courses and be certified.) Dental assistant training will open the door to a career that’s both flexible and financially secure. We’ve ranked the best dental assistant programs in Georgia to help you find the school that’s the right fit for you.
What Courses will I be Taking During my Dental Assistant Training?
The courses you’ll be taking during your dental assistant training will depend upon whether you’re pursuing a diploma or an associate degree. Diploma programs tend to cut to the chase, offering technical classes that focus on job essentials. Associate degree programs offer technical classes as well, but they’ll also impart a basic science foundation.
Your coursework at a dental assistant school in GA is likely to include oral anatomy, dental pharmacology, and dental materials. Since you’ll be performing many administrative tasks, you’ll learn the basics of dental office administration, too. Finally, you’ll need to take a CPR, and first aid class in one of your patients has a bad reaction to anesthesia, and you have to intervene.
Dental Assistant Program Length & Cost in Georgia
Dental assisting training programs can be found at community colleges and technical schools. Both offer certificate/diploma programs and associate degrees. Certificate programs can take anywhere between 6 and 15 months to complete; costs range between $2,000 at a community college to $23,350 at a technical school. It will take you two years to finish your associate degree. You’ll spend as little as $5,840 if you opt for the community college route and as much as $35,740 if you attend a tech school.
| Type of Program|| Length|| Cost|
| Certificate / Diploma||6 – 15 Months||$2,000 - $23,350|
| Associate Degree||2 Years||$5,840 - $35,740|
WHAT ARE THE BEST DENTAL ASSISTANT PROGRAMS IN GEORGIA?
(Based on our Ranking Methodology, below are the 9 best dental assistant programs in Georgia. The list includes both campus-based and online programs.)
Gwinnett Technical College’s dental assistant program prepares students with professional expertise required to start and advance their career in dental assisting.
Depending on your career goals and the amount of time you can allot to study, you can choose from the three program options offered by the college. There are two certificate courses (basic and advanced) and a diploma in dental assisting.
Basic Dental Assisting certificate:
This is a one semester, full-time program that trains you in basic entry-level dental assisting skills. You will learn about infection control, dental anatomy, dental ethics and laws, patient management, and dental material basics. Upon completion of this coursework, you will earn a basic dental assisting certificate.
Advanced Dental Assisting certificate:
This program can be completed in two semesters and teaches you advanced dental assisting skills and knowledge. The curriculum includes courses in dental specialties, dental radiology, management of a dental clinic, dental radiology, and a practicum in dental assisting procedures. Upon completion, you will be eligible to take the DANB exam to become a certified dental assistant.
Dental Assisting Diploma:
This program can be completed in three semesters on a full-time basis. Before admission, you must complete courses in English, math, psychology, human anatomy, and an orientation. After enrollment, the technical courses that you will take as part of your dental assisting coursework include infection control, dental anatomy, preventive dentistry, oral pathology, dental specialties, dental radiology, and dental office management. Also, you will go through three clinical practicum courses in infection control and advanced dental assisting skills. The curriculum also includes a course that prepares you for the DANB exam.
Central Georgia Technical College’s dental assisting students are trained by an experienced faculty who bring their years of work experience to the classroom.
The college offers a diploma in dental assisting that can be completed in approximately 17 to 18 months. The curriculum is designed to train you in clinical, technical, and administrative duties required while assisting a dentist during various dental procedures. The coursework begins with nine credits of general education courses in English, math and basic psychology. This is followed by dental assistant courses, such as computer literacy, office procedures, human anatomy, preventive dentistry, oral pathology, dental biology, dental radiology, management of a dental office and preparation for the certification exam. A clinical practicum that allows you to practice professional skills in a clinical setting must be completed towards the end of the coursework.
West Georgia Technical College’s dental assisting program is aimed at teaching job-ready skills and preparing students to earn the required certifications that aid professional growth.
For dental assistant aspirants there are two certificate options to choose from, a basic and an advanced level. The basic certificate program includes courses in microbiology and infection control, dental anatomy and dental chairside assisting. Upon completing this program, you can work as an entry-level dental assistant in general and pediatric dentistry.
The advanced certificate program focuses on courses which will teach you about - dental assisting with specialty dental procedures, dental radiology, dental office management, and also prepares you for the Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA) certification. After completing this coursework, you will be eligible to take the DANB exam to become a certified dental assistant and thereafter work in a multitude of positions that include dental assisting in specialty dental clinics, dental insurance coordinators, infection control coordinators, and dental office assistants.
Fortis College’s personalized attention in a supportive learning environment helps dental assistant students to acquire skills and find placements in private and government dental practices, specialty dental clinics, insurance companies, hospitals, dental school clinics, and health facilities.
This dental assistant school in Georgia offers a diploma in dental assisting, which is equivalent to an associate degree. The program takes about 18 months to complete and makes you competent in the lab, administrative, and patient care duties of a dental assistant. High school graduates who qualify will require going through a personal interview to fulfill admission requirements. The coursework will teach you about emergencies in a dental office, dental radiography, dental society procedures, dental anatomy, orthodontics, dental pharmacology, restorative dentistry, and preventive dentistry.
Atlanta Technical College designs a curriculum that helps graduates to excel in the dental assisting national certification exam by going through a combination of class work, lab sessions, and clinical training.
You can enter the allied dental field with either a certificate or diploma offered by the college. While the certificate is a basic course and takes only four months to complete, the diploma is comprehensive and can be completed in a duration of 24 months.
Basic Dental Assisting Certificate Program:
This 17 credits coursework includes courses in introduction to healthcare, microbiology and infection control, dental anatomy, and basics of chairside dental assisting.
To graduate, you must complete a total of 55 credits that help you master the knowledge of dental materials, dental anatomy, preventive dentistry, infection control, chairside assisting, dental office management and dental radiology.
Albany Technical College is a leading technical college in Georgia that focuses on job-ready skills. Dental assisting students thrive in its close-knit environment, where individual career goals are nurtured.
To become a dental assistant in GA, you can consider this diploma offered by the college. In 17 to 18 months, you will go through a well-rounded curriculum that includes general education and occupational core courses. To be eligible for admission, you must have earned a high school diploma or GED and Accuplacer scores of 60 in sentence skills, 64 in reading and 40 in arithmetic. Once accepted, you must complete a total of 59 credits to graduate. Upon completion of this program, you will be eligible to take the national certification exam and work in a variety of settings, including dentist offices, state and federal government institutions, and private hospitals.
Augusta Technical College’s dental assisting education provides for effective mentorship with small-sized classes that help students reach their academic goals.
This dental assistant program in GA is an 18-month diploma that prepares you to work as a dental assistant in an array of dental clinical settings. The 59-credit curriculum teaches you to perform dental lab procedures, chairside assisting functions, and administrative duties required to manage a dental office. You can enter the program either in the fall or spring semester. The coursework starts with courses in English, basic psychology, math, and computer literacy and ends with a clinical practicum where you practice professional skills in a clinical setting. By completing this program, you will be able to effectively communicate with patients, record patient data, and take evidence-based decisions while providing patient care.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College offers state-of-the-art-facilities to dental assisting students. You will learn essential job skills through hands-on experiences in lab settings that mimic a modern dental clinic.
The diploma program, offered by the college, starts twice a year in spring and fall. Students are required to complete 16 credits in pre-occupational courses such as English, psychology, introduction to healthcare, math, computer literacy, and human anatomy, before starting with the dental assistant coursework. These courses can be completed at either the Polk Campus or Gordon Campus. The dental assistant coursework requires completing 39 credits in courses that prepare you with the skills and knowledge required to excel in the national certification exam and later as a professional dental assistant. Upon completion of the program, you will earn a dental assisting diploma and certificates in dental radiology and Expanded Duties Dental Assistant.
Savannah Technical College’s dental assisting graduates are successfully providing professional chairside assisting services at a variety of dental settings in the state and beyond.
The dental assisting diploma offered by the college spans across four terms. Before beginning the dental assisting coursework, you must complete nine credits in English, math, and basic psychology. The dental assisting coursework is comprehensive and includes occupational courses that teach you topics, ranging from career success skills, infection control, dental radiology to dental practice management, and dental anatomy. To enhance professional skills, you will complete three clinical training courses. Also, with a course in dental assisting with dental specialties being part of the curriculum, you will receive an EFDA certification.
VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY
Dental Assistant Career Information For Georgia - 2023
How Many Dental Assistants are Currently Employed in GA?
Where are Dental Assistants Currently Working in Georgia?
Georgia’s scope of practice laws stipulates that dental assistants must work under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. For that reason, 10,900 of the Peach State’s 9,960 dental assistants work in dentists’ offices. Their responsibilities may vary widely according to the type of dental practice they’re affiliated with. In a solo practice, dental assistants may find themselves doing a little everything whereas in a group practice, where they’re sharing duties with other dental assistants, they may find themselves specializing in particular tasks.
The remaining dental assistants in the state of Georgia are evenly divided between government employment and physician’s offices. Dental assistants who work for the government typically work at community health agencies with underserved patients while dental assistants who work with physicians may provide services for bedridden patients.
| Industry||Number of Dental Assistants|
|Offices of Dentists||9,960|
|Outpatient Care Centers||190|
|Offices of Physicians||190|
What is the Average Salary of a Dental Assistant in Georgia?
The average dental assistant salary in Georgia is $41,160. If you work 36 hours a week or more, part of your overall compensation may come in the form of benefits such as health care insurance and sick time. There’s no set standard for benefit packages in the Peach State, so the benefits you receive will vary according to the dentist or dental group you end up working for.
| Type|| Salary|
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
Salary Based on Years of Experience
| Years of Experience|| Hourly|| Monthly|| Annual|
| Less than 1 year (Starting)||$14.75||$2,560||$30,680|
| 1-4 years||$17.82||$3,090||$37,060|
| 5-9 years||$18.99||$3,290||$39,500|
| 10-19 years||$22.07||$3,830||$45,910|
| 20 years or more||$22.92||$3,970||$47,670|
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
Dental Assistant Average Salary Comparison: Georgia vs. National
On average, dental assistants in Georgia make less money than dental assistants working elsewhere in the nation. Approximately one-third of Georgia’s total population is under the poverty line; those individuals simply cannot afford to pay for health care services such as dentistry that aren’t reimbursed under most insurance plans. This is going to affect the demand for dental assistant services throughout the state: When there is less demand for services, service providers are typically paid less.
| Georgia|| National|| Difference|
| Number|| %|
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
A number of Georgia counties in the southernmost part of the state have a shortage of dental health professionals. One of the Peach State’s public health goals is to increase access to dentistry in these underserved areas. Hence, the demand for dental assistants is expected to grow almost 16.58% percent by 2030.
| Employment||Employment Growth (2020-2030)|
|2020||2030|| Number|| Percent|
Annual Job Openings
| New || Replacement|| Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)|
Metro Wise Employment & Salary Data
Cosmopolitan Atlanta is a bustling city whose residents understand how important it is to have a great smile. Additionally, nearly 10 percent of Atlanta’s population is comprised of Baby Boomers who want to keep their natural teeth as long as possible. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that nearly 6,760 of the state’s dental assistants are employed in the Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Roswell metropolitan area. Dental assistants working here earn salaries that are very close to the national average.
Georgia dental assistant salaries are highest in the city of Warner Robins where the majority of residents work in administrative and sales jobs that require interacting with the public. Good teeth are a requirement for jobs like those. In contrast, dental assistants working in Macon have the lowest salaries in Georgia, which is not unexpected given that roughly one-third of Macon’s inhabitants live beneath the poverty line.
| Metro || Employment || Average Salary |
| Hourly || Monthly || Annual |
| Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell || 6,760 || $20.50 || $3,550 || $42,630 |
| Augusta-Richmond County || 670 || $18.54 || $3,210 || $38,570 |
| Savannah || 560 || $19.24 || $3,340 || $40,020 |
| Dalton || 300 || $18.96 || $3,290 || $39,430 |
| Columbus || 280 || $18.76 || $3,250 || $39,020 |
| Gainesville || 220 || $19.26 || $3,340 || $40,060 |
| Macon || 220 || $18.02 || $3,120 || $37,480 |
| Athens-Clarke County || 200 || $19.01 || $3,300 || $39,540 |
| Albany || 180 || $17.88 || $3,100 || $37,180 |
| Warner Robins || 160 || $18.78 || $3,260 || $39,070 |
| Valdosta || 130 || $17.20 || $2,980 || $35,780 |
| Brunswick || 120 || $18.58 || $3,220 || $38,650 |
| Rome || 70 || $18.67 || $3,240 || $38,840 |
| Hinesville || 60 || $19.65 || $3,410 || $40,870 |
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.