Best Dental Assistant Schools in Ohio – 2024

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

In addition to providing dentists with supportive chair-side services, dental assistants in Ohio can perform many other functions. So long as they’re under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist, they are permitted to prepare dental materials, apply topical anesthetic and fluoride solutions, and take the lead in educating patients about the importance of oral hygiene routines. With some additional training, Ohio dental assistants may also attain the accreditation that allows them to operate dental X-ray equipment.

Dental assisting is a job track with opportunities for career growth and personal satisfaction. While you don’t have to be certified in order to work as a dental assistant in Ohio, professional training and certification will help you compete for more desirable jobs. To help you get started, we’ve assembled a list of the best dental assistant schools in Ohio.

How will a Good Educational Program Prepare me for a Successful Career as a Dental Assistant?

The courses you take during your dental assistant program in OH will depend upon whether you opt for a certificate/diploma degree or pursue a two-year associate degree. Associate degrees typically include general education classes in their first year. For dental assistants, these classes are likely to include basic science subjects such as biology, anatomy and physiology.

Second-year associate degree classes are similar to the shorter certificate/diploma curriculum. You’ll learn about technical topics such as dental pharmacology and dental materials, which will enhance your ability to function optimally in your chosen career. You’ll also spend time in clinical laboratories learning basic chair-side procedures such as how to apply topical solutions and how to remove cement from caps. You’ll spend the final part of your training in clinical rotations where you’ll discover what it feels like to work with actual patients.

Dental Assistant Program Length & Cost in Ohio

As noted, dental assistant programs in the Buckeye State fall into two categories: certificate/diploma programs and associate degrees. The former take between 6 and 15 months to complete, and their costs depend upon whether you enroll in a community college or a technical college. Tuition ranges between $2,030 and $23,710. Associate degrees take two years to complete. At a community college, you may spend as little as $5,930 attaining an associate degree; at a tech school, you may spend as much as $36,290.

Type of Program Length Cost
Certificate / Diploma6 – 15 Months$2,030 - $23,710
Associate Degree2 Years$5,930 - $36,290


(Based on our Ranking Methodology, below are the 10 best dental assistant programs in Ohio. The list includes both campus-based and online programs.)

1) Sinclair Community College, Dayton

Sinclair Community College’s dental assisting education is concise and relevant, teaching students with job-ready skills that will help them confidently treat dental patients. Apart from technical skills, graduates demonstrate enhanced communication and critical thinking skills.

This short certificate course offered by the college will prepare you for a career in dental assisting in just eight months. The program is available in a hybrid format, allowing you to take some classes online, while you complete lab sessions on campus. Although short, this course prepares you with the required skills and knowledge to take the Ohio CDA exam as well as work as an entry-level dental assistant. To be eligible for this program, you must be at least 18 years of age and must have earned a high school GPA of at least 2.0.

2) Fortis College, Centerville, Cincinnati & Cuyahoga Falls

Fortis College provides a conducive learning environment for aspiring dental assistants at three different locations in Ohio. The program’s faculty and staff are supportive in helping students reach their goals, right from enrollment to even after graduation to help them find suitable placements.

This 12-month certificate program prepares you for an entry in the allied dental field and to work in a variety of settings, including pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, and general dental clinics. The curriculum includes courses in dental radiology, dental materials, dental anatomy, dental office management, dental pharmacology, and laboratory dental procedures. Your training will include hands-on practice at the lab and clinical experiences that help you prepare for the real-world challenges of this career.

3) Owens Community College, Perrysburg

Owens Community College is equipped with a dental clinic that not only serves the community with subsidized dental services but also provides valuable professional exposure to its dental assisting students. Its commitment towards better oral health reflects in its outreach initiatives that provide free dental services to children from the local community.

The college offers a 12-month certificate in dental assisting that educates you about dental anatomy, dental radiography, chairside assisting and dental office management. This certificate is part of the dental hygiene program, meaning you can exit this program after earning your certificate in dental assisting or continue with it to earn a degree in dental hygiene. The program is offered twice a year in fall (evening classes) and spring (day classes). The curriculum includes a clinical practicum that requires you to work in a general and specialty dental office alongside dental hygienists to hone your professional skills and knowledge.

Upon earning your dental assistant certificate, you will be eligible to take the Ohio Dental Assisting Certification exam.

4) Remington College, Cleveland

Remington College’s emphasis on employable ready skills is apparent from the hands-on training it provides to its dental assisting students. With dental labs equipped with dental chairs, an x-ray area, and dental materials, students get a perfect idea of what their job entails.

To become a dental assistant in OH, you can consider this fast track diploma that can be completed full-time in just eight months. You will be completing your coursework in seven months and then will go on to do an externship at a local dentist’s office for another one month. The program prepares you for entry-level positions in chairside assisting. The coursework, although short, covers essential courses that teach you skills and knowledge, ranging from dental fundamentals to dental radiology, from career development to dental office management. Also, the CPR certification, a requirement for employment, is incorporated into the curriculum. Upon graduation, you will be eligible to take the state certification exams for certified dental assistant and dental assistant radiographer.

5) Ross College / Ross Medical Education Center, North Canton & Sylvania | Cincinnati, Dayton, Elyria & Niles

Ross College/Ross Medical Education Center is well known for its allied healthcare education, and its dental assistant program has stayed true its commitment to quality. It offers a close-knit environment where the faculty strives towards mentoring students to achieve their individual career goals.

The certificate program offered by the college takes 36 weeks to complete. To finish the coursework, you will attend classes five days a week. An externship at a local dentist’s office forms an integral part of your training. Apart from honing hands-on skills, this experience can well translate into a placement. Upon completion of the program, you will be prepared to take the certification exams in infection control and dental assisting radiation.

6) Polaris Career Center, Middleburg Heights

Polaris Career Center trains dental assisting students with relevant clinical, administrative, and laboratory skills that help them treat and manage patients with confidence and professional competence.

This dental assistant program is about ten months long and meant for those who are keen on making a quick foray into the allied dental field. The curriculum includes courses in dental materials, dental radiology, oral anatomy, the anatomy of the neck and head, dental specialties, and dental office management. Towards the end of the program, you will participate in a 250-hour externship opportunity, provided you have completed all your courses with a minimum grade “C.” Upon completion of this program, you will be prepared to take the state certification exams for certified dental assistant and dental assistant radiographer.

7) Stark State College, North Canton

Stark State College trains students through a combination of class work, lab training, and clinical practice experiences. The faculty teaches students with the latest equipment and materials that are typically used in a dental office, to better prepare students for real-world chairside assisting.

This dental assistant program in OH comes with two options, a certificate and an associate in dental assisting. While the certificate is can be completed in two semesters, the associate takes four additional semesters and offers a more comprehensive curriculum. The program is offered twice every year, once each in fall and spring. You can exit the program by completing 17 credits in the dental assistant coursework and earn a certificate or move on to complete a total of 61 to 62 credits in dental assistant and liberal arts courses to earn an associate degree. A total of 24 students are accepted each term. Alternatively, for students who have completed a certificate program in dental assisting from any other accredited college and hold a CDA designation, can transfer dental assistant courses towards an associate degree at Stark College.

8) Eastern Gateway Community College, Steubenville

Eastern Gateway Community College prepares students for a flourishing career in the allied dental field by putting them through rigorous lab training and on-site clinical experiences.

The college offers three options to aspiring dental assistants. There is a certificate, associate degree, and an EFDA (Expanded Functions Dental Auxiliary) program.

Certificate: For entry-level skills and knowledge, the certificate with a 34 credit curriculum, trains you in a year’s time and makes you eligible for the dental assistant certification exam.

Associate Degree: For those seeking advanced career options, you can enroll in one more year of courses that will help develop communication skills, ethical decision making and also prepare you for the CDA exam and certifications in infection control and dental radiology. Upon completion of these total two years of coursework (60 credits), you will earn an Associate Degree in Dental Assisting.

EFDA: This program is meant for certified or registered dental assistants, who have two years of professional work experience. The program starts in the fall semester and offers the didactic classes, online. Clinical hours, however, must be completed at a dentist office. The 14 credit curriculum widens career prospects by enabling you to perform expanded functions as a dental assistant.

9) East Ohio College, East Liverpool

East Ohio Collegey serves the local community by offering dental assistant education that meets the requirements of the industry.

The college offers two options (12-month diploma and an 18-month associate degree) to fulfill your dreams of becoming a dental assistant. You can choose to do either, depending on your career aspirations. While both the programs, prepare you with a dynamic dental assistant curriculum, the associate degree will require you to complete additional courses in liberal arts. Both the programs offer an externship and prepare you for the national dental assistant certification exam. While the diploma graduates go on to work as entry-level dental assistants, graduates of the associate degree have enhanced employment options in specialty dental clinics, dental insurance companies, dental product sales, and dental school clinics.

10) Antonelli College, Cincinnati

This dental assistant school in Ohio is known for its job-ready training. Antoneli College’s faculty stays abreast with the current trends in the field and provides students with a learning experience that prepares them to face the challenges of this allied dental health career with self-confidence.

For dental assisting aspirants, there is a diploma and an associate degree to choose from, depending on your career goals. The shorter 13-month diploma, offered by the college, is a more preferred option compared to its 19-month associate degree. The diploma program educates you to provide chairside assistance to a dentist by performing various functions such as recording patient data, applying local anesthesia, taking and processing x-rays, and taking impressions for crowns. To gain hands-on experience, students are provided with an internship opportunity at a local dentist office.


Dental Assistant Career Information For Ohio - 2024

How Many Dental Assistants are Currently Employed in OH?


Where are Dental Assistants Currently Working in Ohio?

Dental assistants in the Buckeye State can only work under the oversight of a licensed dentist. Consequently, nearly all of the state’s dental assistants are associated with dental practices. Their job responsibilities vary according to the type of dental office that employs them. In a solo practice, for instance, a dental assistant may do a little bit of everything while in a group practice that employs multiple assistants, each assistant may end up specializing in one procedure.

An additional 200 dental assistants work in community health agencies operated by federal, state and local governments while another 200 dental assistants work for physicians.

IndustryNumber of Dental Assistants
Offices of Dentists10,470
Outpatient Care Centers200
Offices of Physicians200

What is the Average Salary of a Dental Assistant in Ohio?

The average dental assistant salary in Ohio is $46,860. Benefit packages will vary depending upon the practice you’re working for, but most include some type of health insurance and paid leave. Most employers will not extend benefits to employees who work fewer than 36 hours a week.

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) $16.71 $2,900 $34,760
1-4 years $17.86 $3,100 $37,150
5-9 years $21.63 $3,750 $44,980
10-19 years $27.49 $4,770 $57,180
20 years or more $30.17 $5,230 $62,750
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Dental Assistant Average Salary Comparison: Ohio vs. National

Dental assistant salaries in Ohio are only marginally higher than the national average. Most counties in Ohio have relatively high dentist-to-population ratios, indicating that oral health is important to Ohioans and that they are willing to pay for it.

Ohio National Difference
Number %
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Job Outlook

Paradoxically, another indication of the importance Buckeyes bestow upon oral health is the fact that the demand for dental assistants is only expected to grow a little more than 5 percent by 2030. As health care indicators, the demand for dental assistants and the demand for dentists are closely linked, and this statistic may indicate that the market for both is close to saturated already. The state’s Senate Committee on Health, Human Services and Medicaid is currently considering a bill that would authorize the creation of dental therapists in Ohio. If this bill passes, it will probably open up more job opportunities for dental assistants because dental therapists need chair-side assistance, too.

Employment Employment Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number Percent
(Source: careeronestop)

Annual Job Openings

New Replacement Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
(Source: careeronestop)

Metro Wise Employment & Salary Data

The number of dental assistants working in Columbus, which is the biggest city in Ohio, is comparable to the numbers working in Cleveland and Cincinnati: This seems to indicate that dental health is a priority in all three municipalities. Dental assistants are compensated at a somewhat lower rate in Cleveland than they are in Columbus and Cincinnati, which may reflect that Cleveland is still struggling to put its rust belt past behind.

The highest dental assistant salaries in the state are in Dayton. Ohio’s job growth is higher than the national rate of job growth, and the Dayton metropolitan area is the hottest job market in Ohio. High salaries here may reflect an effort to lure dental assistants to Dayton from other parts of the state.

Metro Employment Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
Columbus 2,560 $22.03 $3,820 $45,820
Cleveland-Elyria 2,550 $23.12 $4,010 $48,080
Cincinnati 1,970 $24.70 $4,280 $51,380
Dayton 800 $23.39 $4,060 $48,660
Toledo 670 $20.53 $3,560 $42,710
Akron 580 $22.37 $3,880 $46,530
Canton-Massillon 390 $21.22 $3,680 $44,130
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman 380 $19.62 $3,400 $40,810
Springfield 120 $21.52 $3,730 $44,760
Mansfield 100 $19.93 $3,460 $41,460
Lima 80 $20.77 $3,600 $43,200
(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.

Dental Assisting Schools in other States

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Washington