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Gain skills to work as a dental assistant in dental offices in as little as 9 months.

At a Glance

About the Program

What Will I Learn

Students in Carrington College’s Dental Assisting program begin with a broad base of knowledge on subjects ranging from anatomy of the head and mouth to sterilization techniques to front-office operations. Students’ progress to learning specific skills and building their understanding of dental procedures performed in dental offices. As they near the end of their studies, Dental Assisting students complete an externship.

Students pursuing an Associate Degree also complete a broad base of general education course offerings focusing on:

  • English writing and composition
  • Computer literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social sciences

Program Outcomes

Dental assistants provide patient care and chair-side support as dentists complete exams and procedures. Most visibly, people may see dental assistant’s passing instruments, but that’s just the beginning of their technical skills. By the end of Carrington College’s Dental Assisting program, you’ll be able to: 

  • Assist with dental procedures such as fillings, crowns, and extractions
  • Take & pouring dental impressions (molds of the mouth)
  • Prepare patients for surgery
  • Operate equipment and monitors
  • Talk with patients
  • Perform administrative tasks
  • Prepare examination areas
  • Clean up after procedures
  • Sterilize equipment

Career Opportunities

You’re passionate about helping people with their smiles. That will help you succeed as a dental assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for dental assistants will continue to grow. In fact, employment of dental assistants is projected to grow nationally 11% between 2018 and 20281. And there are some reasons for this growth, including:

  • Continue research showing a link between oral health and general health will increase the demand for preventive dental services.
  • Dentists need dental assistants to help with routine tasks, giving the dentist more time to see patients in their practice and focus on more complex procedures.

As baby boomers age, and people keep more of their original teeth than previous generations did, there will be a greater need to maintain and treat teeth, which means an increased need for dental care2.

Student Life at Carrington College

We know college is a big step. But education can be the first step in building a better future. Your instructors, administrators and fellow students are there to help if you ever hit a bump in the road along the way. Carrington College offers a lot of great student support services designed to help you succeed.

Student Finance

From scholarships and grants to loans, we will help you understand how to search and apply for financial aid.1

Tutoring and Study Groups

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Fixed Tuition Promise

How would you like to know what you’re going to pay, right from the beginning? We promise your tuition won’t change through the length of your program. It’s our commitment to you.2

Externships, Clinical Rotations and Fieldwork

Most programs include an opportunity to learn in the real world before you even graduate! You’ll earn impressive experience that looks great on your resume.

Career Services

After graduation, we’ll help you with your career search with everything from resume writing help to job search support to interview tips.

Program Specific Disclosures


This program prepares graduates for an occupation in which passage of a California licensing examination is required.  The link below shows exam passage rates for the most recent available year.  If you have questions regarding the calculation of these rates please contact the agency listed. Dental Board of California //

Cost & Financial Aid

Education is a major investment, but it’s an investment in your future. Every student comes to Carrington with unique financial needs. Carrington College is committed to helping you achieve your education goals. We participate in most financial assistance programs, both federal and state, as well as private financing. Each program has different requirements and application instructions. Student loans, grants and scholarships are available to those who qualify.

For complete information on current tuition costs, please see the Academic Catalog

The best way for us to understand your financial needs is to meet in person. Call (602) 492-1086 to set an appointment with our Student Finance Department so we can help you develop your personalized financial plan to achieve your educational goals.

Accreditation and Approvals

Carrington College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC/WASC), 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, 415 506 0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at //

The Dental Board of California,, approves the Carrington College Dental Assisting programs at the Citrus Heights, Pleasant Hill, Pomona, Sacramento, San Jose, San Leandro and Stockton campuses. 

For comprehensive information on Carrington’s accreditation and approvals, visit

Check out our guide to becoming a Dental Assistant.

How to become a Dental Assistant?

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Dental Assistants, on the Internet at // (visited December 13, 2019).  Data reflects a national projected percentage change in employment from 2018-2028 and may not reflect local economic conditions.
  2. //
  3. Student loans, grants and scholarships are available to those who qualify.
  4. Fixed Tuition Promise is available for all Carrington College students who remain active and in good standing during the duration of their program. Students who withdraw or are withdrawn from school and are not reinstated within 180 days of their last date of attendance are subject to a tuition increase. Students who are required to repeat a course to fulfill graduation requirements are subject to additional expenses.