Clinical Dental Assistant

The Clinical Dental Assistant Online Training Program will prepare you to become a productive member of a dental team as a professional dental assistant. You'll learn about every aspect of professional dental assisting, including invaluable real-world perspectives from experienced dental assistants and essential information about anatomy and physiology, preventive dentistry, patient care and communication, radiology, pharmacology, anesthesia, assisting in specialty practices, employment strategies, and much more. Upon finishing this program, you'll be prepared to successfully complete the radiology and infection control portions of the Dental Assisting National Board* exam.

All materials are included. This online certificate program is offered in partnership with major colleges, universities, and other accredited education providers.

*CERTIFIED DENTAL ASSISTANT, CDA AND DANB are trademarks of the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc (DANB). This program is not reviewed or endorsed by DANB.


  • Upon successful completion of this program, you'll be able to:
  • Describe the progression of dental disease and preventive techniques 
  • Identify the deciduous and permanent teeth and their functions, as well as anatomical landmarks of the head and neck
  • Identify the chain of infection, routes of transmission, and techniques used in sterilization and disinfection
  • Complete patient charting, take vital signs, and describe steps for emergency management
  • Set up trays for dental procedures and understand instrument transfer techniques
  • Expose and process quality radiographs
  • Identify dental materials and describe their uses
  • Describe the role of a dental assistant in each of the nine dental specialties


The Clinical Dental Assistant Online Training Program provides an overview of the dental profession, dental health and disease, anatomy and physiology, infection control, basic dental assisting, radiology, dental materials, dental assisting in a specialty practice, and dental office management, all of which will prepare you to enter the dental profession as a dental assistant. After you've completed this program, you'll be ready to pursue certification as a dental assistant by passing the radiology and infection control portions of the Dental Assisting National Board* examination. The exam or one or more of its components is necessary in states where registration is required for dental assistants.

Upon registering, you're given six months to complete the program.

CERTIFIED DENTAL ASSISTANT, CDA AND DANB are trademarks of the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc (DANB). This program is not reviewed or endorsed by DANB.

Clinical Dental Assistant Externship!

The 40-hour Dental Externship is only offered to our Clinical Dental Assistant students. The application for the externship is within the program. Students must be at least 80% complete with the program before applying but will also have up to 6 months after completion to apply. The externship is not guaranteed. It is an optional part of the program, but highly recommended training for clinical assistant experience. We will assist accepted externship students in finding local offices that they are interested in. Externship students will need to pass a background check and a possible drug test. They will be asked to purchase liability insurance and be responsible for purchasing this on their own ($40 to $45 for an annual policy). Students will need to provide an updated resume, current CPR certification and proof of current Hepatitis B vaccinations or a current negative test form provided by a doctor, depending on the state or the doctor office that has been selected for the externship. There may be more requirements depending on the state or dental office selected.

  • Registration + Fees

    Begins: Open enrollment | REGISTER

    Course: OCDX800.01

    Tuition: $2,395 | Prospective students of this program may be eligible for full or partial federal tuition assistance under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

  • Outline

    1. Overview of the Dental Profession
           1. Introduction to the Practice of Dentistry
           2. The Dental Patient
           3. Dental Practice
           4. Employment Strategies
    2. Dental Health and Disease
           1. Oral Health and Preventative Techniques
           2. Nutrition
           3. Etiology of Dental Disease
    3. Anatomy and Physiology
           1. Basic Human Physiology
           2. Head and Neck Anatomy
           3. Embryology and Histology
           4. Tooth Morphology
    4. Infection Control
           1. Microbiology
           2. Infection Control
           3. Management of Hazardous Materials
    5. Basics of Dental Assisting
           1. Patient Care
           2. Dental Charting
           3. Pharmacology
           4. Emergency Management
           5. Chair-side Assisting
           6. Dental Instruments and Tray Setups
           7. Instrument Transfer and Maintaining the Operating Field
           8. Anesthesia and Sedation
    6. Radiology
           1. Producing Quality Radiographs
           2. Processing Quality Radiographs
           3. Extraoral and Digital Radiography
    7. Dental Materials
           1. Dental Cements, Bases, Liners, and Bonding Agents
           2. Restorative Materials, Dental Dams, Matrix, and Wedges
           3. Laboratory Materials and Techniques
    8. Dental Assisting in the Specialty Practice
           1. Endodontics
           2. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
           3. Oral Pathology
           4. Orthodontics
           5. Pediatric Dentistry
           6. Periodontics
           7. Prosthodontics
           8. Oral Radiology
           9. Public Health
           10. Cosmetic Dentistry
    9. Dental Office Management

  • Requirements

    You must access this program with a PC or IBM-compatible computer. This program is compatible with the Windows XP and later operating systems and IE 7 and later browsers.

    The following textbooks will be provided by ed2go upon registration:

    • Dental Assisting: A Comprehensive Approach
    • Dental Terminology
    • Dental Assisting Instrument Guide
    • Certification Exam Review for Dental Assisting: Prepare, Practice and Pass!
    • Flossing and Brushing Teaching Model
    • Pediatric Hygiene Kits
    • Dental Assisting: Interactive Skills and Procedures


    Students should have a high school diploma or equivalent. Basic computer skills are required. No healthcare or medical office work experience is required. A current CPR certification is required for employment, but it's not required for this program.

    This program is for you if you want to learn about the dental assisting field and prepare for the radiology and infection control portions of the Dental Assisting National Board exam.

    CERTIFIED DENTAL ASSISTANT, CDA AND DANB are trademarks of the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc (DANB). This program is not reviewed or endorsed by DANB.

  • Instructor

    Cindy Lamkin has been employed in the dental field for over 20 years. She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in dental hygiene. In addition to practicing clinical hygiene, she has also worked in dental office administration and treatment coordinating. Her career includes general dentistry and specialty practices of periodontics, endodontics, pedodontics, and orthodontics. Cindy has both her registered dental assistant and registered dental hygienist credentials, and she's licensed to practice in multiple states.

  • FAQs

    1. Can I register for programs if I am an international student?

    Yes, because ed2go programs are online you never have to actually travel to the school. Most schools offer telephone or online registration.

    2. How long does it take to complete a program?

    All of our programs are self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start them when you want and finish them at your own pace. Upon registering, you're given six months to complete this course.

    3. Do I have to buy additional materials?

    All the materials you'll need are included, and their cost will be covered by your tuition. ed2go will ship all materials ground service upon enrollment.

    4. Can I get financial assistance?

    ed2go courses are non-credit courses, so they do not qualify for federal aid. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses.

    5. What happens when I complete the program?

    Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.

    6. Am I guaranteed a job?

    ed2go programs will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. We don't provide direct job placement services, but our facilitators and career counselors will help you build your resume and are available to give advice on finding your first job. Facilitators will also be available to use as a professional reference upon completion of the program. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

    7. Who will be my instructor?

    Each student is paired up with a facilitator for one-on-one interaction. The facilitator will be available (via e-mail) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our facilitators are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach.

    8. What software or hardware do I need in order to take online programs and what are the system requirements?

    In order to take our online programs, you must have access to a computer and the Internet. You can access the program contents from any Web-enabled computer. You don't have to use the same computer to log-in to the program every time. We recommend that you have a word-processing program (Microsoft Word is best) and the latest version of Internet Explorer.

    9. Can I use a Mac?

    No, you must access this program with a PC or IBM-compatible computer.

    10. How can I get more information about the program?

    If you have questions that are not answered on our website, please feel free to contact us via LIVE chat (click the button toward the top of the page). If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please feel free to send us a question using the "Contact Us" form to the right. You may also call us at 1-855-520-6806. We will answer your questions promptly.

    11. When can I start the program?

    Our programs are all open enrollment. You can register and start the program as soon as you are ready.

    Please note: Once the program curriculum is accessed online or through submission of a material shipment confirmation, refunds cannot be issued.

    12. Will I obtain a Dental Assistant Certificate at the end of this program?

    You will receive a certificate of completion from the school you registered with, if you successfully fulfilled the requirements of the Dental Assistant Online Training Program. You'll be prepared to take the Radiation Health and Safety and Infection Control components of the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Exam administered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB). You'll be eligible to earn Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification after you've completed at least two years of employment (a minimum of 3,500 hours accrued over a two to four year period); to do so, you must meet work experience and other eligibility prerequisites and pass the General Chairside component of DANB's CDA exam, in addition to the Radiation Health and Safety and Infection Control components. All three components must be passed within a five-year period. For information about the DANB exam, please click here.

    13. Can I work in a dental office without certification? When you've completed this program, you'll have the skills to work in a dental office. Regulations for the practice of dental assisting vary state by state. To find out about the laws in your state, consult the Dental Practice Act, available through the Board of Dentistry. Passing the Radiation Health and Safety and Infection Control components of the DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Exam may enable dental assistants to meet requirements for performing certain expanded duties in many states. A dental assistant certified by DANB can often perform a larger set of expanded duties, depending on state laws and regulations. All of our students are encouraged to pursue certification. Completion of this online program will help entry-level students gain employment to fulfill the required work experience (a minimum of 3,500 hours accrued over a two to four year period) before taking the General Chairside component of the DANB CDA exam.

    CERTIFIED DENTAL ASSISTANT, CDA AND DANB are trademarks of the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc (DANB). This program is not reviewed or endorsed by DANB.

    14. What if I don't have enough time to complete my program within the time frame provided?

    The time allotted to complete your program has been calculated based on the number of hours for each program, so don't worry too much about not completing in time. If, after a concerted effort, you are still unable to complete, your Student Advisor will help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that a fee will be charged for an extension.

  • Reviews

    "Education To Go was great throughout the program. I think overall it was great!" 
- M.W., Iowa Lakes Community College

    "I enjoyed everything about the course and my advisor was great!! I would recommend this course or any other course! Everything worked well for me and it was easy to understand and follow.
" - A.G., Northern Maine Community College

    "With my lifestyle it was great to be able to finish on my own time. I'm not really in a position to be in a traditional classroom, so this program was very helpful.
" - T.C., Kennesaw State University

    "I enjoyed being able to work at my own pace without feeling rushed.
" - A.S., Shenandoah University

    "My instructor was great and very helpful whenever I had any questions. This program was very convenient for me with me working a full time job on top of trying to get an education." 
- N.W., Finger Lakes Community College

    "I was able to do it in my own time! Being a USMC wife, mom of 4 while working, it was exactly what I needed.
" - M.A., Excelsior College

    "My teacher was AMAZING! The student support was very helpful and overall it was a wonderful experience.
" - M.P., Lincoln University

    "I liked that I was able to go at my own pace. I also loved the flexibility; being able to login day or night, whenever it was convenient for me. My facilitator, Cindy Lamkin, was very helpful and always responded quickly. The support I received was outstanding. Anytime I had a question or an issue arose, ed2go was right on top things!" 
- S.S., Lord Fairfax Community College

    "I enjoyed being able to learn at my own pace. Every time I sent an email to my facilitator I received a response within 24 hours. It was very convenient!" 
- B.A., Austin Peay State University