The start of dental assistant training opens the door to a fulfilling job where you can earn good money.

If you’re interested in this career, you must be curious to know about how much it costs to become a dental assistant and the time it takes to become one.

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We’re here to answer that for you.

Let’s discover.

dental students in a university

Becoming a Dental Assistant is not difficult, but it can be confusing, with so much information out there.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

You generally have three options that you can choose from while deciding the type of dental assistant training you want to go for, which decides the cost and time it will take for you to become one.

Let’s take a look at these choices in detail.

Associate Degree Program

An associate degree in dental assisting is a popular and traditional way to become a dental assistant.  This program covers all the dentistry topics in great detail and can help you get better jobs and also more money.

Typical Cost: $20,000 – $30,000
Time Duration: 2 years

With an Associate Degree Program, you might incur extra expenses like accommodation costs, money required for books, and uniforms where you might have to take financial aid such as bank loans.

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Certificate Program

You can become a dental assistant by enrolling in a certificate program.  They are usually available at community colleges, schools, and dental assistant training centers.

Typical Cost:  $8,000 – $15,000
Time Duration:  1 year

Even though certificate programs cost less than getting an associate degree, they still prepare you well for starting a job as a dental assistant.

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However, one disadvantage here is that you will still need to attend scheduled classes, which can be a hassle.

Online Programs

If you want a cheaper and flexible way to become a dental assistant, you can enroll in an online program. This is the most recommended way of completing your dental assistant education.

Typical Cost:  Less than $5,000
Time Duration: 6-9 Months

We recommend online training programs as with these programs you get the flexibility and comfort wherein you can complete your training at your own pace and time schedule.

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But make sure the school is accredited so that your education is good enough for a job.

Dental assistant.

How Many Years of College to Be a Dental Assistant

The number of years it takes to become a dental assistant depends on the educational path you choose:

Associate Degree: Typically, it takes two years to complete an associate degree program in dental assisting.

Certificate Program: Certificate programs usually last one year.

Online Programs: Online dental assistant programs can be completed in 6 to 9 months.


The duration of your education as a dental assistant can range from a few months to two years, depending on the training program you choose. The cost also varies accordingly, from less than $5,000 for online programs to $20,000 – $30,000 for associate degrees.

Ultimately, the right choice for you will depend on your budget, career goals, and preferences.

However, choosing an online training program is more rewarding as compared with an associate degree training program and a certificate program.

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