Allied Dental Programs

Dental Assisting


Indiana University’s Indianapolis-based dental assisting program is one year in length (two semesters) and is composed of 15 mandatory courses encompassing approximately 1,000 hours of lecture, laboratory, and clinical instruction. Students who successfully complete the program receive a certificate and are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board Examination.

Applicants may now choose between two types of programs to earn a certificate in dental assisting: a traditional full-time on-campus program in which students receive all of their training at the School of Dentistry, or a full-time distance-learning program in which students complete most of their nonclinical courses online while receiving clinical experience in community dental offices.

Both the campus and distance-learning dental assisting certificate programs prepare the graduate to:

  1. master and apply knowledge of the basic, behavioral, and dental sciences in assessing and performing dental assisting procedures;
  2. communicate effectively with other health care professionals in coordinating and providing care under the direction and supervision of the dentist;
  3. apply problem-solving and decision-making skills when assisting with dental health services under the direction and supervision of the dentist;
  4. be aware of and responsive to changes in the dental health care delivery system;
  5. acquire knowledge and skills to promote and participate in preventive dental care and support oral health through promotion of total health; and
Distance Learning Program

The IU School of Dentistry distance-learning dental assisting program was established in 2007 as an alternative to the campus program to help make a dental assisting education more accessible to candidates who are not conveniently located near campus or who are trying to obtain a college education while managing full-time work and/or family responsibilities.

This program is the first to be offered in Indiana and one of only a very few in the United States. Like all of the School of Dentistry’s other programs, it is fully accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. Enrollment is currently limited to 12 students per year.

The program uses Indiana University’s online course management system to teach nonclinical subjects, and students may access the courses at a time that is convenient to them. Students should anticipate devoting about two hours a day to their online studies, which will include reading, writing, and video assignments.

Students must also spend one Saturday a month throughout the school year on site at the dental school to complete laboratory assignments and take examinations.

Clinical training is provided primarily in the second semester by a sponsoring general dentist of the student’s choice. Students will receive a minimum of 300 clock hours of clinical practice.

Academic Bulletins