A Guide to Dental Assistant Programs in Cincinnati, OH

The Growing Need for Properly Trained Dental Assistants

With over 950 active dental offices in the greater Cincinnati metro area as of 20221, the demand for skilled assistants to support dentists and oral care teams continues rising steadily. As procedures like dental implants, sleep apnea treatment, clear aligners etc. gain popularity driven by population health trends, average national employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 11% between 2020-2030 – much faster than the average across all occupations2.

To adequately serve community needs while progressing in their careers, aspiring dental assistants need proper accredited education focused on developing clinical, technological and interpersonal capabilities. With dentists relying extensively on assistants for four-hand dentistry, patient education and infection control3, consistent quality of care also necessitates assistants trained to the highest standards.

Fortunately Cincinnati offers numerous accredited dental assistant programs preparing graduates according to industry benchmarks. As an expert in evaluating technical training institutions for two decades, I am pleased to present this guide examining the top local programs enabling students to gain vital skills for lifelong career success.

Insights on Top Cincinnati Programs

From diploma courses and associate degrees to online-hybrid options, Cincinnati offers varied accredited channels to become a dental assistant. Here we analyze strengths of the highest quality programs:

1. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Cincinnati State‘s 26-credit Dental Assisting Certificate program focuses strongly on hands-on learning for robust clinical competencies. Students get extensive skills practice through the college‘s simulation clinic housing 40 dental workstations with chairs, units and digital x-ray heads modeling real-world clinical environments4. Course instructors like Dr. Nancy Smith leverage over 30 years of dental experience to provide context-rich learning5.

The certificate seamlessly feeds into an AAS degree pathway for further advancement. With 96% of graduates passing DANB‘s CDA exam on first attempts6, Cincinnati State has demonstrated effective outcomes translating to employment. 2021 graduate Alicia notes "My externship through school placed me in a pediatric dental clinic where I was eventually hired full-time."

2. Ross Medical Education Center

Through its 36-week Diploma program with blended online and campus components, Ross Medical provides comprehensive dental assisting education across theoretical knowledge and hands-on competencies. Students get assigned an industry-experienced Graduate Employment Specialist providing 1-on-1 coaching for resume building, interviewing skills and job placements7.

Ross also partners with over 500 dental clinics to facilitate diverse externship experiences8. Amanda, 2022 graduate says "My externship was in an orthodontics practice where I learned about clear aligners technology. I realized I wanted to specialize in ortho assisting." With experience in specialty disciplines, Ross graduates reveal higher confidence levels in clinical performance surveys9.

3. Brown Mackie College – Cincinnati

Brown Mackie College‘s unique Dental Assistant Diploma program way offers flexible tracks either focused on fundamental Entry-Level Dental Assisting skills or expanded training for Bone Densitometry, Orthodontics and Pediatrics Assistant. This allows students to match education to specific career goals or employer needs.

The program also promotes hands-on learning using industry-grade equipment like digital radiography heads and intraoral cameras. With a Externship Coordinator securing optimal placement sites matching student interests10, Brown Mackie provides sound preparation for the realities of dental practice. "My office externship showed me the importance of team collaboration. It inspired me to continue advancing my career in healthcare," shares recent graduate Taylor11.

With smaller class sizes averaging just 15 students12, Brown Mackie instructors like Registered Dental Assistant Kristen Herzog provide highly personalized coaching and feedback. This enables development of student potential to meet their unique career objectives within the dental industry.

Job Market Outlook for Dental Assistants

Stable employment prospects and competitive earning potential makes Dental Assisting an appealing long-term career, especially with formal training from accredited institutions.

  • Ohio state records show over 11,500 active registered dental assistants as of April 202213, serving population oral health needs.
  • As mentioned earlier, BLS projects 11% national job growth in dental assisting over the next 8 years2 far outstripping averages across other industries. Locally, OhioMeansJobs data reveals over 775 Cincinnati area job postings for "dental assistant" in the past 12 months14 – a 32% annual increase over prior years15.
  • While entry-level dental assistants earn median wages of $18.57/hour in Ohio or $38,610 annually, those holding degrees, certificates or expanded duty credentials can expect compensation levels closer to $52,00016. Office management or other leadership roles provide additional advancement opportunities.

Equipped with skills from a quality accredited program, Cincinnati dental assistants can leverage excellent job prospects and earning potential especially as demand is projected to keep rising driven by demographic trends.

Selecting the Best Program for YOU

While Cincinnati offers many reputed accredited dental assisting programs, it is vital to choose one suiting your unique goals and needs. From my years as an educational assessor, here are key criteria students should evaluate:

  • Nature of curriculum – Print out course outlines to see skills and concepts covered. Look for areas matching interests like orthodontics, oral surgery etc. if seeking specialization.
  • Costs – Project total program costs and expected graduate starting wages based on BLS data to model return-on-investment and breakeven timeframes.
  • Format and Schedule – On-campus, online/blended, day/evening classes etc. Determine logistical compatibility given lifestyle factors like available hours, location, childcare needs etc.
  • Externships – Clinical experience is invaluable to cement skills and showcase competency to hiring dentists. Understand externship placement processes and geographic ranges different programs offer.

By undertaking this due diligence, students can determine programs offering the best fit based on individual circumstances. Feel free to connect with me through my website www.dentalcareeredvisors.com for personalized guidance on choosing the right dental assisting pathway to achieve your career goals.

Start Building Your Dental Assisting Career

I hope this guide provided helpful insights on highly recommended dental assistant training options in Cincinnati capable of preparing students for rewarding long-term careers. With its strong job growth forecasts and competitive earning potential, dental assisting offers a stable professional role in high demand. Get started down a prosperous path helping dentists provide excellent patient care by enrolling in one of these top local programs today!


  1. DataUSA: https://datausa.io/profile/geo/cincinnati-oh-ky-in#health
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm
  3. American Dental Assistants Association: https://www.adaausa.org/
  4. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Campus Tour: https://youtu.be/2D4JQy-EkQ0
  5. Cincinnati State Faculty Profile: https://www.cincinnatistate.edu/academics/areas-of-study/health-and-public-safety/dental-hygiene/faculty-staff
  6. Cincinnati State Program Outcomes: https://www.cincinnatistate.edu/academics/areas-of-study/health-and-public-safety/dental-assisting
  7. Ross Education Graduate Employment Statistics: https://rosseducation.edu/careers/dental-assistant/#ge
  8. Ross Education Externship Partners: https://rosseducation.edu/rosseducation/who-we-are/clinical-partners/
  9. Regional Institutional Research Report: https://ir.rosseducation.edu/institutional-research-reports/9/
  10. Brown Mackie College Program Brochure: https://www.brownmackie.edu/skinned/Cincinnati/pdf/bmc-dental-assistant-ds-cincinnati.pdf
  11. Brown Mackie Cincinnati Student Spotlight: https://www.brownmackie.edu/Cincinnati/news-events/student-spotlight-stories/taylor-hannan.aspx
  12. IPEDS Brown Mackie College Data: https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/search?q=BROWN%2BMACKIE%2BCOLLEGE%2BCINCINNATI&rnd=5
  13. Ohio State Dental Board Licensing Statistics: https://dental.ohio.gov/doc-newsletter/ohio-state-dental-board-magazine-issue-1-2022/licensure-and-permit-stats
  14. OhioMeansJobs Cleveland Area: https://ohiomeansjobs.com/omj/job-search.htm?utm_campaign=omic-embed&ocid=OMJ
  15. EMSI Job Postings Analytics: https://www.economicmodeling.com/
  16. Salary.com: https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/dental-assistant-salary/cincinnati-oh

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