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Chicago Dental Assistant Programs

Begin your career in dentistry at the Windy City’s top classes.

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Choosing the right dental assistant program is a significant step in your career. We provide tools and tips to help you make informed decisions. Compare different programs, understand what to expect during training, and learn how to prepare for the certification exams.


If cost is an issue, you might be able to qualify for one of the free dental assistant programs in Chicago to gain the education you need.


Complete your training in a matter of weeks at the accelerated 10 and 12-week dental assistant programs available in the Chicago area.


For students who need flexibility, the Chicagoland area has several programs offering hybrid online dental assistant training programs to suit your needs.

Featured Dental Assistant Programs

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Get information on Dental Assistant programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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The Dental Assistant Academy of Chicago (DAOC) provides a specialized 12-week Chairside Dental Assistant Program in a dedicated educational dental facility in downtown Chicago. This unique setup offers students a blend of traditional classroom learning and practical experience within a functioning dental practice. The program's structure includes weekly lectures, complemented by 112 clinical hours that can be flexibly scheduled, allowing for comprehensive training in various dental assisting tasks.

DAOC maintains transparency in its consumer information, reporting an admission of 114 students in the 2019-2020 period, with 87 completing the program and a majority securing placements in their field of study. The academy is approved for veteran benefits, providing an additional funding option, and places an emphasis on career potential and job placement assistance. Specific details about placement rates and the effectiveness of their job assistance program were not provided in the available information.

Dental Assistant Academy of Chicago

Program Information Details
Cost Contact the program for current fees
Program Duration 12 weeks
Class Schedules Once a week (Wed or Thu) + 112 clinical hours
Prerequisites No specific prerequisites mentioned
Location 25 E Washington St Suite 510, Chicago, IL 60602

Illinois Health Careers offers a comprehensive 10-week dental assistant program in Harwood Heights, IL, designed to be both affordable and convenient for aspiring dental assistants. Priced at $3,500 with flexible payment options, the program runs evening classes twice a week, structured into 20 modules of 2.5 hours each. This schedule caters to those with daytime commitments. The curriculum covers a broad range of topics, including Dental Anatomy, Radiography, Pharmacology, as well as administrative and clinical aspects, focusing on practical skills and modern dental technologies.

Upon completion, students receive a Certificate of Dental Assistant and have access to a job board, although the school does not directly employ graduates. The program, which requires in-person attendance for hands-on experience, also facilitates certification preparations, necessary every 2-3 years for those taking national boards. Positioned for convenience, the school offers parking and is accessible via public transportation, emphasizing ease of enrollment and student support.

Illinois Health Careers

Program Information Details
Cost $3,500
Program Duration 10 weeks
Class Schedules Evening classes twice a week
Prerequisites None listed
Location 4709 N. Harlem Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706

Midwestern Career College (MCC) in Evergreen Park, Illinois, presents a comprehensive Dental Assistant Program spanning 14 months. Designed to impart both theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience, the program aligns with the Certified Dental Assisting/Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) guidelines. It offers a blend of online and on-campus learning, ensuring flexibility and a well-rounded educational approach. The curriculum encompasses vital areas like dental radiography, patient and equipment preparation, administrative duties, medical record-keeping, sterilization, chairside assisting, and dental impression techniques. A key feature of the program is a six-credit hour externship, which provides students with practical experience in a dental office environment.

Upon program completion, students are well-prepared to take the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) certification exam, enhancing their job prospects in various dental settings. MCC caters to student needs through multiple locations, including Evergreen Park, Chicago, LaSalle, and Naperville in Illinois, offering convenient accessibility for students. The college also prioritizes financial accessibility, providing financial aid for eligible students. The Financial Aid Team at MCC assists students in navigating their financing options, ensuring the program's feasibility for a diverse student body​​​​​​​​.

Midwestern Career College

Program Information Details
Cost Contacted the program for current fees
Program Duration As few as 14 months
Class Schedules Hybrid online/on-campus
Prerequisites None listed
Location 9730 S. Western Ave., Evergreen Park, IL, 60805

Northwest Suburban College (NWSC) in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, offers a 32-week Dental Assistant Program, inclusive of an 8-week hands-on externship. The program is designed for those interested in dental health and teamwork, and its curriculum encompasses administrative procedures, dental sciences, radiography, laboratory and operative dentistry, and orthodontics. This comprehensive training ensures students are prepared for various roles in dental assisting.

A key aspect of NWSC's program is the 8-week externship, providing students with 20 hours per week of real-world experience in dental settings, often leading to employment opportunities. The program consists of 560 classroom hours and 160 externship hours, with classes held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Upon completion, graduates receive a certificate and are prepared for both basic and advanced dental assistant certification exams. While Illinois doesn't mandate basic certification for employment, such certifications can enhance job prospects. The total cost of the program is $11,584, and NWSC offers various financial aid options to eligible students.

Northwest Suburban College

Program Information Details
Cost $11,584 (including additional fees)
Program Duration 32 weeks total (24 weeks didactic, 8 weeks externship)
Class Schedules Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Prerequisites Contact the program to learn more
Location 5999 S. New Wilke Rd. Bldg. #500, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

Northwestern College in Oak Lawn, Illinois offers a comprehensive one-year Dental Assistant Certificate Program, combining academic instruction with hands-on externship experience. The 48-credit curriculum focuses on essential dental assisting skills such as patient care, administrative duties, and support in dental treatments, covering dental sciences, radiography, laboratory procedures, and chairside assisting. The program emphasizes competencies in health and safety, recordkeeping, and professional development, preparing students for vital roles in healthcare.

Graduates of the program are eligible to take the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) certification exam, a critical credential for dental assistants. The included externship allows students to apply their classroom knowledge in real-world dental settings, fostering hands-on learning and professional growth. The dental assisting field is projected to grow, offering a promising career path for graduates. Northwestern College, accredited (on probation) by the Higher Learning Commission, provides a flexible learning environment with a mix of online and in-person classes, along with support services like financial aid assistance and job search support, emphasizing a commitment to student success and professional ethics​.

Northwestern College

Program Information Details
Cost No
Program Duration 1 year (48-credit program)
Class Schedules Mix of online and in-person
Prerequisites None listed
Location 9400 S Cicero Ave., Oak Lawn, IL 60453

Novera Dental Assisting Center in Joliet, Illinois, offers a dynamic 10-week dental assistant program designed to rapidly prepare students for the field. This hands-on program, conducted in a state-of-the-art dental office setting, responds to the growing demand for dental assistants. Students in this program engage in a variety of tasks essential to dental teams, preparing them for diverse opportunities in hospitals, private practices, dental schools, and public health services.

The curriculum at Novera stands out for its practicality and depth, offering clinical training in areas such as dental anatomy, equipment operation, sterilization, radiology, and digital X-ray techniques. The program's unique approach includes hands-on training in a fully operational dental office, using the latest technology.

Novera Dental Assisting Center

Program Information Details
Cost $3,050 total; or $320 per week for 10 weeks
Program Duration 10 weeks
Class Schedules Contact the program for current schedule.
Prerequisites Purchase of black scrubs
Location 110 N Larkin Ave, Joliet, IL 60435

The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry has launched the Dental Assistant Pathway Program (DAPP), funded by a three-year grant from the Otho S.A. Sprague Memorial Institute. This innovative program is dedicated to creating career advancement opportunities in dental assisting, targeting young adults and community members with an interest in oral health.

The 15-week DAPP program combines asynchronous online learning, classroom lectures, and clinical rotations. Participants work at the UIC College of Dentistry as Extra Help Dental Assistant I – DAPP, gaining hands-on experience alongside their academic training. This experience prepares them for the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) exam by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). The curriculum covers dental terminology, general dental assisting, anatomy, infection control, radiology, laboratory procedures, chairside assisting, and dental ethics, along with specialty rotations. After completing the program, candidates receive a certificate from UIC College of Dentistry and can take the NELDA certification exam, with costs covered by the college.

University of Illinois Chicago

Program Information Details
Cost Free
Program Duration 15 weeks
Class Schedules Combination of online instruction and in-person lectures
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent
Location 801 S. Paulina St., Chicago, IL 60612

The University of Illinois Hospital, through its UI Health Mile Square Health Center, offers a Dental Assistant Certification Program in Chicago, Illinois. This program is tailored for those aspiring to join the healthcare field with a specialization in dental care. Focused on preparing students for work in public health settings, it provides comprehensive training across a range of dental care areas including medically complex cases, pediatric services, oral surgery, and prosthetics. The training is conducted in modern clinics equipped with the latest technology, ensuring a thorough learning experience in digital imaging and electronic record-keeping systems.

Eligibility for the program requires a high school diploma or a GED. The course structure encompasses 32 hours of online lectures, 70 hours of lab and hands-on training, 40 hours of externship, and an additional 8 hours for coronal polishing and sealant certification, totaling 170 hours over 12 weeks. The program culminates in a dental assisting certificate upon successful completion. Instruction is provided by certified professionals, with classes held weekly at clinic locations.

University of Illinois Hospital

Program Information Details
Cost $300 for textbooks and uniforms
Program Duration 12 weeks, plus additional time for externship
Class Schedules Lectures online, Labs on evenings/weekends, Externship during clinic hours
Prerequisites High school diploma or GED
Location 1740 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612


Job Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of most professions in the United States and provides data on salaries, degree requirements, number of jobs, and job growth. How do dental assistants stack up? Take a look!


$20+ per hour

That’s over $42,000 per year! Start a program today and start earning!



Almost 400 thousand positions across the country. That’s a lot of clean teeth!


7% growth per year

Over 2,500 new dental assistant jobs per year. That could be you!

Data from BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, updated 2022.

Time to Pick a Program!

You are here to learn about dental assistant programs, choose the one that is best for you, and start your journey towards a career in dentistry. Don’t wait another minute! Visit our list of premier dental programs and get pickin’!

We’re Here to Help

Our website is a hub for information on all available dental assistant programs in the Chicago area. We understand that choosing the right program is a crucial decision. That’s why we provide detailed insights on each course, covering key aspects like program duration, total cost, curriculum, certification, and much more. From community colleges to specialized training centers, find a program that aligns with your aspirations and budget.

Begin Your Journey Today

Your career as a dental assistant in Chicago starts here. Browse through our comprehensive listings, read success stories, and take that first step towards a rewarding and stable career in dental healthcare. If you have any questions or need guidance, our dedicated team is here to assist you

Dental assistants enjoy many benefits, and many options to further their careers. We have the details you need to see if this is the right choice for you.