Orthodontic Assistant (OA) Course

Orthodontic Assistant (OA) Course




**Please make sure to read the full course description before registering**

FYI: Unlike MOST other OAP courses, we provide 32 hours of Clinical instruction in our Orthodontic practices.

FEE: $1,195

(Includes Ultrasonic Scaling Certification)

Click here for a printable enrollment/registration form.

As of January 2010 the California Dental Board requires Dental Assistants who are working in an orthodontic office and/or are performing the daily duties of the Orthodontic Assistant must hold an Orthodontic Assistant Permit.

OC Dental Specialists is a California Dental Board-approved course provider that certifies students for eligibility to take the Dental Board Orthodontic Assistant Permit Exam.

Our Orthodontic Assistant course is very intensive as the material is condensed into 6 weeks.

Orange County Dental Institute offers a six-week, 84-hour Dental Board-approved Orthodontic Assistant Course consisting of three parts:

  1. Laboratory: Students will learn the step-by-step procedures of Orthodontic Assisting through laboratory experience.
  2. Clinical experience: Students will be required to practice the newly acquired skills on live patients under the direct supervision of our orthodontist in our office.
  3. On-line and in-class lectures.


Since the lecture portion of this program will be computer-based, you must be comfortable and proficient at online learning.  Some people learn by listening, others by watching, and others by various means of data assimilation.  Not everyone is suited for online learning. You can learn the lab and clinical portion easily with our hands-on approach but honestly, if you prefer a live-lecture/PowerPoint-based format, this course will not be for you.


On-line and In-class lectures: Students will learn theory and clinical skills relating to orthodontic assisting. Students MUST complete three required online modules and the corresponding quizzes weekly before each class. Students will be tested in class on the three required modules for that week, including modules for the prior classes (cumulative testing). Students MUST pass the in-class test each week (a passing score is 75%). If the student fails the in-class test, the student will be dropped from the course and will receive a prorated refund.

We don’t want you to waste your money! Our approach helps the student learn and retain all material in preparation for the Dental Board of California Orthodontic Assistant Permit Exam. The Orthodontic Assistant Permit Exam is difficult, challenging, and if you fail, you pay the testing fee each time you take the exam. In our experience, our approach helps students pass the exam on the first attempt, especially if they can maintain a 90% average in class.


Clinical training will include:

  • Placing and removing orthodontic separators.
  • Sizing, fitting, and cementing orthodontic bands.
  • Preparing teeth for bonding orthodontic brackets.
  • Selecting and placing orthodontic bracket on teeth.
  • Curing orthodontic brackets after the dentist/orthodontist positions the bracket.
  • Placing archwires properly.
  • Ligating archwires and placing ligature ties
  • Removing orthodontic brackets, bands, and attachments.
  • Removing bonding material using a scaler and/or adhesive-removing pliers under the direct supervision of licensed dentist/orthodontist.
  • Removing excess cement from supra gingival surfaces of teeth with a hand instrument or ultrasonic scaler.
  • Giving patient instructions and learning patient management skills.
  • Understanding orthodontic charts and communicating well with the orthodontist.


OA Dental Board Written Examination Information
Effective January 1, 2010, each graduate of the Orthodontic Assisting Permit course will be required to take a California Dental Board-administered examination. Each student must pass with a grade of 75% or above in order to receive their orthodontic assistant permit.

Documents/certificates needed in order to apply for a California Dental Board-administered examination:

  • CPR certification accredited by AHA or ARC.
  • DA- 8-hr Infection Control Certificate, RDA- 2-hr Infection Control Certificate (Copy of Certificate is required)
  • 2-hr California Dental Practice Act (Copy of Certificate is required)
  • OA Course Certificate
  • Ultrasonic Scaling Certificate



  • Must be able to communicate in English
  • Must have 8-hour Infection Control certificate.
  • Must have CPR certification accredited by AHA or ARC.
  • Must have a minimum of eleven (11) months experience in dental assisting in the United States and provide documentation from the dental office (Our eleven month experience requirement is for your benefit. Since the Dental Board requires 12 months of experience, upon completion of our 6-week course, you can immediately send your application to sit for the Orthodontic Assistant Permit exam. For example, if you take an OAP course after 6 months experience, you can not apply for the exam for another 4 months and you may not remember all the information required to pass the exam). This documentation must include:
    • Dates of employment/experience
    • Must be written on office letterhead (including office address and phone number)
    • Must be signed AND dated by supervising dentist


  • Have an active RDA or RDAEF License (Copy of RDA/ RDAEF license is required)


Photocopies of the above documents must be included with the registration form. Payment and the complete registration packet must be received 48 hours before the first day of class. Incomplete prerequisites will not be accepted and students will be rescheduled for the next start date.