Ortho Assistant Permit: What Are the Requirements and Steps in Claiming It?

According to the labor report of the state of California, Ortho assistant job openings are on the rise and will reach annual growth of around 15% by the end of 2024. The increase is especially noticeable in the Fresno county where growth is projected to reach up to 20%.

Annual wages for Orthodontic assistants in California state are ranging from $30,000 to $50,000, and there are robust projections that they will rise in years to come. No wonder the demand for this position has been on the rise for some time now. There has been significant interest from people all over the state for the position of Ortho assistant, so let’s go through the requirements necessary to apply for and obtain a permit.


Before you apply for an OA permit, you will need to have at least six months of previous work experience, which is mandatory for all applicants.

Aside from this, you will need to complete two hours of dental board dental practice act and eight hours training of infection control for dental assistants.

Basic life support training is mandatory for any medical assistant – this includes CPR and BLS training at the American Heart Association or Red Cross. You may encounter situations with patients where emergency action is necessary.

To work with instruments, you will need to have a permit for Ultrasonic Scaling. You will be granted one after taking a course with a provider approved by the Dental Board of California.

Another thing to keep in mind is to have Liability Insurance set up before applying for the course that will grant you an ortho assistants permit. Course providers usually offer insurance policies, but you can get this on your own from an insurance provider of choice.

Taking the course

If you meet all the pre-requirements, your next step will be to apply for a Dental Assistant course approved by the Dental Board of California. Courses approved by the DBC usually consist of three parts:


You will be introduced to theoretical knowledge and learn basics of orthodontics needed to complete the examination by the DBC.


You will be working with mentors in a laboratory environment and pre-clinical conditions to sharpen your skills and learn work standardization.


You will be learning to apply clinical work efficiency and improve patient management techniques.

When choosing a course provider, make sure you check out the course plan. Find out whether you’ll be provided with full equipment and materials throughout an Ortho assistant course to avoid additional costs. It will help you better prepare for the completion of training and ease the process of obtaining the OAP.

DBC board examination

After the course competition, you will need to take a written exam by the Dental Board of California to confirm your efficiency and knowledge of applying practice as an Orthodontist assistant. The DBC has a guide to their examination process published on their website with which you should familiarize yourself with before application. Check out the guide by visiting this link.

The completed examination doesn’t guarantee that you will get the permit. Before issuing a permit, you will need to provide additional documentation from the Department of Justice or Federal Bureau of Investigation. It shows that you haven’t been convicted of any criminal activity to date, or if you are participating in a legal process at the time of applying. And you will need to complete at least 12 months of work experience.

If the DBC approves of the above mentioned, you will be issued with a pocket ID and a wall certificate as a ROA (registered orthodontic assistant).