Dental Assisting and Hygienist Programs in Rhode Island

Today could be a great day to start a new career as a dental assistant or dental hygienist. The rise in demand for healthcare workers across the US in general, coupled with a trend among dentists to delegate more responsibilities to their staff, means that opportunities are improving in Rhode Island and in the northeast. [Seguir leyendo en español]

There are around 890 persons employed as dental assistants in Rhode Island, and a little over 1,070 as dental hygienists. The US Department of Labor expects those numbers to have increased to 860 and 1,140 respectively by 2024.


Rhode Island’s state dental practice act defines a list of basic supportive functions dental assistants may perform under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. To work at this level, there are no express educational prerequisites.

Expanded functions may be performed under direction of a licensed dentist if they hold the DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification, and have received instruction in the specific function they wish to practice. The CDA certification must be current to be valid.

For more information on prohibited and allowable duties, see this guide.

To become a dental hygienist in Rhode Island, you can obtain a license if you are at least 18, have graduated from an ADA-accredited dental hygiene program, passed the National Board Exam and a clinical exam. The preferred choice for clinical exams is the NERB. However exams held by other state and regional agencies are acceptable if passed with a 75% score or higher, and you pass a simulated patient clinical exercise (NERB Computer Simulated Clinical Examination {CSCE} written) with an earned score of seventy-five percent (75%).

Search Dental Assistant Programs

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

Sponsored Ad

Popular Programs

Salaries in Rhode Island

Dental Assistant Salaries by Area

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 Dental Assistants in the state of Rhode Island earned an average of $40,520 annually or $19.48 per hour.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI260$20.07$41,740
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA1,110$19.79$41,160

Dental Hygienist Salaries by Area

The average salary for Dental Hygienists in Rhode Island in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $74,350, or $35.75 per hour.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI280$36.66$76,260
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA1,230$36.42$75,760
[show-map id=”83″]
[show-map id=”84″]

Dental Assisting

Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

Lincoln Technical Institute-Lincoln

622 George Washington Hwy, Lincoln, Rhode Island 02865
(401) 334-2430

The Certificate program at Lincoln Technical Institute is offered at their campus in Lincoln in Providence County. The program is accredited by the ADA. This private, for-profit college has about 539 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Annual tuition fees for the dental assisting program are $18,395. On average the program takes 13 months to complete.

Dental Hygiene

Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

Community College of Rhode Island

400 East Ave, Warwick, Rhode Island 02886-1807
(401) 825-1000

The Associate’s program at Community College of Rhode Island is taught at their Warwick campus. The college has about 17,884 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. In-state tuition is approximately $3,950 per year. Tuition for students from outside the state of Rhode Island is $10,582.

see our preferred schools