Careers & Education

CAO’s Orthodontic Assistant Permit Training Program


The CAO Orthodontic Assistant Permit (OAP) Training Course has been approved by the Dental Board of California and is available to California orthodontic practices and providers.


Course overview

The CAO Orthodontic Assistant Permit Training Program consists of a number of modules requiring 84 hours of instruction for Dental Assistants (DA) and 60 hours for Registered Dental Assistants (RDA).


First, you must become a course provider. Purchase the course from CAO, complete the application and submit it to the Dental Board of California for approval, and then you may begin to train your dental auxiliaries. Once all course study is completed, your staff will take a final examination administered by the Dental Board. Successful completion of the training and examination allows the student the ability to perform expanded duties within the office.  All the documents or document examples necessary to apply to become a course provider, to train your staff and for your staff to apply for their permit are included in the course.


You will need to furnish orthodontic supplies for your student(s), many of which are routinely found in your office, such as archwires, elastics, etc. A complete list of supplies required for the course is outlined in the OAP materials section.


How to get started

Upon receipt of your payment, a confirmation email will be sent to your office providing your username and password, which will allow you online access to the course materials.


The confirmation will acknowledge your right to use the training materials and your understanding that no part of the course may be reproduced except as indicated; this form must be submitted to the Dental Board along with the application to the Dental Board to become a course provider.


Once you are an approved provider, you can opt to provide the didactic training yourself, or you may purchase a subscription to receive online training materials to assist you.


How assistants get permitted

A Course Completion Form can be downloaded and must be completed for each staff member trained. These certificates must be submitted to the Dental Board along with the staff permit application. (As future staff members are trained, completion certificates must be purchased and submitted for each additional OAP applicant.) REGISTER ADDITIONAL STAFF TRAINEES. 


Once the payment confirmation, the course completion form, the Dental Board OAP written final examination and the permit application are successfully completed and submitted, the Dental Board of California will grant the applicant an Orthodontic Assistant Permit.


Ready to become a CAO Orthodontic Assistant Permit Training Program provider?