Dental Assisting A.A.S. Degree

Dental Assisting A.A.S. Degree

Initial Dental Assistant Licensure (pdf)

Delta Dental is committed to increasing students of color and American Indians in the dental assistant field. To learn more about the Delta Dental Diversity Scholarship visit the CLC Foundation webpage at:

CLC ranks among the top Dental Assistant Degree Programs in the U.S. – CLC News

“Central Lakes College has been ranked by as having one of The Best Online Dental Assistant Degree Programs for 2021, with a unique distinction for Best Technical College.”

Career Description

Given the increasing demands for dental care, dental practices are designed for a dental team approved for the delivery of dental care. An exciting and challenging career awaits you as a professional dental assistant. This program will prepare students for a wide range of dental assisting careers, including chairside dental assistant in general or specialty practices, expanded-functions dental assistant, administrative business assistant, dental sales personnel, sterilization assistant, and dental insurance personnel. A career in dental assisting offers variety, job satisfaction, opportunity for service, and financial reward.

Program Information

The Dental Assisting Program is designed to educate students on ways to control and prevent dental disease, as well as teach patients preventive dental care. Training is provided in chairside skills and MN State expanded functions. Fall and spring semesters are on-campus, and the nine-week summer session provides internships in dental facilities and private dental practices. This education prepares students to take national and state written examinations required for certification and registration as dental assistants. A certified registered dental assistant becomes a member of the dental team.

Program Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • Perform chair side procedures in a clinical setting;
  • Apply infection control, biohazards and treatment area practices;
  • Perform dental office procedures;
  • Perform radiographic and radiation safety procedures;
  • Communicate professionally with patients, peers, and members of the dental health team; and
  • Model professionalism through continuing education and membership in the American Dental Assistants Association.

Special Program Requirements

In addition to the program requirements, students must meet the following conditions in order to graduate:

  1. College Cumulative GPA Requirement: cumulative grade point average (GPA) of credits attempted and completed at CLC must be at least 2.0;
  2. College Technical Core GPA Requirement: cumulative GPA of credits attempted and completed towards the technical core of the diploma or degree must be at least 2.0;
  3. Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College.
  4. 8 hours of dental clinical observation must be completed by October 1st.
  5. Students who apply for the Dental Assisting Program who meet requirements for Admission will be accepted into the Dental Assisting Diploma for their first year with the option of pursuing their Associates in Applied Science (AAS) their second year.


The CLC Dental Assisting program has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) since 1967. The most recent reauthorization visit was conducted in Fall of 2019.


  • Reading placement test is required. Admission date is fall semester, and progression through the program is sequential. Per the Commission on Dental Accreditation, students must possess a High School Diploma or GED prior to the fall semester start of the Dental Assisting Program.
  • The curriculum in the dental assisting program may expose students to hazardous materials, radiation and/or infectious diseases. Students will be provided with information through education and program policies to protect themselves and their patients from harm. Students will be expected to utilize appropriate safety precautions in the classroom, laboratory and clinic. Program policies are available upon request.
  • Minnesota Board of Dentistry will only accept American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR or American Red Cross Professionals Rescuer CPR. The CPR requirement will be completed within the program by October 1st. Students that have this requirement completed prior to entering the program must have the certification verified by faculty and must keep their CPR current through August of the graduating year.
  • All applications to the Minnesota Board of Dentistry for initial license will require a criminal background check.

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:

Program Course Requirements

Fall Semester (19 credits)
DENT 1106 Dental Orientation and Anatomy, 2 cr
DENT 1108** General Anatomy, 2 cr
DENT 1110 Managing Medical Emergencies, 1 cr
DENT 1116* Dental Clinic I, 7 cr
DENT 1118 Dental Radiology I, 3 cr
DENT 1120 Preventive Dentistry, 2 cr
DENT 1124 Biomaterials, 2 cr

Spring Semester (18 credits)
DENT 1114 Pathology, Pharmacology, and Law, 3 cr
DENT 1123* Dental Clinic II, 9 cr
DENT 1129* Dental Radiology II, 2 cr
DENT 1132* Dental Specialties, 2 cr
DENT 1133* Principles of Practice Management and Communication, 2 cr

Summer Session (7 credits)
DENT 1150* Dental Internship (336 Hours), 7 cr

Second Year – Fall Semester (16 credits)
ENGL 1410 Composition I or ENGL 1421 Honors Composition I, 4 cr
Select 12 additional credits from Goals 2-10. For students planning to pursue Dental Hygiene, we suggest you choose courses that will meet prerequisite requirements for Dental Hygiene. See an advisor for assistance choosing courses for your targeted program/college. Typical Dental Hygiene course prerequisites may include:
BIOL 2457 Microbiology
BIOL 2467 Anatomy and Physiology I
BIOL 2468 Anatomy and Physiology II
COMM 1420 Interpersonal Communication
PSYC 2421 General Psychology or SOCL 1401 Intro to Sociology
Minnesota Transfer Curriculum courses, 12 cr

*Denotes Prerequisites
**BIOL 1404 Human Biology (3 credits), or BIOL 2467 Anatomy and Physiology I and BIOL 2468 Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits each) may be substituted for DENT 1108 General Anatomy.


Program Instructors

Beth flier

Beth Flier

Adjunct Dental Assisting Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8231

Julie Morgan

Dental Assisting Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8225
Katie Thalberg

Katie Thalberg

Dental Assisting Program Director and Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8106
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