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.
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.
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:
- College Cumulative GPA Requirement: cumulative grade point average (GPA) of credits attempted and completed at CLC must be at least 2.0;
- 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;
- Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College.
- 8 hours of dental clinical observation must be completed by October 1st.
- 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.
- All applications to the Minnesota Board of Dentistry for initial license will require a criminal background check.
For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:
Program Course Requirements
Fall Semester (20 credits)
DENT 1106 Dental Orientation and Anatomy, 3 cr
DENT 1116 Dental Clinic I, 8 cr
DENT 1118 Dental Radiology I, 3 cr
DENT 1120 Preventive Dentistry, 2 cr
DENT 1124 Biomaterials, 3 cr
EMTS 1130 AHA Healthcare Provider CPR, 1 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 (15 credits)
ENGL 1422 Practical Writing, 3 cr OR 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
SOCL 1401 Intro to Sociology
Minnesota Transfer Curriculum courses, 12 cr
GRADUATION REQUIREMENT – 60 CREDITS
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