Dental Assisting A.A.S. Degree

Dental Assisting A.A.S. Degree

Career Description

The career of dental assisting is an exciting, challenging, rewarding, and very in-demand career, where no two days will be alike as you help make dental experiences enjoyable for your patients! Dental assistants are critical members of the dental team, responsible for assisting the dentist, dental therapist, or hygienist with many chairside duties, performing many duties independently according to the State Dental Practice Act, in addition to working in the business end of dentistry. This career is also a great building block if you want to further your education as a Restorative Functions Dental Assistant, dental hygienist, office manager, dental therapist, dental sales representative, dental educator, or dentist.

Program Information

The 15-month Dental Assisting AAS Program at CLC was the first program established in the state, back in 1967! This hands-on, fast-paced program is designed to educate students in chairside skills and expanded functions delegated by the Minnesota State Board of Dentistry. Students will learn ways to treat and prevent dental disease, as well as teach patients preventive dental care. Fall and spring semesters are on-campus, followed by a nine-week summer session where 2 internships are completed in dental practices of your choice. This education prepares students to take national and state written licensing examinations, which are required for certification and licensure as dental assistants in the state of Minnesota.

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.


HS GPA 2.6 or higher within the past 10 years OR
Meets “Writing Introductory College Level” or higher. This allows students into Practical Writing.

To meet “Writing Introductory College Level” one must have one of the following:

  • Accuplacer NG Reading score: 236 or higher
  • MCA Reading 1047 or higher
  • HS GPA of 2.5 AND MCA Reading 1042

Employment Statistics

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

Instant Updates

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

We would like to introduce the 3 newest faculty members to the Dental Assisting Program! Here's the catch, they don't have names yet! Put your best name suggestions in the comments below!

These are DXTTRs: Dental Xray Teaching Training Replicas! Students will use these, along with skulls, in fall semester to learn all of the basic techniques of radiology.
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We would like to introduce the 3 newest faculty members to the Dental Assisting Program! Heres the catch, they dont have names yet! Put your best name suggestions in the comments below! 

These are DXTTRs: Dental Xray Teaching Training Replicas! Students will use these, along with skulls, in fall semester to learn all of the basic techniques of radiology.

Comment on Facebook

I think we should name one Mike Rowe for old time sake

awesome!! these new students are so lucky 😊

I mean Kevin’s a cool name 🤷🏼‍♀️😂

Syd Fran McKayla I think Clint is a good name 😉

Kevin, Gary, Norman

Dr T, Dr Train and Dr Rep

Max (Maxillary), Mandy (Mandibular), TJ (Temporomandibular Joint)

Super exciting! Ken!

Fred, jimmy, Doc

Dexter 1, 2, & 3 😂




View more comments

Program Course Requirements

Required Discipline Courses (45 Credits)
DENT 1106 Dental Orientation and Anatomy, 3 cr
DENT 1114* Pathology, Pharmacology, and Law, 3 cr
DENT 1116 Dental Clinic I, 8 cr
DENT 1118 Dental Radiology I, 3 cr
DENT 1120 Preventive Dentistry, 2 cr
DENT 1123* Dental Clinic II, 9 cr
DENT 1124 Dental Materials, 3 cr
DENT 1129* Dental Radiology II, 2 cr
DENT 1132* Dental Specialties, 2 cr
DENT 1133* Principles of Practice Management and Communication, 2 cr
DENT 1150** Dental Internship (336 Hours), 7 cr
EMTS 1130 AHA Healthcare Provider CPR, 1 cr

Required MnTC Courses (15 Credits)
An A.A.S. degree requires a minimum of 15 credits selected from at least three of the ten goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC). Students must include the following course:
ENGL 1410* Composition I (Goal 1), 4 cr OR
ENGL 1420* Honors Composition I (Goal 1), 4 cr OR
ENGL 1422 Practical Writing (Goals 1,2), 3 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

*Denotes Prerequisites
**Requires permission by Instructor


Program News

Initial Dental Assistant Licensure (pdf)

Dental Assisting Program students provide the following services at a very reduced cost: radiographs (x-rays), teeth polishing, fluoride treatments, whitening trays, and sealants. Appointments may be scheduled during the months of February-April. Please call: 218-855-8254 or email: to make an appointment.

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.”

Program Instructors

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