Dental Assisting

Program Description

The Dental Assisting program provides learning opportunities which introduce, develop, and reinforce academic and occupational knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for job acquisition, retention, and advancement. Program graduates will be competent in the technical areas of preventive dentistry, four-handed dentistry, chairside assisting with emphasis in diagnostics, fixed prosthodontics, pediatric dentistry, orthodontic procedures, endodontic procedures, surgical and expanded functions, dental practice management, specialties, and dental radiology. Program graduates receive a Dental Assisting diploma and have two Completion documents: Radiology and Expanded Functions.

The Dental Assisting program is a five-term sequence which includes lecture, lab,and clinical courses that will prepare students to deliver dental health care to diverse patient populations in a variety of settings. Students should think of their time spent in the Dental Assisting program as the beginning of a lifetime of professional development. Students will learn the professional skills for their new career and the skills that will enhance their personal development.

Program Details

  • Major Code: DA12
  • Award Level: Diploma
  • Location: Griffin Campus
  • Program Entrance Term: Fall
  • Minimum Length of Program: 5 Terms
  • Minimum Credit Hours for Graduation: 59

Admission Requirements

Effective Spring Term 2017 (201714), the admission requirements were updated.

  • Submit completed application and application fee
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Submit official high school transcript or GED transcript with test scores and ALL post-secondary transcripts in an official sealed envelope
  • Meet assessment requirements

Applicants must meet general admissions requirements as well as the following minimum requirements. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.

  • Successfully complete (or transferred in) ENG 1010, PSYC 1010, COMP 1000, MATH 1012, ALHS 1040 and ALHS 1011 with a minimum grade of "C" in each course.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 for core classes.
  • A minimum of 25 percent of the program course work must be completed on the campus intended for graduation.
  • Students must have completed the PSB test. (no minimum score required)

Candidate Selection and Prerequisite Requirements

Selection of candidates for each dental assisting class will be based on a competitive admissions process. The following criteria will be used:

  • Overall GPA for core classes 2.5
  • Health Occupations Aptitude Examination (PSB)
  • Program-ready e-mail list
  • Students must possess a current CPR card. It is recommended to obtain CPR card just prior to entering the program so that the card will remain current throughout the program.
  • Students who have completed the Hepatitis B Vaccine series must submit a current titer status.
  • Students are required to have had 1 of the 3 Hepatitis B vaccinations prior to entering the Dental Assisting Program in Fall Semester.
  • Students are required to have the Tuberculosis skin test.
  • Students are required to have the Oral Exam & Medical Exam.
  • Students are required to have the Drug Screen and Background check.

Test results from the PSB exam cannot be older than 1 year prior to admittance into the Dental Assisting program. The Dental Assisting program director will convert the GPA and the PSB scores to a three-digit score and combine it to attain a complete score.


2.5 GPA: 250

PSB: + 130

Total score: 380


The students with the highest scores will be admitted into the next cohort. In case of a tie, the position will be determined on the basis of the date and time the e-mail is sent to the program-ready list.

Upon completion of one of the first two prerequisite requirements, the student must make an appointment to see the Dental Assisting program director and complete a Program- Ready Form prior to being placed on the program-ready list. After the student has filled out the Program-Ready Form with the program director of the Dental Assisting program, the student must immediately place their name on the program-ready e-mail list.

The following information is needed when sending the email to

  1. Name (as listed in Banner)
  2. Student ID
  3. Phone Number(s)
  4. Student address
  5. Email address
  6. Program of study (Please be sure that your status in BANNER is listed as Healthcare Assistant. If not, you will be removed from the Program-Ready List)
  7. Courses taken and grade


If the student’s phone number, mailing address, or e-mail address changes, the Dental Assisting program MUST be notified by e-mail at

If the Dental Assisting program cannot contact you by phone or e-mail, you will be removed from the program-ready list.

However, admission is competitive and there is a deadline date to be program-ready per each cohort group which is the last day of the spring semester term.

The Dental Assisting program begins a new cohort each fall term. The program is full-time, Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM.


Background Check

A student who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may be admitted to the Dental Assisting program; however, such a conviction may prohibit a student from attending certain clinical sites and may prohibit a student from taking the Dental Assisting National Board exam.

Grading Standards

Grading standards for Dental Assisting courses are very stringent. There are two requirements that must be met to proceed in the Dental Assisting program.

  1. A grade of C or better is required in all classes.
  2. The student must provide competency by scoring 70 percent or above on both the written comprehensive final exam and the comprehensive final laboratory exam.

Readmission Policy

Readmission into the Dental Assisting program following withdrawal or first-time failure will be based on the following:

  • Proof of previous program course completion of less than one year.
  • Students who withdrew or completed either Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters in good standing (GPA 2.5 or higher) will be allowed remittance into the Dental Assisting program. The student may be allowed to re-enter the program the following year at the point in which the student withdrew from the program.
  • Students who were dismissed from the Dental Assisting program due to receiving a final grade of D or F in any dental assisting class (DENA) will have to successfully complete a written and a laboratory comprehensive examination(s) for each previously completed dental assisting course with a minimum of 70 percent to be eligible to reapply for the next dental assisting cohort.
  • Readmission will be based on available space within the classrooms and clinical sites.
  • Students who do not successfully complete the Dental Assisting program after two attempts, whether at this college or at another college, will not be readmitted into the program.
  • A student must complete another background check, drug screen, and health screen as designated by participating clinical sites.
  • This courtesy is extended only once.

Approximate additional costs other than tuition, fees, and textbooks.

Laboratory coat$50
Long sleeve undershirt$12
Short sleeve undershirt$12
Medical exam$45
Oral exam$45
Hepatitis B vaccine$300
Clinical insurance$12
American Dental Assistants Association$50
Dental Assisting National Board (DANB)$425
Background check$78
Drug screenVaries
Hepatitis Titer$64
Tuberculosis skin test$20
Text Books$600

The following is a suggested path to complete this program in a timely manner. An individual’s path to completion may be different based on institutional and personal factors affecting his/her academic progress.

Note: While all courses are offered, they may vary by term and campus. See the program advisor for any questions.

First Term
ENGL 1010Fundamentals of English I3
PSYC 1010Basic Psychology3
COMP 1000Introduction to Computers3
MATH 1012Foundationsof Mathematics3
ALHS 1040Introduction to Health Care3
ALHS 1011Anatomy and Physiology5
Second Term
DENA 1050Microbiology and Infection Control3
DENA 1070Oral Pathology and Therapeutics2
DENA 1080Dental Anatomy5
DENA 1340Dental Assisting I - General Chairside6
Third Term
DENA 1350Dental Assisting II - Dental Specialties and EFDA Skills7
DENA 1390Dental Radiology4
DENA 1460Dental Practicum I1
DENA 1470Dental Practicum II1
Fourth Term
DENA 1030Preventive Dentistry2
DENA 1090Dental Assisting National Board Exam Preparation1
DENA 1400Dental Practice Management2
DENA 1480Dental Practicum III5

Note: Students enrolling in the Dental Assisting program have the potential for routine or unplanned exposure to blood and/or other potentially infectious body material pathogens in the normal conduct of student instructional activities. For further information please visit 

Dental Assisting

Program Faculty

Luz Ibarra
Program Coordinator

Angela Hardy

Career and Academic Planning

Annita White
Career Advisor
Griffin Campus
Room 107