Dental Assisting 2020-2021

Associate in Applied Science

Credits: 96  |   Length of Program: 5 quarters

Subject: Dental Assisting

Dental Assisting - Associate in Applied Science

Dental Assisting educates students in all phases of dental assisting, including expanded functions and passing the National Board Exam for Certification. The program is designed to be completed in five quarters (summer through the following summer) by full-time students.


print icon
print icon
info icon
search icon

Career Opportunities

Graduates may be hired as expanded function assistants, preventive assistants, business assistants, or traditional assistants.  Employment opportunities are high and well distributed throughout the state. Dental assistants directly assist with all aspects of patient treatment and perform certain procedures independently.  They also organize instruments, set up and oversee sterilization and disinfecting procedures, inventory control, ordering of supplies, polishing teeth, applying fluoride, placing sealants, providing homecare instructions, taking X-rays, and fabricating and placing temporary restorations. See Healthcare » Dental Assisting for more career and employment information. 


The Dental Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is:

Length of Program

The program is designed to be completed in five quarters (summer through the following summer) by full-time students.

Cost of Program / Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

UNIFORMS:  Information on uniforms will be provided during advising and registration to those accepted into the Dental Assisting Program.

ADDITIONAL COSTS (dollar values are approximate and subject to change):

Non-refundable application fee $25.00
Hepatitis B vaccination $250.00
Tuberculosis clearance $100.00
Malpractice insurance $17.00
Name tag $15.00
Uniforms and shoes $300.00
Clinical uniform scrub fee $150.00
Printing $50.00
Basic Life Support (CPR) training $100.00
Textbooks and supplies $300.00
Dental instruments and supplies $1,000.00
Lab fee $200.00
Typodont model $175.00
National Board exam $524.00




Admission Requirements


  1. Prospective students must have a high school diploma, its equivalent, or a post-secondary degree to be eligible for the program.
  2. Prospective students may need to complete basic skills and/or pre-college English and math prior to being eligible for the program prerequisites. Proficiency may be demonstrated through placement testing or by receiving a placement test waiver based on previous college credits in English and math. Contact Enrollment Services at (360) 596-5241 for instructions on taking the Computerized Placement Test (CPT) or to request a test waiver.
  3. The following program prerequisites must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better in order to be eligible for admission to the program:
    • MATH 101 Technical Mathematics I (or math from the General Education AAS requirements)
    • ENGL& 101 English Composition I (or ENGL& 102 Composition II)
    • MED 103 Medical Terminology I
  4. The following program requirements must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better in order to be eligible for an AAS in Dental Assisting.  It is recommended but not required that these requirements be completed prior to starting the core program:
    • Five credits of additional communication from the General Education AAS requirements
    • Five credits from the Human Relations General Education AAS requirements
    • Diversity requirement
  5. Prospective students must attend the invitation-only Dental Assisting Orientation held on Advising Day during the spring quarter. Additional information about the orientation will be provided to applicants by the end of April.
  6. Courses coded DENT must be taken in succession. All DENT courses must be completed with a "C" or better to continue in and complete the program.

Program Advising: It is recommended that students eligible for college-level English and math schedule an appointment with a dental program faculty advisor. It is recommended that students still needing to complete pre-college English or math schedule an appointment with an Ed Planner.  

Application Process / How to Apply


  1. Admission to the college:  First, apply for admission to the college using a general application here: A new general application for admission to the college need not be submitted if you are a current student at South Puget Sound Community College.
  2. SPSCC email account:  Second, either activate or reactivate your student email address if it is not currently active.
  3. Admission to the program: Third, apply for admission to the Dental Assisting Program using the special admission application here:  The Dental Assisting Program will be accepting special admission applications beginning on the first business day in March. Those completed applications received by the last business day in April will be given priority consideration for admission. There is a required, non-refundable $25.00 application fee due at the time of application. The Dental Assisting Program application for special admission and fee are required for entry into the Dental Assisting Program even if you are already attending the college for other courses or programs.
  4. Incomplete or late applications:  Incomplete applications with prerequisites or high school diplomas scheduled to be completed after the last business day in April will be considered on a case-by-case basis once the prerequisites are successfully completed and/or high school diploma is received and if space is available in the program. Transcripts must be received by the date indicated within the application for the specified application year.  Unofficial transcripts may be used for incomplete or late applications with the understanding that the official transcript will be received no later than the end of the first week in August.
  5. Application ranking:  Applicants will be ranked according to the number of required general education courses successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better and/or enrolled in.  In the event of a tie, priority will be given based upon the date of application.

TRANSFER OF CREDIT:  Have any previous college credits evaluated for transfer of credit into the Dental Assisting Program. Submit official copies of previous college transcripts and an Application for Transfer of Credit form.  An official transcript is one sent directly between schools or submitted by the student in a sealed envelope.  Student (unofficial) copies of transcripts may be used for advising.

READMISSIONS:  Readmissions of students is governed by policies in the Dental Assisting Policy and Procedural Manual, available from program faculty.


HEALTH AND SAFETY:  Prior to the beginning of fall quarter (the second quarter in the program), students registered in the Dental Assisting Program are required to have current and valid healthcare provider basic life support (BLS) certification (a BLS course is offered to students during the first fall quarter), to have started the Hepatitis B vaccination series, and to have received a recent Tuberculosis (TB) skin test (within 60 days prior to the start of fall quarter).  Documentation for each of these requirements must be presented by the first day of class in fall quarter.




Apply Now

Program Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the Dental Assisting Program, the successful student will be able to:

  • Effectively, independently, and efficiently perform supportive services that may be performed by registered dental assistants in Washington State
  • Maintain safe environments in the dental setting by following state and federal standards, professional and ethical standards, and using effective communication
  • Measure, record, interpret, and report data in both clinical and office settings
  • Engage in processes that support continual improvement  


Ed Plan / Class List
General Education Requirements

Additional Communication:

Human Relations
(must satisfy diversity requirement)



Effective Catalog Year 2020-2021

Additional Information

An Associate in Applied Science Degree will be awarded upon successful completion of a minimum of 90 credits in courses numbered 100 or above.  All core and general education distribution requirements must be met, with any additional credits to be selected as electives.  Courses coded DENT must be taken in succession.  All DENT courses and general education requirements must be completed with a grade of “C” or better to continue in and complete the program. 




Revision Date: 
May 1, 2020