Dental Assisting Technology 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.
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: http://www.ada.org/en/coda
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 Health and Wellness » Dental Assisting for more career and employment information.
South Puget Sound Community College believes that all students need to develop a broad range of abilities that will not only make them more effective in their professional pursuits but will enhance their capacity to relate well to others in their daily lives.
At the completion of the Dental Assisting Technology 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
- Know and follow state and federal standards when assessing situations to maintain safe environments in the dental setting
- Measure, record, interpret, and report data in both clinical and office settings
- Adjust communication techniques to interact effectively with colleagues and patients who have diverse backgrounds, expectations, and needs
- Use multiple approaches to solve problems and deal with issues as they emerge while considering professional responsibilities and the perspectives of others
- Engage in processes that support continual improvement
Based on placement testing, prospective students may need to complete basic skills and/or pre-college English and math prior to being accepted into the Dental Assisting Technology Program. Admitted students must be eligible for college-level English and math. 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. Students must have a high school diploma, its equivalent, or post-secondary degree to be eligible for the program.
AAS Degree Requirements
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.
Additional Program Information
Preparation for the Dental Assisting Technology Program
If you have not already satisfied basic skill and/or pre-college requirements, use the college’s general application to apply for admission as early as possible for an upcoming quarter. Contact Enrollment Services about placement testing or receiving a placement test waiver. Refer to the General Education Requirements for the Associate in Applied Science for recommended general education courses. It is not mandatory that all the general education courses be completed prior to starting the program. A new general application for admission need not be submitted if you are a current student at South Puget Sound Community College. Contact a Dental Assisting Program Advisor listed at the top of this guide for assistance in your preparation.
Applications for the Dental Assisting Technology Program will be accepted beginning on the first business day in December. Those received by the first 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 Technology Program application and fee are required for entry into the Dental Assisting Technology Program even if you are already attending the college for other courses or programs.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. It is recommended but not required that all the general education courses be completed prior to starting the program.
How to Apply
Transfer of Credit
Have any previous college credits evaluated for transfer of credit into the Dental Assisting Technology Program. Submit official copies of previous college transcripts or 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 of students is governed by policies in the Dental Assisting Technology 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 Technology 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 summer 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.
UNIFORMS: Information on uniforms will be provided during advising and registration to those accepted into the Dental Assisting Technology Program.
ADDITIONAL COSTS (dollar values are approximate and subject to change):
|Non-refundable application fee||$25.00|
|Hepatitis B vaccination||$250.00|
|Uniforms and shoes||$300.00|
|Clinical uniform scrub fee|
Dental Assisting Technology
Associate in Applied Science Degree
1st Quarter Summer
2nd Quarter Fall
3rd Quarter Winter
4th Quarter Spring
5th Quarter Summer
General Education Requirements
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, COMMUNICATION, GER-CIS, AA-AAS-T-COMMUNICATION, AAS-COMMUNICATION: Reading/Writing, AAS-READING-WRITING
(must satisfy diversity requirement)
Electives 1 credit
Effective Catalog Year 2018-2019, Revised November 21, 2017