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Dental Assisting

If you enjoy working with people—and you want to help give them healthy smiles—a career as a dental assistant could be a good fit for you.

In this accredited program, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge to care for patients as an important part of the dental team. You’ll learn to assist dentists with charting, instruments, X-rays, patient education, office management, patient records and other duties essential to a successful dental practice. Your training will include hands-on practice and learning experiences in real dentist offices.

Job opportunities in the field are excellent. Whether you want to work in general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, oral surgery or orthodontics, wherever there are dentists, there is a need for qualified dental assistants.

Admission

Enrollment in the dental assisting program is limited to 24 students. The admissions process is competitive. No assurance is given that all applicants who complete the admissions process will be admitted into the program.

Admission Documentation Requirements

Copy of High School diploma or GED certificate

Completion of 4 hours volunteerism/observation in any healthcare setting (dental observation is preferred).

One professional letter of recommendation.

Admission packets due September 1st, 2023

Send Documentation to:

Spokane Community College
Dental Assisting Department
1810 North Greene Street
Spokane, WA 99217
MS: 2090 Attn: Mrs. Pat Norman
Office: building 9 Room 021 (to drop packets off/slide under office door)

Short interviews will be conducted September 8th, 2023 for admittance into the dental assisting program. You will be contacted to schedule your interview.

Within a week after the admission interviews you will receive a letter from us letting you know if you have been accepted into the program. If you are not accepted, you may apply the next year. If you are accepted into the program we will be having a mandatory orientation/registration meeting.

A National Background Check is required with results that are acceptable for clinical sites prior to the first day of fall classes. New Student Orientation. You will be responsible for the cost of the initial background check. Once you are admitted to the program, expect the following:

A 10-panel drug screen within 30 days of clinical internship at your cost as required by selective clinical sites.

Additional Application Requirements

Program start: Fall (competitive entry)
Pre-requisites: No, English and Interpersonal Communication can be taken prior to or while in the program.
Program length: 3 quarters
Number of students each start: 24
Contact: Mrs. Pat Norman 509-533-7301
Applications deadline: September 1st
Admission Interviews: September 8th
Please note: It is strongly recommended that students seek advising from Dental Assisting Department prior to applying

Accreditation/Certification

This program is accredited by the American Dental Association. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to take the national certification exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

  1. Perform basic chairside assisting techniques in general and specialty practices.
  2. Identify and utilize instruments, equipment, medications, and dental operatory maintaining the asepsis chain.
  3. Expose, process, and mount dental radiographs.
  4. Comprehend dental terminology, record patient medical and dental history, and chart pertinent patient information.
  5. Gain understanding of dental materials, prepare and utilize appropriately.
  6. Identify and apply the concepts of dental ethics in relationships to the patient, dentist, and other auxiliaries of the dental team.
  7. Schedule patients for various treatments, maintain a recall system, order and maintain supplies, complete patient insurance forms, make financial arrangements, and utilize basic dental software.
  8. Perform dental assisting expanded functions allowed in the state of Washington.

Dental Assisting is a nine-month Allied Health profession specifically concerned with preparing the student for employment as a chairside dental assistant to the dentist and other auxiliaries. In addition to the certificate, an additional year is available for the AAS degree.

The primary role of the dental assistant includes several modalities which include:
 
Chairside area: review and record medical and dental histories and any other data required; prepare treatment rooms and patients for treatment; chart and document patients information; assist the dentist and other auxiliaries in general and specialty treatment of patients; Instruct patients in oral hygiene techniques and various dental procedures; prepare various dental materials; sterilize and disinfect dental instruments and equipment. Perform a variety of expanded functions that are legal in the state of Washington. (see Department of Health WAC 246-817-520); Expose, process, and mount various types of traditional and digital radiographs becoming proficient in the various types of equipment which require a highly-skilled operator to obtain the imaging information and other data required.

Reception area: appoint patients for treatments, maintain a patient recall system, file and maintain patient and office records, complete patient insurance forms and make financial arrangements with patients; order and maintain dental supplies and equipment. 

This program is accredited by the American Dental Association (http://www.ada.org/en/coda/accreditation) American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation 211 East Chicago Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60611 Phone (800) 621.8099 or (312) 440.4653.

Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board exam immediately following graduation. Students in this program are required to complete three separate clinical internships. 
 

Breaking Ground on Your Pathway


Placement

Math placement is not required for this program.

Prepare for College-level English

English placement is required for this program. If your English placement is below ENGL& 101, you’ll need to take following sequence of courses, starting from the level you placed into:
AE 36 → AE 46 and 47 (taken together) → AE 67 → ENGL 99 → ENGL& 101

Plan Your Courses

Meet with our counselors to customize this plan just for you. You can also search the quarterly schedule for class days and times.

Program Map for

Print/Download

Choose program map:

Total Program Credits: 67


Program Courses

First Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
DENT 109
Chairside Related Theory Lab  
1
DENT 110
Introduction to Dental Assisting Lab  
2
DENT 111
Introduction to Dental Assisting  
3
DENT 112
Chairside Related Theory  
3
DENT 114
Introduction to Dental Radiology  
2
DENT 115
Introduction to Dental Radiology Lab  
1
DENT 116
Dental Restorative Techniques  
2
DENT 117
Dental Restorative Techniques Lab  
1
DENT 118
Dental Anatomy  
4
ENGL&101
English Composition I  
5
Total Credits
 
24

Second Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
CMST&210
Interpersonal Communication  
5
DENT 120
Intermediate Chairside Assisting Lab  
1
DENT 121
Intermediate Chairside Assisting  
5
DENT 122
Chairside Related Theory  
4
DENT 124
Advanced Dental Radiology  
1
DENT 125
Advanced Dental Radiology Lab  
1
DENT 126
Dental Restorative Techniques  
2
DENT 127
Dental Restorative Techniques Lab  
2
DENT 129
Chairside Clinical Experience  
2
Total Credits
 
23

Third Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
DENT 131
Advanced Chairside Assisting  
4
DENT 132
Advanced Chairside Assisting Lab  
2
DENT 136
Dental Restorative Techniques  
1
DENT 137
Dental Restorative Techniques Lab  
1
DENT 138
Office Management  
4
DENT 139
Chairside Clinical Experience  
8
Total Credits
 
20

Estimated costs for completing this program

 
WA Resident
Non-Resident
International
Military Tuition Assistance Program
Tuition
$ 5,416
$ 6,591
$ 11,837
$ 4,238
Books
$ 702
$ 702
$ 702
$ 702
Course Fees
$ 953
$ 953
$ 953
$ 953
Institutional Fees
$ 336
$ 336
$ 336
$ 336
Total Costs
$ 7,407
$ 8,582
$ 13,828
$ 6,229

Costs for completing a degree or certificate can vary. For more information about costs, visit our How Much Does it Cost? page.

  • Pat Norman
    Pat Norman
    Dental Assisting Instructor
    A.A., Spokane Community College; B.A., Eastern Washington University; DANBI, Certification; WSDAR, Certification
    Pat.Norman@scc.spokane.edu
    509-533-7301

  • Kathleen Halladay
    Kathleen Halladay
    Exp Func Dental Instructor
    Certification, Spokane Community College; Certification, Spokane Community College; AA, Spokane Community College
    Kathleen.Halladay@scc.spokane.edu
    509-533-7315
  • Kammi Whitmire
    Kammi Whitmire
    Exp Func Dental Instructor
    A.A., Spokane Falls Community College; B.S., Eastern Washington University
    Kammi.Whitmire@scc.spokane.edu
    509-533-7300
  • Garrett Whittle
    Garrett Whittle
    Instructor
    Garrett.Whittle@scc.spokane.edu
    509-533-7298

Have a question? Let's hear it.

Pat Norman

Program Director - Dental Assisting
Pat.Norman@scc.spokane.edu
509-533-7301