Dental Assistant

Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting

Dental Assistant Overview

From the moment a patient walks through the door, dental assistants are there to assist in the delivery of quality oral health care and are valuable members of the dental care team. They coordinate care and information between the dentist, patient, and front office staff to ensure patients are treated well and the practice runs smoothly. When the dentist is working on the patient, assistants are often standing by, providing tools and materials to assist the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures.   

Dental assistants must have a strong foundation in the fundamental areas of dental assisting including: radiographic, clinical and administrative procedures.  Depending on the office, state regulations and preferences of the dentist, assistants play a larger clinical or administrative role.

On any given day, dental assistants can be found in the lab, office area, or treatment area. Assistants are trusted with patient information and medical records, taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays), taking impressions of patients' teeth and teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health.  In addition the dental assistant performs office management tasks that often require the use of a personal computer.

Strong communication skills and professionalism ensure the dental assistant with a rewarding job in a growing health care career.

Dental Assistant Possible Career Track

Upon completion, graduates with an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting could possibly pursue a career in an entry-level position in the following offices:

  • Dental Office
  • Hospital Dental Department
  • Dental Supply Manufacturer
  • Insurance Company

Dental Assistant Outcomes

  • Acquire knowledge and skills necessary to provide a safe environment for patients and dental staff.
  • Illustrate competency in the parts and sciences pertinent to dental assisting.
  • Attain skills in chairside, clinical, practice management, radiographic and laboratory procedures.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the American Dental Assisting Association's Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional conduct and its importance to the profession of dental assisting.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully complete the Dental Assisting National Examination.
  • Participate in dental community events and learning opportunities. 

Dental Assistant Curriculum

Program Requirements

Arts & Sciences courses listed may not be substituted.

Total of 1,260 contact hours

Visit the ECPI University Catalog for the most current program information.