Dental Assisting Degree

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Program Description

Dental Assisting Technology educates students in all phases of dental assisting, including expanded functions and passing the National Board Exam for Certification. The program starts in summer quarter and continues through the summer of the following year.

The Dental Assisting Technology Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA),

Career Opportunities 

Graduates may be hired as expanded functions 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. 

Program Outcomes

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  

Program Requirement

Based on placement testing, students may need to complete basic skills and/or pre-college English and math prior to being accepted into the Dental Assisting Technology 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 must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better to continue in and complete the program.  Other courses may be taken prior to or concurrent with the dental assisting courses.

Program Information

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

Additional Program Information


Special Admissions

Minimum Eligibility for Entrance to the Program 

Applicants to the Dental Assisting Technology Program 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 receiving a test waiver.

Priority consideration will be given to those students who have completed all the general education courses required for the program prior to spring quarter.  Consideration will then be given to those students who will have completed general education courses by the end of spring quarter.  In the event of a tie, priority will be given based upon date of application. 

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.

Application Procedure  

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.


Dental Assisting 2017-2018 application cycle is closed

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 with advance standing is governed by policies in the Dental Assisting Technology Policies and Procedural Manual, available from program faculty.

Additional Considerations

HEALTH AND SAFETY:  Prior to the beginning of fall quarter, students registered in the Dental Assisting Technology Program are required to have current and valid health care provider basic life support (BLS) certification, 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
Tuberculosis clearance $100.00
Malpractice insurance $17.00
Name tag $15.00
Uniforms and shoes $300.00
Clinical uniform scrub fee $150.00
Texbooks and supplies $300.00
Dental instruments and supplies $1,000.00
Lab fee $200.00
Typodont model $175.00
National Board exam $425.00
Parking Not Applicable


Educational Plan

Dental Assisting Technology

Associate in Applied Science Degree
90 credits

Core Requirements

1st Quarter Summer

No course description for: DENT101
No course description for: DENT110
No course description for: DENT141

2nd Quarter Fall

No course description for: DENT142
No course description for: DENT151
No course description for: DENT152
No course description for: DENT153
No course description for: DENT155
No course description for: DENT156
No course description for: DENT162

3rd Quarter Winter

No course description for: DENT160
No course description for: DENT161
No course description for: DENT164
No course description for: DENT165
No course description for: DENT166
No course description for: DENT179

4th Quarter Spring

No course description for: DENT170
No course description for: DENT171
No course description for: DENT172
No course description for: DENT173
No course description for: DENT174
No course description for: DENT175
No course description for: DENT176

5th Quarter Summer

No course description for: DENT180
No course description for: DENT181

General Education Requirements

No course description for: ENGL&101

Additional Communication:

5 Credits in COMPUTATION

3-5 credits

DIVERSITY REQUIREMENT: South Puget Sound Community College requires all new students as of summer 2005 seeking an Associate Degree to complete a “diversity” course which meets the college criteria for listing as a diversity course and has been approved for such listing by the college Instructional Council prior to the student enrolling in the class.


Effective Catalog Year 2017-2018, Revised February 28, 2017