Dental Assisting Certificate–(DAC) (evening only)

The certified dental assistant is an auxiliary in the dental office who assists the dentist in dental procedures and in the performance of generalized tasks. This would include; chair-side /instrument transfer, radiography and laboratory functions, clerical office operations such as recordkeeping, billing, and appointment management and reception duties.  Students are eligible to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board Examination, (DANBE), upon successful completion of the Dental Assisting program.

Application deadline: The application deadline is August 1st and rolling until each seat is filled.

Number Suggested Course Order Cr Semester Grade Prerequisites/Notes
BIO199 Anatomy and Physiology I


    BIO099, ENG098, FYE101, MAT096, RDG098, or placement
MAT126 Topics in Mathematics (or higher)


    MAT096 or placement
ENG101 English Composition I


    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
PSY105 Introduction to Psychology


    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
DAC101 Dental Assisting


Spring   Admission into the Dental Assisting Certificate, current CPR certification, BIO199, ENG101, MAT126, PSY105
DAC102 Dental Science I


Spring   Admission into the Dental Assisting Certificate, current CPR certification, BIO199, ENG101, MAT126, PSY105
DAC104 Practice Management


Maymester   DAC101, 102
DAC105 Dental Science II


Summer   Prerequisite: DAC101, DAC102

Co-requisite: DHY106

DHY106 Dental Materials


Summer   Prerequisite: DAC101, DAC102, DAC104

Co-requisite: DAC105

DHY103 Dental Radiology


Fall   Prerequisites: DAC104, DAC105, DHY106

Co-requisite: DAC110

DAC110 Prevention


Fall   Prerequisites: DAC105, DHY106

Co-requisite: DHY103

DAC115 Clinical Rotation


Spring   Prerequisites: DAC110, DHY103

Note: The clinical rotation may be scheduled during the daytime office hours.

                                                     Total: 42 credits  

Campus/format: A majority of this program will be held on the Fitchburg Campus in the evenings on a part-time basis for all coursework but the last semester. Clinical sites may require travel and may be scheduled during days, evenings or weekends.

Helpful hints: Students are encouraged to complete all the general education requirements before entry into the Program.

Transfer options: With successful completion of Dental Materials and Dental Radiology (C+ or better), CDAs can transfer courses to the Dental Hygiene program within 2 years.

Special requirements: Applicants must meet all requirements for consideration before entering the program. Students must meet technical standards and additional requirements including immunizations, CPR certification, liability insurance, and a Criminal/Sexual Offender Records Information (CORI/SORI) check (see page 18 of the college catalog). Prior to taking DAC courses, the following general education courses are required (at a level of C+ or better): BIO199, ENG101, MAT126, and PSY105. All BIO, MAT, and DAC courses require a minimum grade of C+ or better to be eligible for promotion to the next level. Also, BIO199, 204, and 205 credits cannot be more than five years old.

Career options: CDAs can work in private practice, hospitals, clinics, schools, and sales.

Earning potential: $15.00 – $23.00 per hour.

Program Competencies for DAC

Upon graduation, students completing the certificate program in Dental Assisting would be expected to have the following competencies:

  • Communicate effectively and accurately through oral, written and electronic means.
  • Demonstrate the application of theory to practice in achieving optimal patient care.
  • Practice within the legal, ethical and regulatory framework of dental assisting in accordance with the standards set by the State Practice Act and Code of Ethics for Dental Assistants.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the dental assisting profession through assuming responsibility for lifelong learning and professional growth.

Technical Standards for DHY and DAC

*general information about technical standards and accommodation.

Students entering these programs must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level.
  • Communicate and assimilate information in either printed, signed or computer voice format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Have the visual acuity with corrective lenses to identify changes in oral tissues.
  • Discern changes in color, texture and shape of tissues. Ability to differentiate among subtle shades of gray as seen on radiographs.
  • Have sufficient physical ability to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the handling of a medical emergency.
  • Have sufficient communication (oral and/or written) ability to question the patient about his/her medical condition and to relay information about the patient to others in English.
  • Have sufficient manual dexterity with two hands to manipulate instruments with precision and control in the oral cavity without causing damage to tissues. This skill may not be fully evaluated until the preclinical portion of the curriculum.
  • Have a sense of touch that allows for assessment and palpation of oral tissues.
  • Sit for prolonged (up to four hours) periods of time.
  • Operate and manipulate mechanical equipment, e.g.: dials, switches, push buttons, syringes, and blood pressure measurement devices.
  • Pick up items of very small (2mm in width, 21 mm in length minimum) and varying diameters.
  • Use upper body movements (up to five feet) to grasp, push/pull, reach overhead equipment, and to rotate and reach laterally.
  • Lift, carry, and move equipment and supplies up to 10 pounds.
  • Wear protective equipment such as gloves, face masks, face shields, and protective eye wear.

Information about Selective Admissions programs

ED Gainful Employment Program Disclosure Information for Dental Assisting Certificate (DAC)

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