Dental Assistant

The Dental Assistant program offers technical training to persons who want to work in dental offices or clinics. The program prepares its graduates for employment in dentistry by emphasizing current concepts in clinical dental assisting, developing proper work ethics, particularly in regard to accuracy, safety, conduct on the job, and recognizing the value of continuing education.

The Dental Assistant program has special admission requirements and enrollment limits. One class of limited size is accepted fall term. (See Special Admissions Programs in the “How to Get Started – Admissions” section of the catalog.) Students unable to meet the required competency level may be advised of other alternatives. All dental assisting classes and supportive classes are presented in a specific sequence. Students must complete these with a C or better to remain in the program.

The program was designed to allow students to take the Infection Control Examination administered by DANB at the end of the fall term, when the Infection Control class requirements have been completed successfully.

Prior to beginning the Dental Assistant program, students must provide proof of initiation of the hepatitis B vaccination series, MMR vaccination, and a negative tuberculin test.

The program is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education. Graduating students are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board Examination, and the Radiation Health and Safety, and General Chairside Examination. Successful graduates receive a Dental Assisting Certificate and are eligible to apply for the Oregon Expanded Function and Radiological Proficiency Certificates.


Clinical and expanded function experience is gained utilizing individual stations with anatomical mannequins. Three fully equipped radiology rooms, darkroom processing, and digital radiography equipment are available for the student to acquire competence in exposing and developing radiographs. Practical experience is gained during the summer term when the student is placed in general practice and specialty offices in Linn and Benton counties.