Certificate in Dental Assisting

This program prepares students to enter the dental profession as entry-level dental assistants. A dental assistant, under the supervision of a dentist, assists chair-side, performs laboratory procedures, exposes and processes dental radiographs, and performs receptionist and secretarial duties. Program completion enables students to take the national board exam and to obtain certification in expanded duty functions as specified by the state of New Mexico.

The Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

As a requirement for admission to the program, students must place into ENGL 109 or higher with appropriate ACCUPLACER score or transfer documentation and must hold a current BLS-CPR certificate.

Learning Outcomes


Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Produce quality dental radiographs.
  • Demonstrate the methods for infection control.
  • Demonstrate the skills required in assisting in the application of dental fluorides.
  • Demonstrate the skills required in assisting in the application of coronal polishing.
  • Demonstrate the skills required in assisting in the application of dental sealants.
  • Demonstrate the general chair-side skills required of a dental assistant.
  • Demonstrate the skills required in performing additional state-approved expanded functions, such as taking impressions, application of surface anesthesia, and others.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills pertaining to legal and ethical issues related to dentistry.
  • Demonstrate the skills required for management of a dental practice, including managing staff, record-keeping, inventory, payroll, billing and quality assurance.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of public health education, including regarding the prevalence and incidence of dental disease.
  • Demonstrate compassion, empathy and sensitivity to patients of different cultural backgrounds.

Class Requirements


ENGL 109      English Review (4)

Current BLS-CPR certificate


ENGL 111      Composition and Rhetoric (3)


ENGL 119      Professional Communication (3)


DAST 121      Dental Assisting I (2)

DAST 122      Dental Materials (2)

DAST 122L    Dental Materials (1)

DAST 123      Dental Radiography I (2)*

DAST 123L    Dental Radiography I Lab (1)

DAST 124      Dental Sciences I (3)

DAST 125      Clinical Procedures I (2)

DAST 125L    Clinical Procedures I Lab (1)

DAST 131      Dental Sciences II (4)*

DAST 133      Practice Management (2)

DAST 134      Clinical Procedures II (2)*

DAST 134L    Clinical Procedures II Lab (2)

DAST 141      Dental Education Issues (1)

DAST 193      Dental Practicum I (2)

DAST 222      Community Dental Health (2)

DAST 293      Dental Practicum II (5)

*These courses qualify certificate recipients for expanded duty functions as recognized by the state of New Mexico Board of Dental Health.



OFTC 111      Business Software Essentials I (4)

DAST 295A    Preparation for Radiation Health and Safety Exam (1)

DAST 295B    Preparation for Infection Control
Exam (1)

DAST 295C    General Chair-side Review (1)

DAST 296      Fluoride, Coronal Polishing and Sealants Review (1)

PSYC 130      Applied Health Psychology (3)


NOTE: See First-Year Student Success Course Requirement on Page 8.