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Try SFCC’s Dental Program… Polish your skills with SFCC’s Dental Program and you’ll soon be working alongside a dentist to help give people a beautiful, healthy smile. The certificate program is designed to get you to work quickly after just 10 months of concentrated study.

  1. Start with a Certificate in Dental Assisting. Then choose to continue your education to earn an Associate in Applied Science in Dental Health, which puts you on the path towards a career in Dental Hygiene or Dentistry. You’ll learn about clinical procedures, dental materials, radiography, and dental sciences.
  2. You can advance your technical dental assisting/ auxiliary skills by completing this short Certificate in Advanced Dental Assisting Skills.
  3. Applicants for the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Dental Health program must complete the Dental Core requirements from an ADA accredited Dental Assisting certificate program. They may complete the General Core Requirements either before, during or after the Dental Core requirements.
  4. You can take courses to become an Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary and get certified to work under the direct supervision of a New Mexico dentist and be an active part of patient treatment. Plus, as an EFDA, you’re eligible for a higher salary! Learn more about our Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary program, the job, and its requirements.
  5. SFCC’s Dental Program also offers courses to help prepare for the national certification exam for dental assistant and continuing education (CE) credits for dental professionals.

Important Note:
The dental curriculum follows a block system; courses are arranged in clusters and must be taken as co-requisites by dental assisting certificate cohort, except where notified.

To pursue this career, an applicant will need the following skills and essential functions:

Oral & Written Expression Oral Comprehension Quick decision-making
Physical stamina Speech Recognition Speech Clarity
Active Learning Instructing/ ordering Time Management
Measure vital signs Reading Comprehension Work under stress
Equipment Selection Data recording/reporting Critical thinking
Active Listening Self-directed Math skills
Coordination Human behavior skills Color recognition
Arm-Hand Steadiness Assessment/evaluation Visual Sensitivity
Finger Dexterity Social Skills Problem Sensitivity



To promote student growth and success through the knowledge and skills required to achieve their goals in Dental Healthcare. (Rev. 08/2017)


The Santa Fe Community College Dental department is an effective and efficient teaching/learning department, as a leader in fulfilling its community’s dream in allied dental health care. (08/2017)

Dental Dept. Goals:

  • Provide students with technical/occupational education and training in preparation for employment in Dental Health Care
  • Provide continuing education programs for dental health personnel
  • Advise and encourage students to pursue career paths in advanced dental education programs
  • Improve student retention to help them in the completion of the requirements for national and state dental board certification(s).


Complete the Following Prior to Applying for the Dental Program

  1. Enroll as an SFCC student (if you are not already an SFCC student). Visit the Registration & Application page.
  2. Receive SFCC ID number and SFCC email address. Check your email address to make sure it is functioning properly and contact Office of Information Technology (OIT) if you have questions.
  3. If you have attended other colleges/universities, have all transcripts sent to the SFCC Record’s Office and allow time for processing. Please contact them to confirm the transfer of credits.
  4. Check your record in MySFCC to make sure the courses (the minimum required courses) are shown with the course numbers. If you took a similar course that did not transfer over exactly as the SFCC required a course, contact the SFCC Records Office. If the request is approved then the transfer coursework will appear on your SFCC transcript, which can be viewed through MySFCC.
  5. Please visit the Welcome and Advising Center (WAC) about “First Year Experience” (if you are a first-time college student).
  6. Please visit the Financial Aid/ Scholarship office to learn about the opportunities for financial support.
  7. Please schedule an appointment with Cahalan Fiddes- Advisor School of Sciences, Health, Engineering, and Math.
  8. Next, schedule an appointment with the Dental Program Director and learn more about Dental Assisting and other Careers in Dentistry.
  9. It is your responsibility to check your SFCC account regularly. You will be notified of the date, time, and what courses to register for in the program, after your completed dental program application is received and reviewed by the Dental Program.
  10. NOTE: Individuals who have been convicted of a felony may not be eligible for licensure in the healthcare field. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact the licensing board of the state where he/she plans to seek licensure to verify eligibility for licensure prior to making an application to the program.
  11. RISK STATEMENT: All individuals interested in pursuing a career in Dental Healthcare should be aware that the dental field does have some risk of occupational hazards. The nature of the occupation could involve contact with infectious diseases (such as bloodborne pathogens), including AIDS and Hepatitis. All students admitted to the program will receive proper instruction in standard precautions and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of blood and body fluid exposures. Applicants must also know about COVID-19 and dentistry.
  12. FYI… Dental Department Policies and Procedures

Application submission

Applications will be accepted now through April 15, 2017, or when the class is full. Qualified applicants are registered based on a point grading system and a face-to-face interview, and in the case of a tie, first come, first served. Registration will close when the quota of 18 students is met. After the deadline, please contact the office about availability.

Items to be submitted with the Application Packet:

  1. Copy of unofficial transcript (Official transcripts must be submitted to the Records Office)
  2. Copy of ACCUPLACER/ SAT/ ACT/ AP scores for English and math (where applicable). To take the placement test, please visit the Testing Center page.
  3. Copy of current CPR-BLS certification (front and back).
  4. Copy of current vaccination record (including- Hepatitis B vaccination proof or declination form)
  5. Proof of TB Testing (What is TB testing?)
  6. Fit for Duty Form.

Students are selected through a committee review (Dental Director, Faculty, Staff). Letters of acceptance are mailed/emailed to the applicants after acceptance in the program

International Applicants: Please follow the International student applicant procedure. For degree/ credits equivalency, please contact AACRAO- American Association of Collegiate, Registrars and Admissions Officers;


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 25 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. It states, “Ongoing research linking oral health and general health will likely continue to increase the demand for preventative dental services.” National estimate for dental assistant’s mean wage is: $14.62- $21.72


Student Outcomes: 

Exam Name
Results 2019
Results 2018
Results 2017
DAST (Required only if applying for NM license)



(10 out of 11 attempted and pass)


(6 out of 6 attempted and pass)


(9 out of 10 attempted and pass)

DAST (Not required in NM)


 NA  100%

(1 out of 1)

 EFDA (Required to pass Board Exam)


 100%  100%  100%


DAST Certificate: 

Academic Year 2018-19
Academic Year 2017-18
Academic Year 2016-17
Retention Rate  83.3% (15/18)

1 relocated

1 changed mind

1 dropped for conduct

88.8%  (16/18)

2 changed mind

 93.7% ( 15/16)

1 changed mind

Graduation Rate  100% (15/15) expected  75% (12/16)  93.3% (14/15)
Job Placement Rate  Graduating on July 26, 2019

50% offered job

5 accepted jobs to work after graduation.

Others are continuing education (1 plans to continue to dental school)

 75% (9/12)

Others are continuing education

 86.6% (13/14)

Others are continuing education



The dental assisting program offered by Santa Fe Community College was initiated in 2002. SFCC’s dental assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

NOTE: SFCC Policy 2-3: Student Concerns and Complaints Form

SFCC’s Expanded Functions Dental Auxiliary program is approved by the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care.

Third Party Comments

The ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation is scheduled to visit the SFCC Dental Assisting Program on November 9-10, 2017.

Third-party comments by faculty, students, program administrators, Commission consultants, specialty & Dental related organizations, patients, and/or consumers are welcomed. The comments must pertain only to the standards for SFCC Dental Assisting Program or policies and procedures used in the Commission’s accreditation process. The copy of appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission’s policy on third-party comments may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, or by calling 1/800- 621-8099 Ext 4653

Institution: Santa Fe Community College

Program: Dental Assisting

Site Visit Date: Nov 9-10, 2017 (Next site visit: 2024)

The 60-day deadline for receipt of comments in the Commission office: September 11, 2017

For more information please call Dr. Aamna Nayyar at (505) 428-1258 or visit



I solemnly pledge that, in the practice of my profession, I will always be loyal to the welfare of the patients who come under my care, and to the interest of the practitioner whom I serve. I will be just and generous to the members of my profession, aiding them and lending them encouragement to be loyal, to be just, and to be studious. I hereby devote my best energies to the service of humanity in that relationship of life to which I consecrated myself when I elected to become a Dental assistant. ~Dr. C. N. Johnson

Career Opportunities

  • Chair-side dental assistant
  • Dental office manager
  • Representative for Dental insurance companies
  • Dental research project assistant
  • Independent consultant for dental office management
  • Instructor in Dental assisting program
  • Dental laboratory assistant
  • Maxillo-facial assistant in hospitals
  • Implant Coordinator
  • Learn more about careers in dentistry at


  • Private Dental Clinics
  • Community Dental Clinics
  • Academic Dental Programs
  • County/ State/ Federal Dental Health Departments
  • District/ State/ National/ International Dental Agencies or Associations
  • American Dental Association
  • American Dental Assistant Association
  • NM Dental Assistant Association
  • Dental Research Projects
  • ETC.


  • infection control practices
  • Lab and chairside techniques
  • Legal and ethical knowledge
  • Managing staff, office processes and quality assurance
  • Compassion, empathy and sensitivity to cultural diversity
  • Attention to detail