Dental Assisting: Certificate (3200)
Do you have an interest in human biology, science and oral health? Are you passionate about helping or caring for others and enjoy working in a team environment? Do you have strong communication skills and good eye-hand coordination? If so, then our Dental Assisting Certificate Program may be a great fit.
What can I do with this in the workforce?
With your certificate, you may be employed as a chairside assistant in a variety of dental offices, including:
- General practice
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Graduates may also find employment as a laboratory technician or in the dental insurance field as a dental supply representative. You will also be prepared to take the Dental Assisting National Board examination in order to achieve the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) designation.
You would be a good fit for this program and career path if you:
- Enjoy people
- Can empathize with individuals
- Pay close attention to details and are well organized
- Describe yourself as a team player with solid communication skills
What is the average salary?
Explore YOUR career with Career Coach! Career Coach is a helpful tool that will assist you in developing a path from your education to the job market. With Career Coach, you can find:
- Average hourly wages
- Information about possible careers of interest through a variety of search options
- Discover what occupations are in demand within the region you select
- Number of individuals currently employed within that occupation
- Anticipated number of job openings available – just to name a few!
Federal regulations require that the college disclose specific gainful employment information about our program. This link will provide you with information on program costs, job placement rates and completion and median loan debt.
Begin exploring your options now!
What is HACC’s program like?
You will gain the knowledge and skills to assist with dental treatments and help others maintain their oral health. You will learn how to perform procedures, process radiographs and more! You’ll be ready to be a key member of a dental team, performing chairside and laboratory procedures and other office duties. Our curriculum allows you to spend a total of 320-hours working in a variety of dental office settings where you can be exposed to all aspects of dental practice.
Our program is selective, which means you need to meet the College’s admissions requirements along with specific requirements of this program to be enrolled into it. The following components must be completed and paid by you prior to starting the clinical portion of our program:
- Background checks
- CPR certification
- Drug and alcohol screens
- Physical examination and immunizations
Also, our program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (CoDA), which is a specialized accrediting body of the U.S. Department of Education. It is the only dental assisting program in Central Pennsylvania to hold this accreditation. It means that you do not need to complete 3,500 hours of work as a dental assistant after graduation before qualifying to take the general chairside component of the Dental Assisting National Board certification exam. This accreditation allows you to immediately register for and take the general chairside component of the Dental Assisting National Board certification exam.
Our highly-trained professors will prepare you for the workforce by teaching you:
- Legal provisions regarding Pennsylvania Dental Law
- Procedures that dental assistants legally can perform on a clinical competence level. They teach all other procedures on a laboratory competence level.
- Skills to prepare for the Dental Assisting National Board examination to achieve the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) designation. To receive the CDA designation, you must have a current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) registration. You must also graduate from an accredited institution.
Upon completion of the program, you will have the skills you need to:
- Accurately collect diagnostic and treatment data and record the information into a dental chart/record
- Effectively perform infection control and hazard control protocols
- Communicate professionally and effectively with patients, employers and colleagues
- Perform basic chair side skills needed in a general or specialty dental office
- Perform basic supportive, laboratory and administrative procedures required for various dental environments
- Correctly expose, process and mount radiographs
- Perform procedures within the legal and ethical frameworks of the dental assisting profession
What classes will I take?
- Browse our advising checksheet (pdf), which is also an excellent tool to help you personalize your course load each term and manage your overall advancement through our programs.
- View summaries of every course at HACC by browsing our class schedules database.
- Review our program guide (pdf) to view a list of required courses, recommended course sequencing and program competencies.
Can I transfer my credits to a four-year college or university?
Upon completing your certificate, you can continue your education and earn an associate degree at HACC! Our healthcare programs, among others, may be of interest.
When you complete your associate degree, you can transfer your credits to a four-year school if you wish.
Where can I complete this program?
You can complete the entire program, including the clinical portion, at our Harrisburg Campus.
Does HACC offer scholarships?
Yes! Thanks to the HACC Foundation, scholarships are available. Please visit hacc.edu/scholarships for details and to apply.
When can I apply?
You can enroll in classes in the spring, summer and fall. To apply anytime, please visit our website. When enrolling into our dental assisting program, you must apply to the non-clinical component of the program first. Therefore, please use the pre-dental assisting program code 320P to ensure you apply to your intended program.
How can I learn more?
To learn more about our certificate program and admission requirements, please contact an admissions counselor, visit the health careers section of our website or email Melinda Eash. We look forward to speaking with you!