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Dental Assisting

Dental assistant is an in-demand career. The number of patients to treat is expected to increase due to many factors, including an aging baby boomer population, the desire to be healthy and keep teeth rather than have them pulled, and federal health regulations that provide dental coverage to those who may not have had access in the past.

What can I do in dental assisting?

These health care professionals assist in dental procedures, prepare and sterilize instruments and equipment, take X-rays and impressions, care for patients during and after treatment, and educate patients on good oral health. The dental assistant is really the dentist’s “right arm,” with varied job duties that may also include ordering supplies, scheduling appointments and answering telephones.

What characteristics and skills do I need to work in this field?

Dental assistants should have good organizational skills, since dentists rely on them to have the correct tools in place as well as help manage the office. They should also have strong interpersonal skills so they can communicate effectively with both the dentist and the patient, who may be in pain or fearful of treatment. Attention to detail is a must.

Where can I work?

Dental assistants work in general dental practices and specialty practices such as periodontics or pediatric dentistry. They may be employed to provide dental services for patients in hospitals, assisted living facilities, schools and public health clinics. Dental assistants may also work with insurance companies processing dental claims.

What does Trident Technical College offer?

TTC's Expanded Duty Dental Assisting program includes both general education and professional dental courses with hands-on learning. This program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Dental Assistant graduates are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board Exam to become a certified dental assistant.

Health Information

COVID-19 vaccines as well as other vaccines/immunizations/titers may be required for some health sciences programs in order to attend clinicals. Should immunizations and titers be required by a clinical affiliate and the student refuses to obtain the vaccines/immunizations/titers, this may impact the student’s ability to be assigned to certain clinical rotations, which may in turn impact the student’s ability to continue in the program.


The Expanded Duty Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of approval without reporting requirements. 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.

Program Goals:

Goal 1: Critical Thinking- Dental Hygiene graduates will be able to provide the dental hygiene process of care (assessment, dental hygiene diagnosis, planning, implementation, evaluation, documentation) by utilizing ccritical thinking, problem solving, and evidence-based decision making for all patients.

Goal 2: Quality and Safety- Dental Hygiene graduates will adhere to state and federal laws, recommendations, and regulations in providing quality dental hygiene care using safe and effective dental hygiene practice.

Goal 3: Communication- Dental Hygiene graduates will be able to communicate effectively with and deliver culturally competent, inter-professional dental care to individuals and groups from diverse populations.

Goal 4: Professionalism- Dental Hygiene graduates will be able to apply ethical, legal and regulatory concepts in all endeavors.

Goal 5: Life-Long Learning- Dental Hygiene graduates will continually perform self-assessment to maintain professional standards and encourage life-long learning.