The Dental Assisting program is designated as a Health Manpower Shortage Program; therefore, some residents of Maryland enrolled in this program of study on the first day of the term may be eligible for in-county tuition rates for courses required for program completion.
Purpose: The purpose of the Dental Assisting Program is to provide a program of study for students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to become an integral and qualified member of the dental team. This program, accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, also prepares students to sit for the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam or the Maryland General Dental Assisting Expanded Functions (MDG) and Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exams, all administered by Dental Assistant National Board (DANB).
Curriculum: The curriculum is divided into several areas of study and consists of lecture, laboratory and clinical experience. Emphasis is placed on the knowledge and skills of the dental assistant to meet the needs of other members of the dental team and the needs of dental patients.
Program Outcomes: Graduates of the Dental Assistant Certificate Program will be able to:
- Provide appropriate patient care with respect for diverse cultures, values and beliefs.
- Perform the clinical laboratory and administrative skills of a dental assistant in a variety of dental environments.
- Practice within the legal and ethical boundaries of the dental assisting profession.
- Demonstrate effective asepsis and infection control procedures.
- Perform radiographic techniques in a variety of dental environments.
- Understand fully the range of diversity in the dental profession and demonstrate a working knowledge of the differences in these specialties.
- Delineate and describe the various dental practices and explain a dental assistant’s scope of practice per each specialty.
- Demonstrate effective communication skills with patients and other members of the dental team.
- Participate as an integral member of the dental team.
- Participate in life-long learning activities that promote professional growth and development.
- Sit for the Maryland General Dental Assisting Expanded Function (MGD) exam and the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam, both administered by the Dental Assistant National Board (DANB).
Admission Requirements: Admission to HCC does not guarantee admission to the Dental Assisting Program. The requirements below must be completed and submitted to the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Management before the first day of class.
- Official transcripts from all colleges attended
- College placement tests in mathematics, English and reading
- Completion of and ENG 099 , or satisfactory results on placement tests
- A minimum cumulative grade point average for all college coursework of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Foreign education students must have their college and high school transcripts evaluated by World Education Services (WES)
Students will be admitted to the dental assisting program each summer. The dental assisting program is limited to 24 students. This limit is based upon available lab space and externship sites.
Program Requirements: All dental assisting students must:
- Receive a minimum grade of 75 percent in each dental assisting course
- Meet program competency requirements for both the dental lab and externship experiences
Students who receive a final mark of unsatisfactory in the dental laboratory or externship experience, despite a passing theory grade, will not be permitted to progress in the dental assisting program and will receive a final grade of “F” for the course.
Students who do not meet program or course standards that result from termination from the dental assisting program by the College are not eligible for readmission to the program. This includes students who cannot meet safety standards and students who violate the college’s Honor Code and Standards of Conduct, the dental assisting program’s Standards of Conduct and the American Dental Association’s Principle of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.
Over the course of the Dental Assisting program, students may be required to participate in enhanced dental-related activities, which are determined by the Program Coordinator.
An orientation session will be held prior to the beginning of the first semester of the dental assisting program. Attendance is mandatory.
Students who are considering Pennsylvania employment upon program completion should visit www.dos.state.pa.us/dent.