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Dental Assisting Program Description

Dental Clinic 1Program Description

The Dental Assisting One Year Certificate trains individuals in a broad range of clinical and administrative skills such as preparing patients for dental exams and treatments, performing radiographic procedures, scheduling and appointment procedures, maintenance of medical records, performing basic front office skills, professional communication and public relations skills. The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Graduates are prepared for the Dental Assisting National Board and the Oregon Certification in Expanded Functions.

For details see:

Dental Assisting - One Year Certificate of Completion (Online Catalog)

Cost of program

In addition to standard tuition, student fees and textbooks, students should anticipate the following estimated program costs:

  • Fee of $167 per laboratory course (or $668 total for the year) while enrolled in the Dental Assisting cohort
  • Materials (scrubs with COCC Dental Assisting patch, goggles, $50
  • National Board exams, $1000 total
  • Fees associated with immunizations, $220, and CPR card, $20-$60
  • Criminal History Check, $75
  • Drug Screen, $45
  • Immunization Tracking: $10

Program Enrollment Information

The Dental Assisting One Year Certificate cohort starts each fall. Enrollment is first-come, first-served for the first 24 students who have completed program preparation and prerequisites. Priority registration is given to currently enrolled certificate/degree-seeking students who have completed the highest number of credits at COCC.

Registration Information

Program (DA) courses begin once per year in fall term. Students wishing to register in the fall Dental Assisting cohort must meet the basic prerequisite competencies and may register according to seat availability on a first-come, first-served basis, determined by the priority registration schedule. After successful registration into the Dental Assisting Program, DA courses must be taken together and sequentially. Please see the Dental Assisting Program Requirements for more information or contact the program director and/or CAP Services.

The Dental Assisting program does not have a selective admissions process. However, students wishing to register in the fall DA cohort must meet the basic prerequisite competencies and may register according to seat availability on a first-come, first-served basis as determined by the priority registration schedule.

Transfer information

The Dental Assisting program is designed for students planning to enter their chosen career upon graduation. Often only selected credits are considered transferable to public or private baccalaureate institutions.

Policy on Course Transferability

All prerequisite courses for the Dental Assisting Program (14-19 credits), and 12 credits of courses taken with a DA prefix, will transfer toward an Associates of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree (AAOT). For the Associate of General Studies Degree, all prerequisite courses and all courses taken with a DA prefix will transfer toward the AGS degree. For transferability of DA prefix courses to other colleges, the college of interest would need to be contacted to determine what is accepted.

Program Standards

Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA while enrolled in the Program (DA) courses; students who do not meet this standard will be dismissed from the program.

National/state legal eligibility or unique requirements for licensure and/or entry into occupation, or advancement in the occupation

  • The Dental Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). This accreditation requires that students complete 300 hours of practicum (internship) in a minimum of two different dental offices. Some dental offices require that students successfully complete a criminal background check.
  • Dental Assisting students can earn a CDA certificate with the successful completion of these three Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exams: Infection Control Exam (ICE), Radiation Health and Safety Exam (RHS) and General Chairside Exam (GC).
  • Dental Assisting students can become an EFDA by: obtaining a certificate of completion from COCC, passing the written RHS exam, completing the proficiency exam in Dental Radiology, and submitting the required fee.
  • In Oregon, a dental assistant must have a Radiology Certificate to take dental radiographs. This certificate is obtained by passing the RHS written exam and completing a proficiency exam, which includes submitting a diagnostic full set of radiographs.
  • An EFDA in Oregon can also be certified to perform the following functions by taking courses approved by the Oregon Board of Dentistry: place dental sealants, reline dentures, place retraction cord, and place dental restorations (alloy and resin).
  • Prior to taking any DANB exams, students must answer background information questions concerning felony convictions, regulatory board discipline, ethical violations at an educational institution, and mental competence. For more information, see