May 16, 2022  
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2013-14 
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2013-14 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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Dental Assisting

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Associate in Science

Accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association/Lowell Campus - Day, Starts Fall Semester Only


Program Description:

The Dental Assisting Associate in Science degree program provides the skills and knowledge necessary to assist at chairside in the dental environment. The program prepares students to perform clinical supportive procedures, some clinical procedures on patients (such as oral-health instruction), to perform laboratory procedures, and basic office procedures. Students also gain knowledge into the legal provisions and regulations pertinent to the Massachusetts Dental Practice Act and dental auxiliary utilization. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board exam (DANB), which awards the credential of Certified Dental Assistant. The program emphasizes hands-on learning in small clinical and lab settings, as well as through the externship experience and Service-Learning activities.

Career and Transfer Outlook:

Typically, graduates gain employment in private and group dental practices. Entry-level salary is around $16 to $20 an hour. There is a high demand for qualified and credentialed dental assistants. In Massachusetts, dental assistants must be certified in radiology and in infection control and be registered with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry in order to be employed.

Helpful Hints:

Students should consider taking many of their general education/non-dental courses prior to entry into the Dental Assisting program in the fall. 

Program Outcomes:

Graduates of the Dental Assisting program are prepared to:

  • Enter the workforce as an entry-level dental assistant with the knowledge and technical skills needed to be successful while assisting in any dental environment, emergency or otherwise;
  • Communicate professionally and effectively with patients, employers and colleagues;
  • Accurately record dental/medical data into a dental record and/or chart;
  • Provide care with empathy for patients;
  • Practice within the legal and ethical frameworks of the dental assisting profession and the Massachachusetts Dental Practice Act;
  • Accept responsibility for professional growth by participating in continuing education and membership in the American Dental Assistants Association.

Requirements After Admission to Dental Assisting

  • Students must have transportation available to them for travel to the program’s internships.
  • Students must submit the Student Health Record form, provided by Middlesex Community College, to the Center for Health & Wellness. Required documentation of health status includes a completed physical examination, a Mantoux test for tuberculosis, a color deficiency test, and proof of immunization against Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus/Diphtheria (within last ten years) and one lifetime dose of Tdap (after 2006), Hepatitis B and Varicella. Students born in the United States before January 1, 1957 will be considered immune to Measles, Mumps and Rubella and exempt from the MMR vaccine requirement. Students born in the United States before January 1, 1980 and enrolled in a health care program will not be considered immune to Varicella (chicken pox) and are not exempt from the Varicella requirement.
  • Earn and submit a current certification in CPR at the Health Care Provider-level (offered monthly at MCC)  which is valid for the entire academic year and renewed annually.
  • Students are responsible for purchase of instruments, uniforms and professional textbooks.
  • Students must arrange for a patient to be present for clinical courses when required.
  • In order for a student to be eligible to participate in an academic, community or clinical program that involves potential unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, the elderly, or other vulnerable populations, the student may be required to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check and/or a Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check. 

Standard/Technical Skills Notice:

To view a list of standard and/or technical skills required for performing duties in various health career fields, visit the Middlesex Community College Health Division website ( or the Student Information Centers. These skills are not conditions for admission to MCC programs, but do indicate abilities and characteristics necessary for successful completion of college Health programs, and to perform the duties of the career upon graduation.

Admission to Dental Assisting Associate Degree in Science

Required Course Prerequisites

  • High school or college general mathematics
  • High school or college biology

Required Grade


Required Testing

  • Current scores on the college placement test that show readiness for ENG 071, and a reading score of 68. Students are also required to take the math placement test to determine appropriate placement for the math requirements in the program. Testing must be completed before  admission and within one year of the application deadline.

Required Documents

  • Admission Application
  • Dental Assisting Admission Requirements Certification Form

Admission Notes

  • Preference is given to Massachusetts residents.
  • Students applying to Dental Assisting are required to have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.


  • Priority consideration is given to applications, including all requirements, received by March 1. Applications received after the deadline date will be considered on a space-available basis.


Total Credits: 63

*Preparation for College Math will NOT satisfy this requirement, unless Modules 1-12 have been completed.
** If math, preparation for College Math will NOT satisfy this requirement, unless Modules 1-12 have been completed.
♦ Fulfills the Core Curriculum

*Special Requirements for Dental Assisting Degree and Certificate: In order to continue in the Dental Assisting program, students must have a grade of “C” or better in all dental courses. Additional coursework may be required based on college placement testing. Students are urged to meet with their academic advisor for proper course sequencing. Science courses being applied to this program must have been completed within 5 years of entering the program.

Students enrolled in the Dental Assisting program must demonstrate a satisfactory level of performance in clinical settings in order to remain in the program.

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