Jun 12, 2024  
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2019-20 
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2019-20 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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Dental Assisting Certificate

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 Lowell Campus - Day, Starts Fall Semester Only

Program Description:

The Dental Assisting Certificate 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 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 internship experience and Service-Learning activities.

Accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.

Career and Transfer Outlook:

Typically, graduates find employment in private and group dental practices. Entry-level salary is currently around $17 to $22 an hour. There is a high demand for qualified and credentialed dental assistants. In Massachusetts, dental assistants must be certified in radiology in order to take X-rays at their place of employment and be registered (licensed) with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry in order to be employed. Many graduates of the certificate program return to Middlesex and apply all credits previously earned to the associate degree program.

Gainful Employment Disclosure Information:

In accordance with Federal regulations, Middlesex Community College discloses information about student costs, tuitions, fees and employment statistics to various governing bodies to ensure certification and oversight.

See: Gainful Employment Information


 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.

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 (www.middlesex.mass.edu) 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.

Program Outcomes:

Graduates of the Dental Assisting Certificate 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 Massachusetts Dental Practice Act;

  • Accept responsibility for professional growth by participating in continuing education and membership in the American Dental Assistants Association.

Total Credits: 36


*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 upon 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.

Admission Information


Required Admission Prerequisites

  • Eligible for ENG 101;  eligibility may be demonstrated through placement, current enrollment, or previous college coursework
  • Eligible for Math Module 80;  eligibility may be demonstrated through placement, current enrollment, or previous college coursework

Attendance at a mandatory Dental Assisting Program Information Session.


Required Documents: Admission Application and 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. 

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

Requirements After Admission to Dental Assisting:

Students must have transportation available to them for travel to the program’s internships.

Students accepted to Health Programs must be in compliance with the current immunization requirements specified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for Health Care Personnel (HCP) and in accordance with state law, MGL, Chapter 76, Section 15C, and its regulations at 105 CMR 220.700 in order to participate in an externship placement or clinical experience.

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 two-step Mantoux (TB/PPD) skin test or blood test (T-Spot or Quantiferon Gold) for tuberculosis, a color deficiency test, proof of immunization against Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, Varicella, and one lifetime dose of TDAP (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Acellular Pertussis - after 2006).

Prior to enrolling into the program, students must earn and submit a current certification in CPR at the Health Care Provider-level (offered monthly at MCC) which is valid for the entire program and renewed annually.  Students are responsible for purchase of instruments, uniforms and professional textbooks. Students must arrange for a minimum of two patients 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.


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