Jun 23, 2024  
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2021-22 
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2021-22 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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Dental Assisting

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Associate in Science

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.

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

Career and Transfer Outlook:

Typically, graduates gain employment in private and group dental practices. Entry-level salary is around $25 to $30 an hour. There is a high demand for qualified and credentialed dental assistants. In Massachusetts, dental assistants must be certified in radiology and be registered (licensed) 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 externships.
  • 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 required documentation of health status which 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. Directions on submission of the information is included in the admission package.
  • Prior  to entry 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.
  • Students are responsible for purchase of instruments, uniforms and professional textbooks.
  • Prior to entry into the program students must arrange for a minimum of 2 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. 

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.

Admission to Dental Assisting Associate Degree in Science

Required Course Prerequisites

  • Placement above or completion of MAT 080 or
    completion of Preparation for College Math
  • Completion of Dental Assisting Certificate Program

Required Grade



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 May 1. Applications received after the deadline date will be considered on a space-available basis.


Total Credits: 60-61

*Preparation for College Math will NOT satisfy this requirement.
** If math, Preparation for College Math will NOT satisfy this requirement.
♦ 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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