Dental Assistant, Continuing Education Workforce Certificate

​Dental Assistants work in dental offices assisting dentists in providing services to patients. The majority of the work is performed for procedures that include development of impressions, assisting with treatment such as fillings and root canals, and preparation of patient operatory. They may assist in reception and scheduling duties, sterilization of instruments, cleaning and disinfection of operatories, exposing radiographs, and other duties. Hours are generally standard daytime with some evening and weekend flexibility depending on the facility.  This program trains you to become a member of a dental team developing impressions, assisting with fillings and root canals and preparing patients for procedures.  In addition dental assistants often assist with reception and scheduling duties, sterilization of equipment and oral radiography.  As a participant students will be trained to demonstrate clinical competencies of a Radiation Health Technologist, learn how to function safely and efficiently as a member of the dental team under the supervision of the dentist, communicate effectively with patients and dental team members, and exhibit legal and ethical behavior which adheres to professional conduct standards for dentistry.

Prospective students should be detail oriented, demonstrate dexterity (good at working with hands), interpersonal skills, listening skills, and organizational skills.  ​According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment the number of dental assistants has been projected to grow 8% from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. 56,400 openings for dental assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Program objectives

Upon successful completion of this Continuing Education Workforce Certificate, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate clinical competencies of an entry level Dental Assistant,
  2. function safely and efficiently as a member of the dental team under the supervision of the dentist,
  3. communicate effectively with patients and dental team members, and
  4. exhibit legal and ethical behavior which adheres to professional conduct standards for dentistry.

CCBC Pathway

Health Professions Pathway.  Pathways are designed to help you meet your academic and career goals by aligning related courses and programs.  Pathway students participate in a variety of activities that help explore career opportunities in their field of study.  You can meet with a CCBC advisor who help align — or realign — your educational plan with the Pathway that best supports you and your goals.

Program Credentials

Successful Completion

Students will be awarded a Continuing Education Workforce Certificate, and will have access to a Continuing Education academic record (transcript).  Students will be eligible to take the DANB Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) Exam, as well as the Infection Control Exam (ICE),  and Anatomy Morphology & Physiology Exam (AMP).  Collectively, the mentioned certifications would allow candidates to obtain the National Entry Level Dental Assisting certification (NELDA) as well as be prepared to gain an entry level dental assistant position.

Certifying Organization:

Dental Assistant National Board (DANB) www.danb.org    

Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners

https://health.maryland.gov/dental/Pages/home.aspx

Following successful completion of the Dental Assistant program, students may complete advanced training by enrolling in the Maryland General Expanded Functions course (conditions apply, see the Maryland General Expanded Functions listing for more details); as well as the Orthodontic Expanded Functions course (conditions apply, see the Orthodontic Expanded Functions listing for more details).

Financial Aid and Payment Options

We offer financial aid by packaging public and private funding options to those who qualify, in select Continuing Education courses and programs. Additional opportunities for financial support include partial payment options through Nelnet Business Solutions and tuition waivers for those who qualify. Resources outside of CCBC may also be available through employer/sponsor paid tuition,  the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), and your local office of workforce development.

Program Length

16-24 weeks

Dental courses are offered at CCBC Dundalk and CCBC Randallstown.

Program Requirements

Orientation Session - Mandatory:

Following successful completion of AHL 870 (Anatomy, Morphology, & Physiology), students are required to register for AHL 184 (Dental Assisting Application course) contact CEHealth@ccbcmd.edu for upcoming sessions.

Requirements:

Prospective students must complete AHL870 (Anatomy, Morphology and Physiology (AMP)) Online prior to enrolling in the program.

All students must be computer literate and have Internet access.  Students are required to use Brightspace (an online Learning Management System) to complete assignments and assessments in the course. 

Students must have the following paperwork turned in two weeks PRIOR to the start of the program:

  • High School Diploma or GED (self reported to DANB)
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • All other documents provided/submitted via Brightspace

This program is eligible for Baltimore County Public School Blueprint funding.

Prior Learning Assessment

This program has potential options for waving select courses based on previous coursework or articulated coursework from an approved curriculum.  A maximum of seven program hours may be earned from prior learning.

Application Process

To apply, go to www.ccbcmd.edu/apply and complete the CCBC Continuing Education Workforce Certificate application.  An email will then be sent with program information and any additional requirements necessary to apply for the program.

Provisional Entry: Students must first complete AHL 870 (Anatomy, Morphology & Physiology) prior to enrolling in AHL 870 (Dental Assistant Application Course). This is an asynchronous online information session. Registration info will be sent from program area.

Program Course Sequence

Prerequisite (Must be completed prior to enrolling in AHL184 Dental Assistant Application Course in order to apply for the program):

Course Number

Course Title

Course Hours 

   Textbook Information

(approximate cost; subject to change)**

Costs

T=Tuition/F=Fees

AHL275

or

AHL870

Anatomy, Morphology and Physiology (AMP) for Dental Assisting

or

Anatomy, Morphology and Physiology (AMP) for Dental Assisting (online)

30

Bird & Robinson Modern Dental Assisting 13th Edition; ISBN 978-0-323-62485-5 $140.00 (same as AHL938)

$329

T-$99/F-$230

Course Sequence:

Course Number

Course Title

Course Hours 

   Textbook Information

(approximate cost; subject to change)**

Costs

T=Tuition/F=Fees

AHL140  

Essential Skills for the Healthcare Professional

20 

Handouts online

$179

T-$54/F-$125

AHE805  

CPR for Healthcare Providers

7

Textbook provided on the first day of class; price included in course costs.

$109

T-$33/F-$76

AHL93​8  

Dental Assistant Oral Radiography

90

Bird & Robinson Modern Dental Assisting 13th Edition; ISBN 978-0-323-62485-5 $140.00 (same as AHL275 or AHL870)

Bartolomucci Boyd Dental Instruments 7th Edition; ISBN 978-0-323-67243-6; $55.95

Dental Radiography Principles and Techniques; published by Elsevier; 6th Edition; ISBN 978-0-323-69550-3; $94.95

$ 2,089

T-$627/F-$1,462

Course Series Totals:

 

147

$290.90

$2,377

T-$714/F-$1,663

Course Series and Prerequisite Totals:   177 $290.90

$2,706

T-$813/F-$1,893

Additional Information

Course Substitutions:
CPR for Healthcare Providers (AHE805) can be substituted with current AHA BLS Provider certification (must be completed within the last year).

Course Waiver for CCBC LEAP Students:

For students who have completed CCBC's LEAP program, Essential Skills may be waiver if the students has successfully completed ADS158 Career and Employment Readiness, ADS781 Applying Skills to the Workplace, and PDV145 Academic/Life MGMT/Comp/Lit?job/Read/Soft Skill.

Career Opportunities:​​​
Entry level dental assistant position. Students who have completed the Dental Assistant program courses have the option to register for AHL 196 (Dental Assisting Externship Part I) and AHL 197 (Dental Assisting Externship Part II) an unpaid dental externship in order to get hands-on experience in a dental office.  Students may also enroll in AHL 754 (Maryland General Expanded Functions Online) following succesful competion of AHL 938 (Dental Assistant/Oral Radiography) and securing employing in a General Dental Practice or Facility. Contact Cehealth@ccbcmd.edu or the Dental Assistant Program Director for more information.

Additional Expenses:
Expenses beyond the cost of tuition, fees, and books include any costs associated with medical paperwork ( Dr. appointment, vaccinations) scrubs, exam fees (up to $400), and miscellaneous supplies—approximately $500.

Skills for Success:
See Technical Standards at the end of this document.

Career Coach

Research your career interests, explore live job postings, take a career assessment, discover which companies in the Baltimore region are hiring, and more.  View a brief tutorial video on how to use Career Coach at https://youtu.be/C7KpznbPYfA.  Explore career and training opportunities at https://ccbcmd.emsicc.com/.

Program Contact Information

For more information email CEHealth@ccbcmd.edu

Technical Standards

Technical Standards for CCBC'S Dental Assistant Training Series
The primary goal of The Community College of Baltimore County's Dental Assistant Training Series is to adequately prepare students for an entry-level position as a chair side dental assistant in a dental office.  The duties of a dental assistant require the ability to stand or sit for long periods of time, in sometimes awkward positions, while constantly being focused on the task at hand. Dental assistants need to exercise safe practices while exposed to unpleasant sights, odors, materials, and communicable diseases.  Their duties also require them to be detail oriented and to work accurately and quickly. A high level of manual dexterity, psychomotor skills, and integrity are vital. Following is a partial listing of the types of skills typically required for adequate job performance:

Physical Requirements:
A.    Sufficient strength and mobility to: 

  •     Work quickly to meet deadlines and/or production requirements
  •     Keep hand and arm steady while performing a task with the other hand and arm.

B.    Fine motor coordination sufficient to perform precise tasks such as:

  •     Handle delicate instruments with precision
  •     Safely handle sharp instruments 
  •     Handle instruments and equipment that may be costly to replace if damaged
  •     Quickly and precisely adjust controls on equipment
  •     Perform basic repairs to instrumentation 
  •     Clean and assemble instrumentation

C.    Adequate vision to:

  •     Read and interpret digital or traditional radiographs
  •     Adequate distinction of colors to read and interpret sterilization indicators 
  •     Read instruction sheets and computer screen   

Interpersonal Skills and Professionalism:
A.    Have the ability to: 

  •     Work in a professional manner under sometimes stressful situations
  •     Pay close attention to detail and recordkeeping
  •     Commitment to learning and understanding new technologies, instrumentation, and procedures
  •     Commitment to following approved standards, guidelines, policies, and procedures
  •     Interact in a professional manner with many personalities and attitudes and with people from many different backgrounds
  •     Respect and protect patient rights and confidentiality without regard to personal beliefs and judgments
  •     Maintain proper certifications required to perform the duties of the profession
  •     Accurately utilize all resource material available to remain current in the profession, 
  •     Maintain a conscience/professional morality in the application of infection control techniques
  •     Willingness to precept (train) others 

B.    Sufficient communication skills to:

  •     Give and receive accurate written and verbal instructions
  •     Carry out all written and verbal instructions
  •     Follow proper channels of communication 
  •     Communicate in a calm and professional manner
  •     Communicate clearly and effectively to any team members regarding issues that may be difficult to address (i.e. problem with machinery that could affect sterilization; admission of own errors, etc.)

Intellectual Ability and Emotional Stability To:

  •     Ability to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills
  •     Exercise independent judgment to properly perform tasks at hand
  •     Accurately utilize all resource material available to perform the task at hand 
  •     Perform duties while exposed to communicable diseases and unpleasant sights, odors, and materials 
  •     Accept feedback from others 

Environment Requirements:
A.    The dental assisting profession involves risks and/or discomforts that require special safety precautions including, but not limited to:

  •     Wearing gowns, caps, masks, gloves, and eye protection
  •     Working in an environment that exposes one to potentially hazardous materials, such as cleaning agents and chemicals and blood-borne pathogens
  •     Providing proof of recent immunizations against infectious diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella
  •     Receiving Hepatitis B vaccine and annual testing for exposure to tuberculosis
  •     Submitting to periodic drug screening