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.

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 prepared to gain an entry level dental assistant position.

Certifying Organization:

Dental Assistant National Board (DANB)    

Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners

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).

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:

Students are required to attend an information session prior to registering for classes.  Virtual information sessions are offered several times per year. Check our website for updated times and dates, and meeting invite links or contact


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 following the information session that require signatures 

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 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 attend a mandatory information session prior to registration.  This is an online session. Registration info will be sent from program area.

Program Course Sequence

Course Number

Course Title

Course Hours 

   Textbook Information

(approximate cost; subject to change)**




Essential Skills for the Healthcare Professional


Handouts online




CPR for Healthcare Providers


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



AHE870 Anatomy, Morphology and Physiology Online 30

Bird & Robinson Modern Dental Assisting 13th Edition; ISBN 978-0-323-62485-5  $140.00. This is also the Dental Assisting textbook that is required for the core Dental Assisting course.




Dental Assistant Oral Radiography


Bird & Robinson Modern Dental Assisting 13th Edition; ISBN 978-0-323-62485-5 $140.00 (same as AHE870)

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

Dental Radiography Principles and Techniques; published by Elsevier; 5th Edition; ISBN 032397420; $94.95

$ 2,089


Course Series Totals:






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).

Career Opportunities:​​​
Entry level dental assistant position. Students who have completed the Dental Assistant program courses have the option to apply for an unpaid dental externship in order to get hands-on experience in a dental office. Contact 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 ($325), 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  Explore career and training opportunities at

Program Contact Information

For more information email

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

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.