Dental Assisting

Your career in dentistry is only one year away

In just one year, you can begin a great career in dentistry. Monroe Community College’s dental assisting certificate program offers the comprehensive training you need for entry-level positions in private practice, clinics, and hospitals. You’ll learn the many skills valued by dental care providers today, including:

  • Chairside assisting
  • Laboratory procedures
  • Office procedures

This accredited program prepares you to take the National Certification Exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board, or a New York State specific exam.

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School of Health Sciences & Physical WellnessThe School of Health Sciences & Physical Wellness prepares you to deliver quality patient/client care, and improve the health of individuals and communities through education and service.

Lectures, Lab Work, and Internships Give You Superior Dental Assisting Training

The one-year dental assisting program at MCC includes lectures and laboratory coursework, hands-on clinical experience and formal clinical internships, offering excellent preparation for entry-level employment within the dental industry. As part of your training, you’ll learn to:

  • Collect patient histories
  • Take vital signs
  • Pre-fit provisional crowns
  • Take X-rays
  • Assist with orthodontics

Once you become an enrolled student, you have the option to apply for admission into MCC’s dental hygiene program for the following year, or prepare to start your career with employers like these:

  • University of Rochester
  • Unity Health System
  • Progressive Implantology and Periodontics
  • Aspen Dental
  • American Dental Partners
  • Private dental practices

To find out more about the dental assisting certificate and all dental studies programs offered by Monroe Community College, contact the admissions office at or (585) 292-2200.

Please Note: Due to the competitive nature of the dental assisting certificate program, most students will complete several required courses before beginning the two-semester sequence of dental assisting courses. Read our admissions requirements and contact the admissions office to learn more.


Certificate Program

Department:Health Professions

School(s): Health Sciences & Physical Wellness

MCC Program Code: DA01

This one-year dental assisting program prepares graduates for entry-level employment within the dental industry. Students are taught to perform chairside assisting, related laboratory and office procedures and all delegable expanded functions permitted by the State Education Department. Instruction includes lectures/laboratory coursework, hands-on clinical experience and formal clinical internships.

Graduates will be eligible to take the New York Professional Dental Assisting exam (NYPDA) offered by the Dental Assisting National Board.

Recommended preparation includes high school chemistry and biology. Admission requirements include CPR for health professionals (adult, child and infant CPR - no on-line courses), a high school diploma or high school equivalency, and CPR certification. ESOL and Transitional Studies courses must be completed prior to matriculation.

Admission to this program is conditional upon meeting medical requirements, clearance of existing problem(s), and ability to meet technical standards (physical demands) of the program.

No student may progress to the next Dental Studies course level without successful completion of all courses in the previous level. A student who has been previously enrolled in Dental Studies and earned a grade below passing as described in the note below or a W in the course will not be eligible for admission/re-admission to Dental Studies, unless there are documented extenuating circumstances that warrant consideration. A student who believes that there is an extenuating circumstance should speak with an advisor in the Admissions Office or the Advisement Center. Re-admission of students after an unsuccessful attempt requires permission of the department and is always on a space-available basis. Such an appeal may be made only one time. Dental Studies is a high-demand, competitive program; therefore, re-admission to the Dental Studies program is rare. Any student who is re-admitted to the Dental Studies program and fails to achieve a passing grade (as outlined for that program) a second time is ineligible to continue in the Dental Studies program. Admission/re-admission is always on a space-available basis.

Currently enrolled MCC Dental Assisting students who apply for admission into the Dental Hygiene Program for the following year after completing the Dental Assisting program will be given quality points for the Dental Hygiene courses they complete by January 31, in addition to the quality points that are calculated using the same courses as regular admission into Hygiene. Admission using this pathway will be contingent on successfully completing the Dental Assisting program. In addition, those Dental Assisting students who wish to be considered for Dental Hygiene will need to meet the algebra, chemistry, and biology prerequisites by the application deadline of January 31. To practice in New York State, MCC Dental Assisting students must pass the New York Professional Dental Assisting exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board.

Program Learning Outcomes
1) providing patient education
2) taking preliminary medical histories and vital signs to be reviewed by the dentist
3) place and remove rubber dams
4) select and prefit provisional crowns
5) select and prefit orthodontic bands
6) remove orthodontic arch wires and ligature ties
7) place and remove matrix bands
8) take impressions for study casts or diagnostic casts
9) remove periodontal dressings
10) remove sutures placed by a licensed dentist
11) take impressions for space maintainers, orthodontic appliances, and occlusal guards
12) remove temporary cement
13) apply topical anticariogenic agents to the teeth
14) apply desensitizing agents to the teeth
15) place and remove temporary separating devices
16) place orthodontic ligatures
17) take dental x-rays in accordance with Public Health Law
18) perform such other dental supportive services authorized by the dentist and consistent with New York State laws, rules and regulations.

Employment Potential
For related jobs: Career Coach
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Requirements for Program Entrance
Completed physical examination. High school graduate or high school equivalency diploma. CPR certification. The online option is for currently employed Dental Assistants with a sponsoring dentist.

Distribution RequirementsCredit Hours
FALL SEMESTER: 17-18 Credit Hours
DEN 111 Dental Radiography I2
DEN 112 Oral Anatomy and Physiology I2
DEN 113 Barrier Precautions and Infection Control Measures1
DEN 211 Dental Materials2
DAS 110 Preclinical Dental Assisting4
ENG 101 College Composition OR
ENG 200 Advanced Composition
DAS 115 Orientation to Dental Assisting Clinical Practice 1
Total 1
SPRING SEMESTER: 14 Credit Hours
DAS 120 Clinical Dental Assisting Practice4
DAS 122 Advanced Biomedical Sciences for Dental Assisting Practice 2
DEN 121 Dental Radiography II**2
DAS 227 Dental Specialties Procedures2
DEN 228 Dental Office Management and Business Practice1
SPC 144 Communication and Crisis3

* Required Biology courses include: BIO 133, 134, or 144, or their equivalent.
** Students will need to recruit patients to meet requirements.

NOTE TO STUDENTS: To remain in the program students must receive a grade of C or better in all courses prefixed DAS and a grade of C- in all courses prefixed DEN. Students who are considering entering the Dental Hygiene Program must receive a grade of C or better in courses prefixed DEN for the courses to transfer. Didactic and skill testing is necessary in DEN 111 and 211 for on-line students. Once entered into the hygiene program, students will be required to audit DEN 121.