Dental Assisting - Certificate (3200)
Do you have an interest in human biology, science and oral health? Are you passionate about helping or caring for others and enjoy working in a team environment? Do you have strong communication skills and good eye-hand coordination? If so, then our Dental Assisting Certificate may be a great fit.
All students interested in this program must begin in the Pre-Health Professions Program. Then, students may apply for admission into this program once they meet the requirements to apply. Students will discuss these admission requirements as part of their advising process.
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With your certificate, you may be employed as a chairside assistant in a variety of dental offices, including:
- General practice
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Graduates may also find employment as a laboratory technician or in the dental insurance field as a dental supply representative. You will also be prepared to take the Dental Assisting National Board examination in order to achieve the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) designation.
You would be a good fit for this program and career path if you:
- Enjoy people
- Can empathize with individuals
- Pay close attention to details and are well organized
- Describe yourself as a team player with solid communication skills
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You will gain the knowledge and skills to assist with dental treatments and help others maintain their oral health. You will learn how to perform procedures, process radiographs and more! You’ll be ready to be a key member of a dental team, performing chairside and laboratory procedures and other office duties. Our curriculum allows you to spend a total of 320-hours working in a variety of dental office settings where you can be exposed to all aspects of dental practice.
Our program is selective, which means you need to meet the College’s admissions requirements along with specific requirements of this program to be enrolled into it. The following components must be completed and paid by you prior to starting the clinical portion of our program:
- Background checks
- CPR certification
- Drug and alcohol screens
- Physical examination and immunizations
Also, our program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (CoDA), which is a specialized accrediting body of the U.S. Department of Education. It is the only dental assisting program in Central Pennsylvania to hold this accreditation. It means that you do not need to complete 3,500 hours of work as a dental assistant after graduation before qualifying to take the general chairside component of the Dental Assisting National Board certification exam. This accreditation allows you to immediately register for and take the general chairside component of the Dental Assisting National Board certification exam.
Our highly-trained professors will prepare you for the workforce by teaching you:
- Legal provisions regarding Pennsylvania Dental Law
- Procedures that dental assistants legally can perform on a clinical competence level. They teach all other procedures on a laboratory competence level.
- Skills to prepare for the Dental Assisting National Board examination to achieve the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) designation. To receive the CDA designation, you must have a current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) registration. You must also graduate from an accredited institution.
Upon completion of the program, you will have the skills you need to:
- Accurately collect diagnostic and treatment data and record the information into a dental chart/record
- Effectively perform infection control and hazard control protocols
- Communicate professionally and effectively with patients, employers and colleagues
- Perform basic chair side skills needed in a general or specialty dental office
- Perform basic supportive, laboratory and administrative procedures required for various dental environments
- Correctly expose, process and mount radiographs
- Perform procedures within the legal and ethical frameworks of the dental assisting profession
Please visit the health careers section of our website or email us for more information on these admission requirements.
- View summaries of every course at HACC by browsing our class schedules database.
- Review our program guide (pdf) to view a list of required courses, recommended course sequencing and program competencies.
Upon completing your certificate, you can continue your education and earn an associate degree at HACC! Our healthcare programs, among others, may be of interest.
When you complete your associate degree, you can transfer your credits to a four-year school if you wish.
You can complete the entire program, including the clinical portion, at our Harrisburg Campus provided you take some of your required coursework through multiple modalities (e.g. Blended, Online and/or Remote Learning).
Yes! Thanks to the HACC Foundation, scholarships are available. Please visit hacc.edu/scholarships for details and to apply.
You can enroll in classes in the spring, summer and fall. To apply anytime, please visit our website. When enrolling into our dental assisting program, you must first enroll into the Pre-Health Professions AS degree. Therefore, please use the program code 3150 on your application and then select the Dental Assisting concentration.
Future students, we are excited to connect with you and answer your questions. Please choose the option that works best for you to meet with us.
Current HACC students, please contact our Advising Department with any questions.