Jan 18, 2022  
2021-22 Catalog 
2021-22 Catalog

Dental Assistant*

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Program Design

The Dental Assistant certificate program helps students gain the knowledge and skills needed to obtain employment as a dental assistant in general, specialty practices or public health clinics. Graduates will be prepared to assist during procedures, expose dental radiographs, perform laboratory procedures and perform front office duties. At MCC, students practice clinical procedures in an on-site, state-of-the-art, dental office setting that includes three treatment rooms complete with digital x-ray, electronic patient records and an instrument processing area.

Scholastic Preparation and Admission Process

The Dental Assistant program relies on a selective admission process which uses specific admissions criteria. These criteria are available through the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) division office.  In order to be eligible for this program, the following prerequisites must be met: eligibility for ENG* 101  and  MAT* 109  or higher, and attendance at a Dental Assistant information session held at the college.  The admission criteria require that the students are eligible for the equivalent of  BIO* 115 PSY* 111 , and  COM* 173  .  Interested candidates will be expected to have a history of academic success. Admission to the Dental Assistant program requires a separate application. Complete information on specific criteria for acceptance and the admission process is available from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) division office at 860-512-2704.


Manchester Community College’s thirty-six credit Dental Assistant certificate program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association.


The Dental Assistant program curriculum is a combination of science and hands-on/practical courses that may be completed in less than one year. Courses include the study of dental anatomy, radiography, infection control, chairside assisting, dental materials, oral health promotion, and practice management. In addition, students complete 300 hours of clinical practicum at UConn School of Dental Medicine, in dental clinics and private practices to develop competency in procedures that are learned in the classroom and college laboratory. The program prepares students to successfully complete the state-required Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) component of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examination.

The program prepares students for the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examination to become nationally “Certified Dental Assistants.”  Graduates will successfully complete the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) and Infection Control Exam (ICE) components that are required by the state of Connecticut. 

Due to standards set by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), students are advised that the healthcare facilities to which they are assigned for clinical rotations may require that they submit to a criminal background check before beginning their clinical experiences. Manchester Community College cannot be responsible for finding an alternate clinical placement for a student who fails to pass the background check. Students are advised to meet with the Dental Assistant Program Director to discuss degree completion requirements.

A physical examination and current immunizations are required of all students prior to beginning clinical rotations. Students are responsible for parking fees; uniforms; clinical supplies and miscellaneous expenses.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all Dental Assistant Certificate Program requirements, graduates will:

  • Demonstrate acquired knowledge and skills necessary to obtain an entry level position as a dental assistant.
  • Demonstrate professionalism and effective communication.
  • Be prepared for the Radiation Health and Safety and the Infection Control Exam components of the Dental Assisting National Board Examination to be qualified for Dental Assisting employment
  • Demonstrate acquired knowledge and skills as a chairside dental assist. Upon meeting the eligibility requirements of the Dental Assisting National Board Examination, be prepared for the chairside component of the Dental Assisting National Board Examination.
  • Upon successful completion of all three components of the Dental Assisting National Board Examination, earn the national distinction of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).
  • Be introduced to the employment opportunities available in the field of dental assisting.

Total Credits Required: 34


Becoming Connecticut State Community College

STUDENTS: The Community Colleges are undergoing a merger with a plan to become Connecticut State Community College in fall 2023; please work closely with your advisor/program coordinator to select your courses accordingly. See below for more detail about this exciting transition!

Becoming Connecticut State Community College

A merger of Connecticut’s 12 community colleges is underway. Connecticut State Community College (CT State), a statewide college comprised of all Connecticut’s current community college locations, plans to open its doors in the Fall 2023. Here are some important facts students need to know:

  • the final commencement ceremony for Manchester Community College is scheduled for May 2023. Ceremonies will continue to be held at each location as campuses of CT State.
  • as a part of the planned merger, students continuing their studies beyond summer term 2023 will be matched with the CT State program that most closely aligns with their Spring 2023 major and is offered at the Manchester location,
  • students beginning Associate degree programs in Fall 2021 should plan with their advisor/program coordinator to attend full-time if they wish to graduate prior to the planned merger,
  • students who begin an Associate degree program in January 2022 would be anticipated to complete their degree at the merged college, Connecticut State Community College,
  • in all cases, the College is committed to students completing their education with a minimum of disruption and staying in touch with your advisor/program coordinator is essential,
  • further details can be found and will be updated on the Frequently Asked Questions page:  www.ct.edu/ctstate/academics.

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