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Workforce Certificate Program

Dental Assisting (5649)

The Career
Dental assistants are versatile members of the dental health team. Much like a surgical assistant, you work alongside a dentist, preparing and handing instruments and materials during procedures, and instructing patients on general oral health care and postoperative care. You may also prepare instruments and equipment for impressions and fillings, take and develop x-rays, and remove sutures.

Dental assistants working in the front office greet patients, schedule and confirm appointments, and maintain treatment records. Or you may work in a laboratory making casts of the teeth from impressions, cleaning and polishing removable appliances and making bleaching trays.

The Program
This limited access, 10-month program provides students with the theoretical, practical and clinical skills including dental basic sciences, dental radiographic techniques, dental materials, sterilization and disease control, chairside assisting, office management, dental specialties and expanded duties. The Dental Assisting program has been approved by the Florida Board of Dentistry to offer certification in expanded duties and dental radiology. One class is admitted each August.

Florida Community College is a State-supported school, which translates to a quality education and accreditation at about a quarter of the cost of private schools. You will enter the job market with the skills, knowledge and reputation of FCCJ’s Dental Assisting Program working in your favor. Of particular advantage are our professional partnerships with area dentists who encourage us to introduce leading-edge equipment, such as digital radiography that takes x-rays with computerized sensors instead of film.

Your clinical rotations are scheduled in private dental offices and clinics, including specialty practices such as endodontics, oral surgery, and orthodontics.

Career Opportunities, Rapid Placement
There is a desperate need for talented dental assistants. New protocols help us retain our natural teeth through longer lifetimes. Society’s emphasis on an attractive mouth has made dental care trendy as well as important, and dental assisting is projected to be one of the fastest growing occupations through 2014, especially in Florida.

Annual Salaries
Full or part-time dental assistants average $8 to $12 an hour, with some earning more than $18 an hour.

Certification and Licensing
The Dental Assisting program has been approved by the Florida Board of Dentistry to prepare students for certification in expanded duties and dental radiology.

Application Procedure
Submit the following:

  1. official high school transcript/GED® test scores,
  2. the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) is a major criterior in a student’s completion of Post Secondary Adult Vocational (PSAV) programs requiring 450 or more contact hours. Students who fail to meet the State of Florida’s designated exit score will be required to complete Vocational Preparatory Instruction (VPI). In order to complete the program successfully, students must achieve or surpass the designated exit score(s). (See Standards of Academic Progress.)
  3. completion of application form for dental assisting program.

Estimated tuition is $2,299 (for Florida residents as of 7/06). Contact program manager for additional costs (materials, fees, textbooks).

More Information Online
American Dental Association


Professional Courses
Contact Hours
Workforce Credits
*VPI 0100 Basic Reading Skills
*VPI 0200 Basic Mathematical Skills
*VPI 0300 Basic Language Skills
DEA 0745 Radiology I
DEA 0022 Introduction to Microbiology
DEA 0746 Pharmacology and Dental Office Emergencies
DES 0103 Dental Materials
DES 0020 Dental and Head/Neck Anatomy
DEA 0023 Preclinical Procedures
DEA 0001 Clinical Practice I
HCP 0001 Health Careers Core
DEA 0211 Radiology II
DES 0044 Oral Pathology
DEA 0301 Dental Nutrition
DEA 0311 Dental Health Education
DEA 0801 Expanded Duties
DES 0501 Practice Management
DES 0400 Anatomy/Physiology for Dental Assistants
**DEA 0029C Clinical Practice II
DEA 0850C Clinical Practice III
  Total Contact Hours

*Students who have satisfactory test scores are not required to take these courses.
**A current Basic Life Support (CPR) certificate (eight hour course) must be completed prior to registering for DEA 0029C.

Record of Conviction of a Crime
Clinical agencies may require students to undergo drug screening and criminal background checks prior to placement in the agencies for clinical experiences. Students whose drug screening and criminal background checks are unsatisfactory may be denied access to clinical experiences by the clinical agencies. Withdrawal from the program may be necessary if students cannot be placed for clinical experiences.

Students who are unable to complete the clinical requirements after acceptance into selective access programs are not eligible for refunds of tuition.

GED® and GED Testing Service® are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education (ACE). They may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of ACE or GED Testing Service. The GED® and GED Testing Service® brands are administered by GED Testing Service LLC under license from the American Council on Education.


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