Dental Assisting is a one-year diploma day program.
The Dental Assisting Curriculum prepares individuals to assist the dentist in the delivery of dental treatment and to function as integral members of the dental team while performing chair-side and related office and laboratory procedures.
Coursework includes instruction in general studies, biomedical sciences, dental sciences, clinical sciences, and clinical practice. A combination of lecture, laboratory, and clinical experience provides students with knowledge in infection/hazard control, radiography, dental materials, preventive dentistry, and clinical procedures.
Students receive a total of 384 clinical hours in a setting where they work under the direction of dentists, dental assistants, and office staff to deliver oral health care to patients. Students do not receive monetary compensation for their clinical practice.
Upon graduation, graduates will be classified as a Dental Assistant II (DAII). A Dental Assistant II, as defined by the Dental Laws of North Carolina, can perform all legal expanded functions prescribed by an NC licensed dentist. Some of the many expanded functions a DA II can legally perform are: apply sealants, insert matrix bands and wedges, place cavity bases and liners, place and/or remove rubber dams, place and remove temporary restorations, remove sutures, expose radiographs, and perform coronal polish. (Further listing of DA II expanded functions can be found on NC State Board of Dental Examiners website www.ncdentalboard.org.) Graduates may be eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board Examination to become Certified Dental Assistants (CDA).
Some job opportunities for successful graduates include:
- dental assistants
- entry-level dental office administrators
- hygiene assistants
Some settings in which dental assistants may find employment include: private practice, public health facilities, and dental specialty offices.
Employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The aging population and ongoing research linking oral health and general health will lead to continued increases in the demand for preventive dental services.
The Dental Assisting program is located on the main campus of MCC. The laboratory portion of the program allows students to be trained in a variety of dental assisting task in a virtual dental office setting. The facility is complete with four, fully-equipped operatories, a laboratory, radiology facilities, and a classroom.
The Dental Assisting Club is a voluntary campus organization comprised of students, faculty, and staff at MCC. The club works to provide students with opportunities to promote their profession in the community, to participate in fundraisers, outreach activities, conventions and seminars, and to learn about people and agencies that play a vital role in the dental assisting field.