Program Description

The Dental Assisting curriculum prepares the student to take on significant responsibility as a member of the dental health care team. Employment positions are available in dental offices, hospitals, clinics, dental schools and professional sales. Dental Assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dentist in delivery of quality oral health care. A career in dental assisting offers many challenges and a variety of procedures. Specific tasks may be performed such as: assisting with and providing direct patient care, taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays), sterilizing instruments, taking impressions, and performing office management tasks. Dental assisting offers a variety, flexibility, excellent working conditions and personal satisfaction. Students must provide their own transportation to off-campus clinical sites. A selected uniform and purchased dental kits are required for the program.

The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association and approved by the Committee on Dental Auxiliaries in California. Upon successful completion of the program, a student is eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board examination to obtain a certificate as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA); and the California Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) examination to obtain a license as a Registered Dental Assistant.

Fingerprinting is mandatory with the RDA examination.

The program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “Approval without reporting requirements”.  The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.  The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/100.aspx.

A Certificate of Achievement is awarded upon completion of all required courses with a grade of C or better.

Program Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate technical skills and abilities, safety and infection control procedures as outlined by the California Dental Practice Act. (DA 100, 108, 110, 123A, 123B, 125, 127, 135, 140, 142).
  2. Exhibit professional growth, behavior, knowledge and development; foster empathy and concern; and work toward a commitment of excellence at all times (all DA courses).
  3. Exhibit communication and conflict skills and strategies that are effective with individuals and groups who are diverse in age, gender or culture (all DA courses).

Gainful Employment Disclosure  Career Snapshot


Requirements for Admission into the Dental Assisting Program are:

  1. Graduation from an accredited high school or equivalent with a 2.0 grade point average.
  2. Grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 for all college work.
  3. Two sets of high school and college transcripts.
  4. Completed application of admission to the program.
  5. Current CPR/Basic Life Support (BLS) card, which must be maintained while in the program. CPR training can be obtained from the American Heart Association. The AHA can be contacted at (877) 242-4277. CPR training can also be completed at PCC by taking NURS 214.
  6. After acceptance into the program, submit a completed health data form evidencing good health including required immunizations/chest x-ray or Mantoux test.


The Application Process:

Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Students interested in the part-time Dental Assisting Program or additional program information should consult with the program director at (626) 585-7243.

Recommended Preparation:

Eligibility for English 100 or equivalent.


Additional Courses Required for the Associate in Science Degree:

Consult with a Counselor to determine which classes qualify to receive credit in the general education categories of Natural Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, Humanities, Language and Rationality, American Institutions, Health Education, and Physical Activity for the Associate in Science degree.


Requirements for the Certificate of Achievement

Required units: 32.5

  • DA 100 - Dental Materials (3)
  • DA 108 - Infection Control in Dentistry (2)
  • DA 110 - Introduction to Dental Essentials (3)
  • DA 111 - Applied Human Behavior (2)
  • DA 123A - Chairside Techniques (4.5)
  • DA 123B - Advanced Chairside Techniques (4)
  • DA 124 - Office Administration (3)
  • DA 127 - Clinical Experience (4)
  • DA 135 - Registered Dental Assistant Techniques (3)
  • DA 140 - Oral Radiology (4)


Recommended electives:

  • BIT 025 - Survey of Computer Technology in Business (3)
  • DA 125 - Clinical Experience (1)
  • DA 142 - Advanced Oral Radiology Techniques (0.5)
  • DA 149 - Orthodontic Assistant (2.5)
  • DA 150 - Clinical Experience in a Specialty Practice (0.5)
  • DA 160 - Comprehensive Dental Assisting Skills and Techniques (0.5)
  • DA 200A - Dental Assisting Lab (1)
  • DA 200B - Dental Assisting Technical Skills Enhancement Lab (1)

Download Requirements


Earn an Associate of Science Degree With Your Certificate of Achievement

An AS Degree prepares you with the unique skills needed to enter a specialized career field. Earned in conjunction with a Certificate of Achievement, it will open up further opportunities for career advancement.

To earn your AS degree, you will need to complete the general education requirements for an AS degree in addition to the above listed Certificate of Achievement Requirements.

Download AS Degree Requirements