Dental Assisting

Certificate of Proficiency (CP)


Certificate of Proficiency in Dental Assisting is a 40-credit-hour program that contains an extensive classroom, laboratory, and clinical instruction and gives the student a broad background in all areas of dentistry. Students develop competence in performing a variety of dental assisting skills and hands-on clinical experience in general and specialty dental practices; clinics are provided throughout the program. After completing the Dental Assisting program, graduates take the Dental Assistant National Board examination to become a Certified Dental Assistant. This certification is the only dental assistant certification recognized by the Missouri Dental Board.

The Dental Assisting program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. Strict accreditation requirements assure a comprehensive education that is based on the latest procedures and techniques. Students become proficient in a variety of dental assisting skills by gaining clinical experience in general and specialty dental offices and clinics throughout the community.

In addition, the program includes courses that teach expanded functions for dental assistants as recently approved by the Missouri Dental Board. These courses provide training in advanced procedures that can only be performed by dental assistants in Missouri who have demonstrated proficiency through education and certification. Competency in one or more expanded functions enlarges the skill mix of the assistant, increases the responsibilities of the assistant and enhances the value of the assistant to the dental healthcare team. Graduates will be certified to perform these functions and can assume expanded roles on the dental health care team as delegated by their employer. After completing the program, students are eligible to take the national board examination to become Certified Dental Assistants.

The duties of a dental assistant are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office. The dental assistant performs many tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills. The duties of a dental assistant include preparing patients for treatment, maintaining and updating treatment records, assisting the dentist during a variety of dental procedures, taking and developing dental X-rays, developing infection control protocol; preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment; providing direct patient care in both general and specialty dental procedures; providing oral care instruction following dental treatment; performing office management tasks; and a variety of laboratory procedures related to dental treatment.

Persons interested in dental assisting should possess:
High school diploma or GED
A minimum 2.25 cumulative GPA in prior college courses (or)
Reading proficiency of 82 or higher on the Accuplacer placement test (or)
Minimum ACT composite score of 21 or SAT verbal score of 500

Reading Proficiency
Must be academically prepared to enroll in the following course: GPA 2.25
ENG:101 College Composition I (3)
COM:101 Oral Communication I (3)

Physical exam, drug testing and criminal background check at student expense, are required prior to registration for the dental assisting program. For background check, please visit here. If you have any question or concerns contact 1-888-723-4263.
Observation Time: Minimum of 20 hours observing a practicing dental assistant; minimum of two different offices, three preferred. Observation must be completed prior to application.

Admitting Semester: Fall
Number Admitted: 24
Length of Program: 10 months

Application for this program is in the admissions office.


Job Resources

Gainful Employment Data
divider-faculty Deborah Munson, Assistant Professor, Program Director
Phone: 314-644-9902


Dental Assisting (CP) 40 Credits

Program Total: 40 credits
Fall Semester
ENG:101 College Composition I 3
DA:143 Chairside Assisting: Operative Dentistry 2
DA:144 Preclinical Practice 1
DA:149 Dental Terminology 1
DA:150 Infection Control in Dentistry 1
DA:151 Fundamentals of Chairside Assisting 2
DA:157 Dental Radiology 2
DA:159 Dental Office Procedures 1
DA:161 Dental Assisting Practicum 2
DA:162 Dental Systems Management 1
DA:164 Clinical Applications I 2
DA:165 Dental Materials 1
Spring Semester
COM:101 Oral Communication I 3
DA:166 Dental Lab Procedures 1
DA:167 Dental Radiology II 1
DA:168 Integrated Dental Sciences 2
DA:169 Preventive Dental Health 2
DA:172 Dental Practice Management 1
DA:173 Chairside Assisting: Dental Specialties 2
DA:174 Clinical Applications II 2
DA:175 Dental Assisting Practicum II 2
DA:201 Expanded Functions I 1
DA:202 Expanded Functions II 1
DA:203 Expanded Functions III 1
DA:176 Dental Assisting Practicum III 2


American Dental Association is the professional association of dentists committed to the public’s oral health, ethics, science and professional advancement.

Dental Assisting National Board promotes the public good by providing credentialing services to the dental community.



The Dental Assisting program is offered at our Forest Park campus. Students may take general education classes toward this degree at any of our four campuses, our five education centers, and online.


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