Dental Assistant

Dental Assistant

Degrees and Certificates

Why Choose This Program

Looking for a career you can smile about? Consider dental assisting.

A highly skilled dental assistant is a vital member of the dental healthcare team. Reducing patient anxiety, preparing instruments, materials and treatment rooms, fabricating temporary crowns and applying sealants are all in a day’s work.

Want even more variety?  In addition to chairside assisting, the dental assistant graduate can pursue career paths as a dental office manager in a specialty office, public or private practice, a dental product sales representative or an OSHA compliance officer. With an additional degree and experience, dental assistants can teach in a dental assisting program.

Brush up on degree requirements and see if dental assisting is right for you.

Good Stuff

"When it comes time for their internship, SCTCC students are extremely well prepared; we only accept dental assisting students from SCTCC. I am a strong believer of the 2 year program; there is too much information to learn in 9 to 12 months.  The high percentage of job placement upon graduation is a testament to the program."
-John Stangl, DDS-Buffalo Family Dentistry, member of the SCTCC dental assistant advisory committee.

"I couldn’t be happier with the SCTCC Dental Assistant Program.  I started with very little knowledge about the dental field and graduated with complete confidence.  The faculty is always there for you; the hands-on dental clinic is amazing.  The program allowed me to balance school with home life which I am thankful for! I would highly recommend this program to anyone aspiring to be a dental assistant"
-Ruth Diffley- 2015 Graduate from the SCTCC Dental Assistant Program

Skills Acquired

  • Prepare instruments, materials and treatment rooms
  • Utilize infection control measures
  • Anticipate sequence of dental procedures
  • Utilize innovative technology as it relates to the dental profession
  • Take radiographs and perform expanded duties such as fabricating temporary crowns and applying sealants 
2015 Placement Rate
MN Average Hourly Wage

Career Choices

Types of Careers

  • Chairside dental assistant
  • Dental office manager
  • Dental assisting instructor
  • Dental product sales representative
  • OSHA compliance officer 

Potential Employers

  • Private dental practice
  • Group dental practice or clinics
  • Specialty offices such as  Orthodontics and Oral Surgery
  • Dental Public Health facilities 

Projected Job Growth

Employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 25 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Average State Pay

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the wage for dental assistants in Minnesota for 2015 was  $38,730–$45,480 with an average of $44,220 per year, an average hourly wage of $21.26 per hour.

Accreditations & Credentials

St. Cloud Technical and Community College dental assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Graduates will be eligible to write the Dental Assisting National Board Certification examination as well as the Minnesota licensure examination. Statistically over the past several years, SCTCC dental assistant students have scored above the national and state average on both of these exams. Students earn the credentials CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) and LDA (Licensed dental Assistant) after successful completion of these exams.

Contact Us

To learn more about the Dental Assistant program, sign up for an Information Session. These sessions provide an opportunity to:

  • Talk face-to-face with program faculty.
  • Tour state-of-the-art labs, where hands on learning comes to life.
  • Get your questions answered.

Advising Assistance for admitted Pre-Dental Assistant Students at SCTCC:
Pre-Dental Assistant student advisors are located in the Academic Advising Center.
Email:  Phone: 320-308-5741 Office: Northway Building, 1-312

Dental Assistant Program Faculty Representative:
Our Dental Assistant Program has a faculty member that will address questions about time in the class, clinicals, and about faculty in the Program.  If you have questions related to these topics, please contact our Faculty Representative: Kateri Mayer
E-mail:  Phone: 320-308-5943 Office: Health Sciences Building, 2-213B

Related Links

Clubs & Organizations

Dental assisting students are invited to participate in (SADAA) Student American Dental Assistants Association and the Minnesota Dental Assistants Association.  SADAA is an organization created to help students develop leadership skills and self-confidence. Continued membership provides the graduate with professional contacts, opportunities for learning through continuing education and a chance to participate in local and national governance of  profession organizations. 

SCTCC Student Clubs