The Dental Assisting program at SCC is a full-time program that is completed in four-quarters (12 months). It is offered both face-to-face (traditional) or online. This program provides opportunities to develop specialized skills in dental health education, chair-side assisting skills, various laboratory procedures, coronal polishing, radiation exposure and processing, business office procedures and management and more than 300 hours of clinical experience. The clinical experience is obtained at pre-approved dental offices and clinics, and a planned course of study that enhances the delivery of quality dental health care to the general public.
Our program is comprised of classroom, laboratory and pre-clinical instruction covering dental assisting skills and related theory. The students are taught duties that are regulated by the state of Nebraska and within the Dental Practice Act. All graduates from the program are eligible to take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam. This exam is recognized by the American Dental Association, and facilitated through the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (danb.org). Passing the DANB is one of the components to a license in dental assisting.
Get started by reading our Healthcare Services program admission requirements.
Southeast Community College is a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement Institution. As a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement Institution, we are unable to offer online or distance courses to students in the following states/areas: California and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
To meet a community need by preparing dental assistants committed to applying learned skills that they can utilize in a professional and ethical environment, which include legal boundaries of a diverse community.
The Dental Assisting program at SCC is accredited by the American Dental Association - Commission on Dental Accreditation (ADA-CODA) 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.
ADA - CODA 211 E. Chicago Ave.Chicago, IL 60611312-440-4653http://www.ada.org/en/coda
Employment is expected to grow. Population growth, greater retention of natural teeth by middle-aged and older people, and an increased focus on preventative dental care for younger generations will fuel demand for dental services. Older dentists, who have been less likely to employ assistants or have employed fewer, are leaving the occupation and will be replaced by recent graduates, who are more likely to use one or more assistants.
In addition, as dentists' workloads increase, they are expected to hire more assistants to perform routine tasks, so that they may devote their own time to more complex procedures. Job prospects for dental assistants should be excellent. In addition to job openings due to employment growth, numerous job openings will arise out of the need to replace assistants who transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave for other reasons. Many opportunities for entry-level positions offer on-the-job training, but some dentists prefer to hire experienced assistants or those who have completed a dental-assisting program. SCC graduates report an hourly wage around $16.30.
View Gainful Employment Information for this Program of Study.
Fall Quarter (October) and Spring Quarter (April).
Program Advising Sheet
Here's How to Get Started
Students will be contacted with an anticipated start date upon successful completion of the admission process.
Submit the following items to the Health Sciences Division Office in B-4 prior to starting the program.
This is a one-year program comprised of clinical and didactic courses. Students are admitted in Spring and Fall terms. The program is offered traditionally (clinicals performed in Lincoln; didactic courses offered in classroom) OR the online track (clinical performed outside Lincoln; didactic courses offered Web-based). Online track students are required to attend scheduled labs on Lincoln campus each quarter.
Students will use the knowledge learned in the didactic courses, along with skills acquired in lab, to give care to patients at a dental health care facility. Clinical rotations may include private dental offices, University of Nebraska – College of Dentistry, Veteran’s Medical Center- Dental Clinic, Lincoln Lancaster Health Department - Dental Clinic, and People’s Health Center - Dental Clinic.
Students will gain experience in chair-side dental assisting skills with a variety of laboratory and office duties. Dental assistants work alongside a dentist to provide a large variety of dental treatment to patients. With the proper education and training, dental assistants can complete delegated reversible tasks independently, with the dentist on site. Dental assistants learn specialized skills that allow them to keep the patient’s mouth clean with a suction device, prepare materials, assist with specialty procedures, coronal polish of the teeth, exposure and process radiographs and many other duties. Infection control adherence and minor maintenance are major roles of the dental assistant.
Students perform approximately 15-20 hours of clinical per week at a pre-approved clinical site. Clinical hours are mainly daytime between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., however, there are some evening and early mornings.
Important: Upon completing the program, students are eligible to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination offered by the Dental Assistant National Board, . If you have a felony or misdemeanor in your background, you may be ineligible to take the national board. Individuals who have been convicted of, or plead guilty to a crime, may file a pre-application with the DANB to obtain a ruling on the impact of their eligibility for examination (there is a fee for this). You can obtain information about the pre-application on the DANB website.