16-credit Technical Diploma
Dental assistants perform a variety of patient care, office and laboratory responsibilities. They provide chair side assistance as dentists examine and treat patients. They make patients as comfortable as possible in the dental chair, prepare them for treatment and obtain their dental records. In the Dental Assistant program, learn to use and care for dental equipment, expose and process radiographs, assist with dental emergencies, record medical and dental information, maintain a supply inventory, and perform related dental office and laboratory procedures under the direction and supervision of a dentist.
- Prepare for jobs such as dental assistant or orthodontic assistant.
- Select credits earned in the Dental Assistant program will transfer to WCTC's Dental Hygienist program.
- Involvement with the Dental Assisting Club helps promote the dental-assisting profession in matters of education, legislation, credentialing and professional activities that enhance the delivery of quality dental health care.
- Dental assistant students perform oral health presentations at district grade schools to help educate children on the importance of dental care. Both the Dental Assistant and Dental Hygiene programs hold sealant clinics at district grade schools and Head Start, and they perform dental cleanings for special needs clients at a special needs clinic.
- Review gainful employment information.
- Wages of recent graduates per Graduate Follow-up Report
- Salary Range: $23,000-$27,000
- Average Salary: $25,112
- Median Salary: $24,993
- Average Entry-Level Salary: $24,636
- Average Hourly Wage: $12.90
- Three-year Average Salary: $25,914
|Course Num||Course Name||Credits|
|508-101||Dental Health Safety||1|
|508-304||Dental & General Anatomy||2|
|508-305||Applied Dental Radiography||2|
|508-306||Dental Assistant Clinical||3|
|508-307||Dental Assistant Professional||1|
Total Semester Credits
* (Prerequisites or substitutes may apply to this class.)
Technical Skills Attainment Required for Graduation
View course descriptions of all required courses
View course descriptions of all required courses
508-101 Dental Health Safety
Prepare to respond proactively to dental emergencies, control infection, prevent disease, adhere to OSHA standards and safely manage hazardous materials. Take patient vital signs and collect patient medical/dental histories. Wisconsin Technical College System aligned course required in both the Dental Hygienist and Dental Assisting programs.
508-113 Dental Materials
Practice handling and preparing liners, bases, cements, amalgam, resin restorative materials, gypsum products, and impression materials. Learn to take alginate impressions on manikins and clean removable appliances.
508-302 Dental Chairside
Prepare to chart oral cavity structures, dental pathology, and restorations and assist a dentist with basic dental procedures including examinations, pain control, amalgam restoration, and cosmetic restoration. Develop the ability to educate patients about preventive dentistry, brushing and flossing techniques, and dental procedures, using lay terminology. Apply decoding strategies to the correct use and interpretation of dental terminology.
508-304 Dental & General Anatomy
Apply fundamentals of general and dental anatomy to informed decision-making and to professional communication with colleagues and patients.
508-305 Applied Dental Radiography
Prepares student to operate x-ray units and expose bitewing, periiapical, extra oral, and occlusal radiographs. Emphasis on protection against x-ray hazards. Students also process, mount, and evaluate radiographs for diagnostic value. Students demonstrate competency on a manikin in addition to exposing bitewing radiographs on a peer, role-play patient.
508-306 Dental Assistant Clinical
Apply skills in a clinical setting with patients. Integration of core abilities and basic occupational skills are emphasized.
508-307 Dental Assistant Professional
Develop professional appearance and image and learn to work within ethical guidelines and legal frameworks. Develop and customize a portfolio and on-going professional development plan to prepare for the workforce.
Credit Transfer Opportunities
WCTC has agreements with local high schools and various four-year colleges and universities that enable students to transition more seamlessly from high school to WCTC to four-year colleges. Transcripted credit agreements provide high school students the opportunity to take WCTC courses at their high schools. Agreements with four-year colleges enable WCTC graduates in selected programs to transfer credits, often at junior-level standing. Agreements currently in place for this program are listed below.
There are no credit transfer agreements for this program at this time. For more information, contact your academic advisor.
UW-System Credit Transfer
If you are interested in attending a UW-campus, you should contact a transfer representative at the campus you plan to attend. You may also check credit transfer agreements between WCTC and the UW System to tell you which specific courses and general education classes may be accepted.
Important Cautionary Note:
This information is intended as a general description. Please verify the availability and details of the program that interests you with the transfer coordinator at the receiving institution.
Meet your Instructor
- BS - Dental Hygiene, Marquette University
- MS - Health Administration, Cardinal Stritch University
- State of Wisconsin Technical College Certificate
"As I reflect on my beliefs and values regarding teaching and learning, I find that my teaching philosophy is to initiate a desire in the student to learn and at the same time promote enthusiasm for learning."
- BSDH, Marquette University
- M. Ed., Carroll University
- Registered Dental Hygienist
- Licensed to administer local anesthetic
- Certified-American Heart Association CPR: Healthcare provider
"My philosophy is to create a learning environment in which the adult learner can reach educational potential and personal goals."