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Dental Assisting Certificate Health Sciences Total Units: 26
Term Effective: Fall 2023


The Dental Assisting Certificate of Achievement is a Year-to-Career program, accredited by the Dental Board of California. The program provides a comprehensive education in the health sciences and in clinical dental assisting as preparation to enter the field. Clinical experience is arranged in various dental offices in Sonoma County. Students do not receive wages during their clinical training period.

Graduates of the program are eligible to take the Registered Dental Assisting Examination to become Registered Dental Assistants (RDA) in the State of California. Graduates receive a certificate in dental radiography, dental sealants, and 2 coronal polish certificates that is validated at the time of licensure as an RDA.

The increasing sophistication of dental treatment and infection control procedures is changing the role of the dental assistant. The position requires more technical knowledge and skill than ever before. Therefore, specialized training to the level of Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) is essential. Dental assisting requires both clinical and social skills. The RDA's primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to, patient preparation, sterilization of instruments, operatory care, instrument exchange, preparation of materials, radiography and patient education. In addition to clinical responsibilities, those who prefer the business office can have administrative functions such as appointment control, records management and bookkeeping and insurance processing. The practicing dental assistant may be exposed to environmental hazards and infectious diseases including, but not limited to, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV (AIDS). Dental assistants are obliged to provide patient care with compassion and respect for human dignity and the rights of privacy and confidentiality of patients with infectious diseases.

The RDA can find employment in private dental practice, specialty dentistry, hospitals, clinics, and dental schools. Career mobility includes opportunities in dentistry, dental office management, dental public health education, product sales, promotion, and teaching. Employment opportunities for graduates of community college Dental Assisting Programs are excellent and licensed RDA's are in great demand. Students interested in advancing in the field may wish to pursue further studies to become a dental hygienist. Licensure Note:
The Dental Board of California (DBC) may deny licensure for crimes substantially related to the practice of dental assisting. This includes convictions involving sex crimes, drug crimes (including DUI), and crimes of violence. It is the responsibility of the student to present sufficient evidence of rehabilitation prior to licensure.

Program Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  1. Graduates of the dental assisting program will be able to make ethical decisions, and demonstrate problem solving abilities through independent and critical thinking; and
  2. Graduate will be able to assist a dentist in all phases of diagnosis and treatment of patients, including restorative and cosmetic procedures, endodontic procedures, orthodontic, pediatric, and surgical procedures.

Program Requirements:

The requirements for the Dental Assisting Certificate program are:

  • Complete 26 units from
    • Dental Assisting Requirements

Dental Assisting Requirements - complete 26.00 units
DA 50Introduction to the Dental Assisting Profession2.00
DA 60Applied Dental Science2.00
DA 62Introduction to Dental Procedures3.00
DA 63Dental Specialties3.00
DA 64Advanced Dental Assisting2.00
DA 65Dental Science3.00
DA 66.2Clinical Seminar1.00
DA 66.2LClinical Practice5.00
DE 51Occupational Health and Safety2.00
DE 55AIntroduction to Dental Radiology2.00
DE 55BDental Radiology1.00

Term Effective: Fall 2023

The requirements for this program of study are effective beginning the semester shown above. If you began working on this program before the effective semester, you may not be affected by the changes. Consult with the program contact person or the department chair to determine your eligibility to complete the program under previous requirements.

Previous Versions:

Dental Assisting - effective Fall 2021
Dental Assisting - effective Fall 2020
Dental Assisting - effective Spring 2020
Dental Assisting - effective Fall 2019
Dental Assisting - effective Fall 2014
Dental Assisting - effective Fall 2012
Dental Assisting - effective Spring 2007
Dental Assisting - effective Fall 1981

Course Prerequisites and Advisories:

Courses in a program of study may have prerequisites or advisories; that is, courses that must or should be completed before taking that course. Please check for prerequisites or advisories by clicking on the course numbers in the Program Requirements section.

It is important that students who are completing an Associate Degree and desire to transfer to a four-year institution meet with a counselor to plan their lower division coursework. While many majors at SRJC are intended to align with lower division major preparation required by California public universities, specific lower-division major requirements vary among individual campuses. See a counselor, visit the Transfer Center, and check Guides For Transfer in Specific Majors, and ASSIST to review transfer preparation guides for specific schools and majors.


The program advises that students take CS 5 (Computer Literacy) and HLC 160 (Medical Terminology) prior to entering the program.

Students must provide documentation of a recent health examination, immunization records, and copy of a current CPR card, including adult, child and infant. (American Heart Association or Red Cross)

All courses in the program must be completed with a "C" or better.

Phone Email Website
(707) 535-3788
Health Sciences