Dental Assisting

The Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Dental Assisting prepares students to work collaboratively in a dental setting or transfer to a healthcare related four-year program. Students will be able to assist the dental team in a broad scope of dental procedures, perform office management functions, and provide patient support. An Associate in Applied Science (AAS) is also available. Students that meet the CCL requirements in the program may proceed to earn their AAS degree.

Graduates are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board Certification Exams to earn the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential. Additionally, students are prepared for the required Arizona Radiologic Proficiency Certificate (AZRC) and the Arizona Coronal Polishing Certificate (AZCP).

Dental assisting professionals meeting admissions guidelines may be eligible to participate in an Expanded Functions Dental Assisting (EFDA) program in Arizona.

This full-time Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (211 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 1900, Chicago, IL 60611-2637; (312) 440-4653).


Field of Interest
Health Sciences
Degree Type
Certificate of Completion (CCL)
Academic Plan
Dental Assisting (CER)
Academic Plan Code
Total credits required
Catalog Year
Effective Term
Fall 2020
Admissions criteria

High school diploma or GED equivalency is required.
Completion of Program Prerequisites with a C or better.
Acknowledgement of ability to fully participate in classroom, laboratory, or clinical setting program activities.
Formal application with unofficial transcripts and admission to the program is required.

After acceptance into the program, the following are required:
Arizona Department of Public Safety Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card
Background Check Requirements
Admission to an Allied Health program requires that students be in compliance with the Maricopa County Community College District Supplemental Background Check policy.
Program applications will not be accepted without a copy of the Arizona Department of Public Safety Level One
Fingerprint Clearance Card. Upon conditional program admission, the student must comply with all requirements of the current MCCCD background check policy.
Health and Immunity Declaration Form signed by a licensed healthcare provider.
Submit to a drug screening and demonstrate negative results
Current CPR card for Healthcare Providers and maintain current status throughout the program


This is a full-time program and requires approximately 40 hours per week for classroom, clinical, and homework.

Students must earn a grade of C or better in all courses within the program.

What You'll Learn

This pathway map will help you gain the expertise needed to:

  1. Provide direct patient care as allowed by the Arizona State Dental Practice Act.
  2. Acquire, interpret, and manage comprehensive patient data including medical and dental histories, vital signs, dental radiographs, photographs, other kinds of imaging, and impressions of patients' teeth for study casts.
  3. Document diagnoses, treatment plans, procedures performed, referrals, and lab cases.
  4. Assist general and specialty dentists and other members of the healthcare team during a variety of treatment procedures, as well as in the management of medical or dental emergencies.
  5. Provide patient support/management, i.e., helping patients feel comfortable before, during and after dental treatment.
  6. Teach patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health; provide instructions for post-operative care.
  7. Communicate with diverse audiences, including the dental team, patients, labs, other healthcare providers, insurance representatives, and suppliers.
  8. Practice OSHA and CDC guidelines for safety and infection control.
  9. Safely operate and maintain dental equipment.
  10. Demonstrate office management skills, including inventory, time management, prioritization, multitasking, computer competency, and application of specialized software.
  11. Exhibit professional behaviors for the dental environment and related professional settings.
  12. Adhere to professional ethics, legal practices, and rules and regulations set forth by the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners.
  13. Apply critical thinking skills to make appropriate decisions.

Successful completion of this certificate may lead to employment in a variety of different occupations and industries. Below are examples of related occupations with associated Arizona-based wages* for this certificate. Education requirements vary for the occupations listed below, so you may need further education or degrees in order to qualify for some of these jobs and earn the related salaries. Please visit with an academic advisor and/or program director for additional information. You can click on any occupation to view the detail regarding education level, wages, and employment information.

Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary


* Career and wage information provided by Pipeline AZ using data, reports, and forecasts which are generated using government data sources.

Course Sequence by Term

The following is the suggested course sequence by term. Please keep in mind:

  • Students should meet with an academic advisor to develop an individual education plan that meets their academic and career goals. Use the Pathway Planner tool in your to manage your plan.
  • The course sequence is laid out by suggested term and may be affected when students enter the program at different times of the year.
  • Initial course placement is determined by current district placement measures and/or completion of 100-200 level course and/or program requirements.
  • Degree and transfer seeking students may be required to successfully complete a MCCCD First Year Experience Course (FYE) within the first two semesters at a MCCCD College. Courses include FYE101 and FYE103. Course offerings will vary by college. See an academic, program, or faculty advisor for details.

Full-time Sequence

Full-time status is 12 credits to 18 credits per semester.

Term 1

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 1
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
or or Gateway course recommended for transfer SQ or SG or SG 4
or FYC or FYC 3
or or or or recommended SB or SB or L or SB 3

Term 2

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 2
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
Take if selected in Term 1 SG 0–4
OR Equivalent as indicated by assessment L 0–3
OR Current approved CPR certification at the Health Care Provider level 0–0.5

Term 3

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 3
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
Gateway course 8 week prerequisite to 7
Critical course 7

Term 4

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 4
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
This course can be taken in Summer if program was started in Spring 2
This course can be taken in Summer if program was started in Spring 2
Course Area Key

Gateway Course = Generally the first major-specific course in a pathway.

Critical Course = A course that is highly predictive of future success in a pathway.


Students must earn a grade of C or better for all courses required within the program.

Course Sequence total credits may differ from the program information located on the MCCCD curriculum website due to program and system design.

View MCCCD’s for additional details regarding the requirements of this award .

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.