Dental Assisting

Bitterroot College UM Dental Assistant is a Workforce Training program which does not require college admission.

The Dental Assistant program prepares students for entry-level employment in one of the fastest growing healthcare positions. The purpose of this program is to familiarize the student with all areas of pre-clinical dental assisting and provide training in the professional skills required to function as an assistant in the dental practice. This course covers the following key areas and topics: 1) Administrative Aspects–the history of dentistry and dental assisting; introduction to the dental office; the legal aspects of dentistry; policies and guidelines and 2) Clinical Aspects–introduction to oral anatomy; dental operatory; dental equipment, introduction to tooth structure; primary and permanent teeth; the oral cavity and related structures; proper patient positioning; dental hand-pieces; sterilization; and other areas. In addition to entry-level jobs, this course is ideal for students interested in pursuing a future formal Dental Hygienist program. Upon completion of the Dental Assisting Program, students are prepared for the Radiation Health Safety (RHS) and Infection Control (ICE) exams associated with the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential offered through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Passing scores on these two exams qualifies students for chairside clinical placement in a dental office. After completion of 3,500 chair-side hours, students are eligible for DANB's General Chairside (GC) exam, the final exam component necessary to achieve the CDA credential. RHS and ICE exam payment included in Dental Assisting Program fee.

Bitterroot College Dental Assisting program provides 74 hours of classroom and laboratory instruction. Optional clinical externship of 40 hours is available upon successful completion of RHS and ICE exams.

Application, Cost, Dates, and Deadlines

Next Program Offering

  • Application/Fee Deadline: Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • Program Dates: February 25 - May 22, 2019
  • Program Fee: $1,900 (see Program Information for fee assistance options)

Download Program Information and Application

Employment Outlook

Dental Assisting jobs are predicted to grow nationally by 19% between 2016 and 2026. The median national annual salary for Dental Assistants is $36,940; in Montana, the median annual salary is $34,110For more employment information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, Projections Central, and Montana's Informational Wage Rates by Occupation.

Meri Telin
Academic & Student Services Assistant
(406) 375-0100