Dental Assisting

Bitterroot College's Dental Assisting Program is being offered as a self-paced, online program (NO live, interactive, instructionasynchronous delivery) for Summer 2022.

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 program 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) exam associated with the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential offered through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Passing score on this exam qualifies students for 40-hour chairside clinical externship in a dental office. After completion of 3,500 chairside hours (student is responsible for securing placement for these extended hours) as well as earning a passing score on DANB’s Infection Control Exam (ICE), students are eligible for DANB's General Chairside (GC) exam, the final exam component necessary to achieve the CDA credential.

Bitterroot College Dental Assisting program provides 60 hours of instruction. Optional clinical externship of 40 hours is available upon successful completion of RHS exam.

Application, Cost, Dates, and Deadlines

Next Program Offering

  • Application/Fee Deadline: Applicaitons are accepted anytime during the enrollment period.
  • Enrollment Period: May 31 through September 2, 2022
  • Program Fee: $2,360 (see Program Information for fee assistance options)

Download Program Information and Application

Future Program Dates

  • Future Program Start Date: TBA

Employment Outlook

Dental Assisting jobs are predicted to grow nationally by 11% between 2020 and 2030 and in Montana 8.8% between 2018 and 2028. The median national annual salary for Dental Assistants is $41,180; in Montana, the median annual salary is $37,070For more employment information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, Projections Central, and Montana's Informational Wage Rates by Occupation.

Lea Guthrie
Academic & Student Services Director
(406) 375-0100