Dental Assisting


Dental assistants play an integral role in the flow and efficiency of dental care. Dental assistants not only help the dentist during dental procedures, but they also prep the patient, sterilize and disinfect instruments, set up instrument trays, prepare materials during procedures and support office management.

Information Session 

Attend an info session to learn more about the Dental Assisting program. We’ll cover: 

  • Program requirements
  • Certificate versus AAS Degree
  • DENA 100 -Introduction to Dental Assisting Course
  • Application process and deadlines
  • Selection criteria
  • Strategies to improve your admissions prospects

The sessions last about 60 to 90 minutes and include a Q&A after the presentation. 

Register for an information session

Personal qualities

Characteristics of a successful dental assistant include but are not limited to: take and follow direction under stressful situations; multitask with attention to detail and organization; work collaboratively as part of a team; and possess a stable, responsible and caring temperament.

Essential functions

Manual dexterity, bilateral control and quick response to directions.

Students can choose between a one-year certificate and a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree (A.A.S.). You will build your skills through extensive lab and hands-on training at community clinics, private practices and the UMKC School of Dentistry.

Students will be prepared to enter the workforce as a trained dental assistant and certified expanded-function dental assistant and will be eligible to take the national certifying examination given by the Dental Assisting National Board. Learn more about the job of the Expanded Function Dental Assistant and its requirements in the states of Missouri and Kansas.

Professional certification/licensure

Students will sit for the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) as part of the program. The Infection Control (ICE) and Radiation Health Safety (RHS) examinations are taken at the end of the fall semester, and the General Chairside (GC) examination is taken at the end of the spring semester.

Successful completion of this examination allows program graduates to use the professional credentials CDA, Certified Dental Assistant.

Program accreditation

The program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted status of "approval with reporting requirements."

The Commission is the specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312.440.4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission's web address is

The Dental Assisting Program is a three-semester program that begins in June and accepts approximately 18 students per class.


Scholarship application deadlines: October 15 for Spring awards and February 15 for Fall awards.

MCC provides plenty of sources to fund your education, including federal aid, loans, state aid, veterans benefits and more. For information, contact the MCC-Penn Valley financial aid office at 816.604.1000. Apply for financial aid 6-10 months prior to enrollment. MCC scholarship application deadline for the fall semester is March 1.

Frequently asked questions

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