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Student in blue scrubs at dental clinic

Dental Assisting


Pima’s Dental Assisting Certificate prepares you to enter directly in to the workforce AND, if you're interested, continue on the pathway to becoming a Dental Hygienist. At Pima, you will learn to assist dentists and other dental professionals in patient care. You will complete at least 336 hours of clinical work in dental clinics or offices.

Limited Admissions Program: Students must meet the preparatory coursework and any other prerequisites and apply to the program. Depending on available spots, students may be placed on a waiting list before starting the program. See Program Admissions or an advisor for details.

Accreditation: This program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Title IV Financial Aid eligible: Yes


West Campus

Contact Information

Division of Education & Biomedical Programs
Dean: 520.206.5105
Lead Faculty: 520.206.6916


Completing this program can lead to employment in a variety of different careers.  Here are some examples of occupations related to this program with associated Pima County-based annual median wages.  Some careers may require additional education or training. Source: EMSI

Occupation Annual Median Wage
Dental Assistant $36,927

Academic Options

Continue your studies by taking courses toward the Dental Hygienist AAS degree.

Program Requirements 2020-2021

Course substitutions are not accepted in the Dental Assisting program.

Preparatory Coursework

Students must have completed the following requirements before starting the program:

Requirements Credits
REA 112HP or REA 112 or Accuplacer Reading assessment score of 92 or higher 0-4
High school or college biology course 0-4
Subtotal 0-8

Required Core Courses

A grade of C or better is required for graduation.

Course # Course Title Credits
DAE 159 Introduction to Health Care for Dental Assisting 2
DAE 160 Orientation to Dental Care 1
DAE 161 Biomedical Dental Science 3
DAE 162/162LB Dental Assisting I 3
DAE 163/163LC* Oral Radiography 3
DAE 164/164LB* Dental Materials 3
DAE 165/165LC Dental Assisting Procedures I /
Dental Assisting Procedures Clinical I
DAE 166 Dental Assisting II 3
DAE 167 Dental Assisting III 3
DAE 169/169LC Dental Assisting Procedures II /
Dental Assisting Procedures Clinical II
Total credits (not including preparatory coursework) 29.5
Total credits (including preparatory coursework) 29.5-37.5

* DHE 116/116LC will substitute for DAE 163/163LC if completed within the last three years.  DHE 132/132LB will substitute for DAE 164/164LB if completed within the last three years.  See academic advisor or faculty for information regarding course substitution.

Dental Assisting Interest Program/Major Codes: PREPDAEP/9DAE - Same requirements as AA General Concentration (AOAALA/ALA1/ALAG). 
Dental Assisting Program/Major Codes: CRTDENTASSIS/DAE

Gainful Employment Disclosure

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