Dental Assistant

Manchester Community College’s ​thirty-four ​credit Dental Assistant certificate program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. This full-time program can be completed in 10 months. The program prepares students for a career as a dental assistant ​through the combination of scientific and clinical based curriculum. Students complete externships at dental clinics and the University of Connecticut School of Dental MedicineDental assistant students finish the remainder of their externship requirements at private dental practices, which often leads to employment opportunities. Upon the successful completion of MCC’s Dental Assistant program, students are prepared and able to take the Dental Assisting National Board examinations to become Certified Dental Assistants.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

Dental assistants help a dentist during dental procedures by handing instruments to the dentist and operating a suction device. They also perform other tasks, such as preparing a patient for treatment, overseeing the cleaning and sterilization of instruments, taking impressions and exposing x-rays. In general, the assistant does those tasks that enable the dentist to practice efficiently and focus more on the patient. In some instances, an assistant will also handle front desk duties, such as answering the telephone, scheduling appointments and overseeing supplies and deliveries.

What is the Employment Outlook?

As people live longer and retain more of their natural teeth, there will be an increase in the number of patients requiring dental care. One way to meet this demand is for dentists to hire dental assistants. It is not uncommon for one dentist to employ two or three dental assistants. Both the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Connecticut Department of Labor are predicting a high growth rate well into the next decade for the dental assisting field. According to the Connecticut Statewide Occupational Employment and Wages 2020 Report, dental assistants have the potential to earn above average salaries.

What Courses are Required?

At MCC, the Dental Assistant program curriculum is a combination of didactic and laboratory courses. The curriculum includes courses on oral anatomy and pathophysiology, dental radiography, infection control in  dentistry, chairside assisting, dental materials, oral health promotion and dental practice management. Dental Assistant students are also required to complete a minimum of 300 clinical practicum hours.

Where Do Students Receive Clinical Training?

Manchester Community College enjoys an excellent working partnership with the UConn School of Dental Medicine. Dental Assistant students work with the university’s dental students and dentists in the general dentistry and dental specialty clinics and have earned an exceptional reputation in the performance of their chairside assisting practices.

In addition to their work at the UConn School of Dental Medicine, Dental Assistant students rotate through at least one private dental practice, public health clinic or pediatric clinic.

View the Program Curriculum

Application to Program

Be sure to complete the following FIVE steps prior to the application deadline of August 15, 2021, for classes beginning August 26,2021, and June 15, 2022, for classes beginning in August 2022.

  1. Attend a virtual Dental Assistant information session before the application deadline. Email Rosemary Ryan ( for available dates and times.
  2. Complete Dental Assistant program prerequisites.
    • All candidates must have a minimum GPA of 2.5.
    • Dental Assistant program prerequisites include the following MCC courses or their equivalent, if transferring:
      • Eligibility for ENG* 101: English Composition
      • Eligibility for MAT* 109: Quantitative Literacy or higher
  3. Submit the MCC General Application for Admission on or before the application deadline and choose ‘General Studies: Allied Health’ for your major. [Please note: you will automatically be admitted to the college once required supplemental items are provided, but must apply for the Dental Assistant Program separately (step 5 below).]
  4. Submit official copies of all transcripts on or before the application deadline. Electronic transcripts are encouraged, but paper copies are acceptable.
    • For electronic transcripts, visit your previous institutions’ websites for instructions on how to order online transcripts.
    • To mail a transcript, please send to Manchester Community College Admissions Office, Attn: Allied Health, Great Path MS #12, P.O. Box 1046, Manchester, CT 06045
    • Current MCC students may submit unofficial transcripts to Rosemary Ryan at
  5. Submit the online 2021 Dental Assistant Application or the 2022 Dental Assistant Application on or before the application deadline. [Note: You may apply for both the 2021 and 2022 cohorts but must complete both applications.]

Questions: Contact Rosemary Ryan, CDA, RDH, MPH, Dental Assistant Program Director, 860-512-2705, email

Contact Information

Rosemary Ryan, Program Director
Dental Assistant Program