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Dental Assisting Common Questions

Click below for answers to FAQs

Question 1:  What are the duties of a dental assistant?

A dental assistant assists the dentist chair-side during various dental procedures. The assistant also takes radiographs (x-rays), provides patient education, performs child prophys (cleanings), takes impressions, fabricates temporary crowns, performs lab work, and assists with front-office duties.

Question 2:  Will completion of the Dental Assisting Program help me continue my education to become a dental hygienist?

Yes. If you are accepted in the Dental Hygiene Program within 3 years of graduating from the Dental Assisting Program, 22 credits will transfer into the hygiene program. You will also earn points towards the dental hygiene admissions criteria by graduating from an accredited Dental Assisting Program, one year of work experience as a dental assistant, and your passing scores on the Dental Assisting National Board exam. By completing the Dental Assisting Program first, the hygiene program will be a part-time program for the first two semesters allowing the student to work during the program.

Question 3:  Is there selective admission to the Dental Assisting Program?

Yes. All applicants must meet the required admission criteria and are evaluated on a points system for admission to the program. See SELECTION CRITERIA

Question 4:  What are the criteria for admission to the program?

In order to be accepted in the program, the student must be a high school graduate or have passed the complete GED exam, and have a GPA of at least 2.0 or higher. The applicant must be 18 years of age by the first semester of the Outreach Program; by the second semester of the Daytime Program.

Question 5:  What types of Dental Assisting Programs are offered at EFSC?

Currently we have two types of programs, the Daytime program or the Outreach program (online classes and evening labs).

Question 6:  What is the difference between these two programs?

The Daytime program is predominantly face-to-face daytime classes and labs, with a few online classes and evening labs. This program is 15 months long.

The Outreach program combines online coursework and on-campus evening labs. Students take the didactic portion of the program (lecture type classes) online. The student reads textbook materials, views PowerPoint presentations, and takes tests on the internet. Labs on the Cocoa campus are usually 2 evenings a week from 6 - 10 PM. This program takes 16 months to complete.

Question 7:  What is the application deadline and start dates for these programs?

Application Deadline Program Start
Daytime Program April 8 May
Outreach Program July 8 August

Question 8:  What general education courses are required for this program?

The two general education courses required for the Dental Assisting Program are:  Introduction to Health Care and Survey of Anatomy and Physiology (or Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2). Both courses must be completed within 10 years of the application deadline. Students are awarded points for their grades in Introduction to Health Care and Survey of Anatomy and Physiology (or Anatomy and Physiology 1 & 2).

Additionally, the student must have a current American Heart Association CPR card (will be earned in the Introduction to Health Care class) prior to the start of the program.

Question 9:  What certificates will I get when I graduate?

After completion of all dental courses and all general education courses, you will graduate with a one-year Applied Technology Diploma. You will also be given a "Certificate of Expanded Functions." You need the "Certificate of Expanded Functions" in order to work legally as a dental assistant in the state of Florida.

Question 10:  Will EFSC place me in a job as a dental assistant when I graduate from the program?

Most students get hired for jobs in the county before they graduate from the program. Dentists often call the college looking for recent graduates to hire. Although EFSC does not guarantee job placement, there has been 100% placement of dental assisting graduates in the past several years.

Question 11:  Do I wear a uniform all the time?

A scrub uniform and lab jacket are worn during clinical and laboratory sessions. Specific instructions concerning this uniform are given upon acceptance to the program at the orientation.

Question 12:  Is the program accredited?

Yes. This program has specialized accreditation through the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.

Question 13:  Does completing the Dental Assisting Program guarantee me acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program?

No. The hygiene program uses a selection criterion to select their students, as well. Please refer to the dental hygiene selection criteria and application procedure for more information. 

A bonus of completing the Dental Assisting program is that up to 22 credit hours completed in the program may transfer into the Dental Hygiene AS degree program (if courses are equivalent and have been completed within three years of the Dental Hygiene program admission date, with a grade of "C" or better).

Question 14:  Does completing the one-year Dental Assisting Program guarantee me acceptance into the Dental Assisting Technology and Management A.S. degree?

Yes. Fifty credits from the one-year program will be applied to the Dental Assisting A.S. degree. You will have to complete only an additional 20 credits for the A.S. degree.