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Dental Assisting Technology

from the SKC Office Professions Department

Dental Assisting Technology

The Dental Assisting Technology program at SKC is flexibly designed to meet the needs of all students. The DAT program trains students to become dental assisting professionals, involved citizens, and to be an asset to and compliment the dental health team.  Practical experience within the dental clinic as well as “externships” within the community, in private dental offices and tribal clinics, are integrated within the curriculum. Students may enter the program at the beginning of any quarter. Upon completion of the Certificate, graduates are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board exam to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

Dental Assisting Endorsement

The Dental Assisting Endorsement may be offered to students who successfully complete 21 credits of training and meet the requirements as an entry-level dental assistant as defined by the US Department of Labor.  This does not qualify a student to take the Dental Assisting National Board Exam to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

Background checks are mandatory for national exams.


The dental assistant will become proficient in all areas allowed and defined by the State of Montana Dental Practice Act.  Upon completion of the program the student should be able to:

  • Assist chairside, maintain proper asepsis, and utilize instruments, equipment, and moisture control in all aspects of dentistry. This includes assisting with anesthetic, performing rubber dam application, sealant, fluoride, coronal polish, and oral hygiene instruction.
  • Identify and apply concepts of dental terminology, record patient medical and dental history.
  • Identify and apply the concepts of dental ethics in relationship to dental team. culturally and professionally.
  • Have the knowledge to schedule patients for various treatments, maintain a recall system, order and maintain supplies, complete patient insurance forms, and make financial arrangements.
  • Perform laboratory procedures including taking impressions, pouring and trimming study models, constructing custom trays, bleaching trays, and mouth guards, temporary restorations, and manipulate intermediary materials using aseptic technique.
  • Expose, develop, mount and critique radiographs including conventional, panoramic and digital Radiographic images.

The dental assisting technology program prepares students for entry-level work in the dental profession.  Students who graduate from this program may gain employment as general chairside dental assistants, dental hygiene assistants, or as dental assistants in specialty offices.  Graduates of the program are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examination to become a Certified Dental Assistant.

Experienced dental Assistants in the State of Montana earn approximately  $20.00 per hour according to a 2016 salary survey conducted by DANB.  Entry-level jobs in the profession range from $13 -$15 per hour starting pay.  Students who complete this program have found employment with local and regional dentists, in Indian Health Service facilities across the nation, have returned to school for additional dental training, or have received degrees in related professions such as nursing, environmental science, or social work.

Assessment Summary


The program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements”. The Commission is a 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:

Bloodborne Pathogens

Policies and procedures have been developed related to bloodborne and infectious disease.  These policies, which may be obtained from the department, are available to applicants for admission and patients.

Contact the Dental Assisting Technology Department for More Information.

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Dental Assisting Technology Department Directory

Contact a specific faculty or staff member here.