Dental Assisting – Community College of Rhode Island

Dental Assisting

Certificate in Dental Assisting (CERT_DENT)

Occupational Title: Dental Assistant
Flanagan Campus, Lincoln only

This program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation, 211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL, 60611.

The primary function of the dental assistant is to assist the dentist. Students in this program attend lecture and laboratory classes and receive actual clinical experience through assignments at a variety of dental healthcare facilities.

This course of study prepares students for the certification examination given by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. Students who successfully complete the program are awarded a certificate by the college. Students are responsible for purchasing dental instruments and uniforms, as well as paying fees for the certification exam. Participation in the dental hygiene program exposes students to infectious diseases, blood born pathogens and ionizing radiation.

Technical standards: The physical activity (strength) for dental assistant (079.361-018) is classified as “light” by the Department of Labor in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles

Note: Many courses require prerequisites and/or testing. See course descriptions for details.

CCRI also offers a Dental Hygiene associate degree program, see this page for details.


See important general policies in the beginning of this section on the performance-based Health Sciences application process, academic progress, advanced placement, background check, CPR certification, health insurance, health records, reinstatement, transportation, uniforms, and equipment.

Minimum requirements needed to apply to the Dental Assisting
  1. CCRI application – Submit a completed CCRI Application for Enrollment. General Studies should be first choice; DENT should be second choice.
  2. High school transcript – Send an official copy of a transcript from an accredited high school or GED® certification, including date of graduation, or if the applicant holds a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college/university, the high school transcript may be waived; college transcript must indicate completion and degree awarded.
  3. Placement testing – Complete a standardized test (ACCUPLACER) issued by CCRI's Department of Advising and Counseling. Students may retake the ACCUPLACER test once before completing any remedial course(s).
    1. Math: Demonstrate competency by placing into MATH 0100 with a test score of 65 in the arithmetic section or completion of MATH 0100: Foundations of College Mathematics with a "C "or better. The entry course for MATH 0100 is MATH 0095.The following courses will substitute for MATH 0100: 0101, 1025, 1139, 1175, 1240, 1241, 2077, 2110, 2111, 2138, 2141, 2142, or 2243.
    2. English (writing) test must show readiness to take ENGL 1010: Composition I, or applicant must have completed ENGL 1005: College Writing with a grade of "C" or better. ENGL 1300 will not substitute for ENGL 1010.
    3. Reading comprehension test must show competency of 80 or above or students must complete ENGL 0890: Critical Reading with a grade of "B-" or better.
  4. Optional: Complete courses required for admission with a grade of "C" or better – DENT 1000: Introduction to Dental Health Careers
  5. GPA – A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better for all college courses taken.
    1. All the above requirements must be completed satisfactorily BEFORE submission of performance-based Health Sciences application and do not guarantee acceptance to the program. Students declining acceptance into the program for the semester offered must resubmit a performance-based Health Sciences application for the program and meet the current admission requirements for the application period in which they reapply. Once accepted into the Dental Assisting Program, the student must attend a mandatory orientation conducted by the Dental Health Department.
  6. Health Sciences application – Submit a completed performance-based Health Sciences application including a preadmission degree evaluation. Deadlines are listed on form.
  7. BCI – Students are required to submit a background check when directed by notification from Enrollment Services. Results of BCI may prevent admission due to clinical agencies requirements.
Program Requirements
  • A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better is required to proceed in the program.
  • General education courses in the dental assisting curriculum may be taken prior to the semester recommended. All courses must be completed by the recommended semester.
  • Program faculty reserve the right to dismiss any student from the program or to refuse reinstatement based on academic, clinical or professional performance.
  • ENGL 1300 may not be substituted for ENGL 1010.
  • BIOL 1070 must be completed prior to the second semester
  • First semester: BIOL 1070; ENGL 1010; DAST 1010, 1020, 1030, 1225; DENT 2010, 2225
  • Second semester: COMM 1100; DAST 1040, 1050, 1060; PSYC 1030
DENT 1000 Introduction to Dental Health Careers   2

Total OPTIONAL Credits 2

General Education Requirements
BIOL 1070 Human Anatomy and Physiology Must be taken prior to admission to the program or during the first semester of the program. 3
ENGL 1010 Composition I   3
PSYC 1030 Psychology of Personal Adjustment   3
COMM 1100 Public Speaking   3

Total General Education Requirements Credits 12

Major Requirements
DAST 1010 Oral Biology I   2
DAST 1020 Preventive Dentistry   2
DAST 1030 Chairside Dental Assisting I   4
DAST 1040 Oral Biology II   3
DAST 1050 Chairside Dental Assisting II   5
DAST 1060 Dental Office Procedures   2
DENT 2010 Oral Radiography   4
DAST 1225 Dental Materials Lecture   1
DENT 2225 Dental Materials Lab for Dental Assistants   1

Total Major Requirements Credits 24

Total Certificate Credits 36

This page developed and maintained by Marketing and Communications. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected] .

Last Updated: 4/14/20