Dental Assistant

Dental assistants are an integral part of a dentist’s office, helping both dentists and their patients with procedures and administrative tasks. This program prepares students to become Certified Dental Assistants (CDA). Instruction includes training in first aid, dental sciences, radiology, dental materials clinical procedures, infection control, lab procedures, preventive dentistry, business administration, and basic skills in communications, human relations and psychology. Students will practice their skills in the RTC Dental Clinic and during externships.

Enrollment Point: Fall, Winter

Certificate of Completion: 
4 Quarters
71 Credits
Associate of Applied Science: 
91 Credits
AAS - Transfer: 
91 Credits
Bachelor of Applied Science: 

All program lengths are estimates and are not guarantees. For the most current program information, check with an adviser by calling (425) 235-5840.

Median Salary: 
Projected Growth: 
Annual Job Openings: 

These amounts are based on median entry level wages, they are estimates and are not guarantees. For more information, visit


At Renton Technical College, tuition is affordable and competitive.

Financial Aid

Federal aid is available for most students to help pay for school. Fill out your FAFSA now to get started.


The RTC Foundation offers scholarships to help pay the costs of attending school.

All costs are estimates and are not guarantees. For the most current program information, check with an adviser by calling (425) 235-5840.

Monday - Friday

8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Hours may vary based on specific program requirements. For the most current program information, check with an adviser by calling (425) 235-5840.

Connie Berrysmith, Angela Bay

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum age: 18 years.
  • Must take the Accuplacer test before entering program or being placed on the pre-registration list.
  • High school diploma or GED.
  • Communication involving patient care in the clinical setting is critical to patient safety. All students shall be fluent in the English language, including verbal and written language.
  • Ability to pass a nationwide criminal background check. 
  • Students must register with Castle Branch and complete the following:
  • Students must meet vaccination and program specified health requirements in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control Healthcare Provider immunization guidelines including the submission of original lab results, x-ray reports and immunization records which are dated and signed by their healthcare provider. Immunization timeline table.
  • Health insurance, both injury and sickness, is required for participation in the program.
  • Current (within one year) evaluation by a physician or nurse practitioner to ensure student and patient safety. The evaluation should address the following areas in respect to the student's ability to perform the laboratory skills and clinical responsibilities related to becoming a Dental Assistant:
    • Ability to lift a minimum of 50 pounds and to reach overhead.
    • Ability to stand or walk for long periods.

Course Information

Course Requirements

Course # Course Title Credits
COL 101 College Success 2
DENT 100 First Aid, CPR and Vital Signs 2
DENT 101 Dental Profession 1
DENT 102 Pre-Clinical Assisting I 4
DENT 103 Clinical Assisting I 5
DENT 104 Dental Materials I 3
DENT 105 Expanded Functions  2
DENT 112 Pre-Clinical Assisting II 4
DENT 113 Clinical Assisting II & Practicum 7
DENT 114 Dental Materials II 3
DENT 133 Infection Control 4
DENT 134 Specialties 1
DENT 137 Laboratory Procedures  2
DENT 138 Business Administration 2
DENT 141 Dental Sciences I HN/OA/EH/Micro 3
DENT 145 Dental Sciences II AP/OP/TM/PHARM 3
DENT 151 Preventative Dentistry & Nutrition 1
DENT 153 Radiology I 2
DENT 154 Radiology II 2
DENT 155 Radiology III 3
DENT 171 Communications 2
DENT 181 Human Relations/Psychology 4
DENT 191 Job Seeking Skills 1
DENT 192 Internship I 2
DENT 193 Internship II 5
AMATH 161G Mathematics 1
  TOTAL 71

General Education Course Requirements for AAS Degree

Course #  Course Title Crs
AMATH 175 Applied Mathematics for Business and Industry 5
CMST& 101 Intro to Communications 5
COMP 100 Applied Composition or 5
ENGL& 101 English Composition  
PSYC& 100 General Psychology 5
  Total 20

General Education Course Requirements for AAS-T Degree

Course #  Course Title Crs
BIOL& 260 Microbiology 5
ENGL& 101 English Composition 5
PSYC& 100 General Psychology 5
MATH& 107 Math in Society 5
  Total 20

Program Outcomes

Learning Outcomes for Dental Assistant Program

  • Engage students in the activities that support the knowledge and skills development necessary to perform assisting, laboratory, radiology and expanded functions skills as allowed by the Washington State Dental Practice Act;
  • Apply knowledge, skills and training in human relations, communications, basic principles of ethics, jurisprudence, preventive dentistry, and nutritional counseling in a dental practice;
  • Demonstrate skills and attitudes that contribute to safe working conditions in the dental office, including environmental issues and all aspects of infection control as they relate to dentistry; 
  • Prepare students to achieve certification by successfully completing the Dental Assistant National Board Exams;
  • Apply critical thinking skills to problem solve in a team environment, to provide professional patient care.


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