Dental Assisting is the #25 Best Healthcare Support Job in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Dental Assistants are valuable members of the dental care team, performing patient care and office and laboratory duties. They work chairside as Dentists examine and treat patients. Dentists want assistants who are reliable, who can work well with others, and who have good manual dexterity. Most Dental Assistants work in private dental offices, but some work in dental schools, private and government hospitals, state and local public health departments, and clinics.
Dental Assisting Careers & Job Outlook
Dental Assisting will be among the fastest growing occupations over the next several years, with employment of Dental Assistants expected to grow 11%, much faster than the average for all occupations, through 2028. Dentists hire more assistants to perform routine tasks so they can devote their time to more profitable procedures. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the aging population and ongoing research linking oral health and general health will continue to increase the demand for preventive dental services.
|2019 Median Pay||$40,080/year • $19.27/hour|
|Entry-Level Education||Postsecondary non-degree award|
|Number of Jobs, 2018||346,000|
|Job Outlook||11% (much faster than average)|
|Employment Change, 2018-2028||38,700|
* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Dental Assistants.
What Sets MCC Apart from Other Colleges?
MCC’s 11-month Dental Assisting program covers administrative procedures/office management, dental records/ethics/HIPAA compliance, oral health management, laboratory procedures (working with plaster, stone and impression materials), dental sciences (anatomy and physiology), dental specialties (endodontics, pediatrics, orthodontics, oral surgery and community health), operative and side chair assisting (instrument transfers and procedures), coronal polishing and fluoride treatments, patient education, dental radiography (x-ray equipment, safety and digital/film processing), and more. Students choose the MCC Dental Assisting program for its superior curriculum and hands-on educational experiences, which typically lead to 100% job placement for graduates. At externships, students work with patients under the guidance of experienced dental professionals, giving them valuable on-the-job training before graduation. With this practical work experience, graduates are fully prepared to move into any Dental Assisting work setting.
You can be assured that you’ll receive state-of-the-art, quality instruction because MCC’s Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
Graduates of MCC’s Dental Assisting program are required to complete the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examination. The exams are divided into three sections: General Chairside, Infection Control, and Radiation Health & Safety. To practice as a Registered Dental Assistant, graduates are required to complete the jurisprudence exam administered by the Iowa Board of Dental Examiners (IBDE).
The MCC Dental Clinic
MCC has a fully-functional dental clinic right on campus. The MCC Dental Clinic has been offering patient care to the surrounding community since 1968! The goal of the Clinic is to expand students’ skills and provide an additional source of quality access to dental care to the community. The clinic typically operates from late January to early March, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (9 am – noon, and 1 – 3 pm). To schedule an appointment, contact the Dental Clinic at (641) 844-5795.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Marshalltown Community College offers financial aid packages and a variety of scholarship opportunities, including scholarships specifically designated for Dental Assisting students. According to the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, MCC graduates have the lowest total debt on graduation of any community college in Iowa!
Additional Information & Resources
- The Dental Assisting Packet contains information and criteria for admission into MCC’s Dental Assisting Program, including the Dental Assisting Program Application Form.
- NOTE: MCC’s Dental Assisting Program requires a background check, dental exam, and physical exam.
- Sample Dental Assisting class schedule
- Learn more about Dental Assistant life!
- Licensure Information
|MCC Dental Assisting FY19 Costs*|
|Tuition (48 credits): $8,304|
|Materials/Technology Fee: $888|
|Student/Facility Fee: $360|
|National Board Exams Fee: $750|
|Dental Materials Lab Fee: $20|
|Radiography TLD Badge: $50|
|CPR Training: $69|
|Criminal Background Check: $52.75|
|Health Physical: $100|
|Mandatory Reporter Training: $70|
|OSHA Compliance Uniforms: $450|
|ADAA Membership: $65|
|State Board Fee: $35|
|National Board Review: $120|
* These costs include all program course prerequisites and all fees.
Infectious diseases/bloodborne pathogens notice: During the Dental Assisting program at Marshalltown Community College, students may be exposed to hazardous materials, bloodborne pathogens (infectious diseases), and ionizing radiation. Program policies are in place to protect the student and patient from harm. The curriculum provides specific instruction on taking standard precautions: wearing gloves, masks, goggles and protective clothing to protect from infectious diseases. Students also follow safety procedures to minimize the risk associated with the use of x-ray machines. Protocol is that all students and faculty wear thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) to monitor safety.