Dental Assisting (A.S.)

Dentist and dental assistant working on a patient

Dental Assisting Program Overview

Note: Dental Assisting Studies (AHS-172) is offered only at McCann Technical School.

Dental assistants will continue to be in great demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a growth of 11 percent from 2018 to 2028. The Dental Assisting National Board reports a very high degree of job satisfaction. An aging population keeping their natural teeth and an increased focus on preventative dental care for younger generations create this increased demand for dental services. Job opportunities can be found in private and group practices, clinics within local hospitals, in the armed services, or as an instructor in a dental assistant program. Dental assistants are members of the dental care team who perform a wide variety of tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills.

Under the supervision of a dentist, the dental assistant prepares all instruments, materials and equipment used in dental procedures, takes dental radiographs (x-rays), assists the dentist in all procedures, provides oral care instruction to patients and performs office administration tasks. Most dental assistants work in private general dental practices or dental specialty offices. Employment opportunities also exist in insurance companies and public health or hospital-based clinics.

In existence since 1962, the McCann dental assistant program has been fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation since 1972. Graduates are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) certification examination. Those who pass this examination may use the designation of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). Students already enrolled in the McCann program may begin taking BCC courses concurrent with their dental assisting coursework and then continue as full- or part-time students to complete required BCC courses for the associate degree.

Other students may wish to pursue some or all of the associate degree requirements at BCC before applying to McCann for the dental assistant program. Previous graduates of the McCann program are encouraged to contact BCC for specific advising regarding the courses necessary to qualify for the associate degree.

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Visit the College Catalog for Admission and Course Details

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Lori Moon, Dean of Nursing

Michelle Racette, McCann Program Advisor
413-663-5383, ext. 183

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  • Expected Outcomes

    Graduates of this program should be able to:

    • Information Literacy:
      • Navigate rapidly growing information environment through use of digital technology, purpose-driven inquiry, and research.
      • Locate, evaluate, and effectively use information from a broad range of discipline-appropriate sources.
    • Scientific Literacy:
      • Comprehend, interpret, and present scientific data, and draw conclusions based on scientific reasoning and evidence.
      • Engage in lab to understand experimental design and analyze and interpret data.
    • Critical, Creative, and Strategic Thinking:
      • Form relevant, focused, grounded, and challenging questions that guide academic inquiry.
      • Consider, analyze, synthesize, and respond to diverse viewpoints in a variety of academic settings.
      • Develop innovative strategies for problem solving using original and predictive thinking.
      • Work independently and collaboratively to solve problems.
      • Extrapolate from known material to predict outcomes and create scenarios.
    • Quantitative Reasoning
      • Use and develop formulas to analyze data in a variety of fields and real-world situations.
      • Translate English into mathematical expressions, equations, and inequalities.
      • Solve equations for an unknown quantity in order to understand complex situations.
      • Analyze and interpret the relationships among data sets via graphs, tables, and equations.
    • Written and Oral Communication:
      • Write with clarity and purpose, demonstrating an awareness for rhetorical context and audience.
      • Present clearly reasoned and persuasive academic arguments with effective use of evidence in a variety of discipline specific formats.
      • Effectively and constructively communicate ideas in individual, small, and large group settings.
    • Global Awareness and Historical Context:
      • Demonstrate knowledge of world cultures and histories.
      • Cultivate familiarity with major artistic, philosophical, and literary movements throughout history.
      • Develop a sense of personal awareness in the context of historical movements and structures and their influence on contemporary live.
      • Develop a foundational understanding of physical, emotional, psychological, and intellectual wellness