Dental Assisting

Contact Information 

Chanel Malone, program coordinator
Mayme Green Allied Health Center 213P

Delivery Methods 

Face to Face: Wahpeton
Online: Some Classes

The duties of a Dental Assistant are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office. The Dental Assistant performs a wide range of tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills. Depending on each state’s regulations, some specific tasks Dental Assistants may perform are:

  • assisting the dentist during a variety of procedures and direct patient care.
  • helping patients feel comfortable before, during and after treatment.
  • taking patient’s medical history and taking vital signs.
  • exposing and developing dental radiographs (X-rays).
  • teaching patient’s appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health.
  • taking impressions of patient’s teeth for study models.
  • applying preventive agents such as fluoride or pit and fissure sealants.
  • serving as an infection control officer, developing infection control protocol, and preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment.
  • performing office management tasks such as scheduling appointments, answering the
  • telephone, billing, ordering and computer use.
  • provide other expanded duties according to state regulations.

Career Opportunities

  • solo and group dental practices.
  • general or specialty practices such as oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, dentofacial orthopedics, endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, and pediatric dentistry; and
  • sales and marketing of dental products.

The Dental Assisting program includes curriculum content in general studies, biodental sciences, dental sciences, clinical sciences, and clinical practice. Students receive more than 300 hours of clinical experience in community and regional dental offices in addition to courses taken on campus. Students will be required to cover all expenses associated with affiliation and internship assignments.

Criminal background checks will be required. A felony charge and/or conviction may affect participation in clinical experience(s), and therefore, program completion. If this issue applies, the student must meet with the department chair.

This program requires access to a personal laptop and printer, capable of completing the assignments/testing required by the program, with a current operating system and webcam/microphone. Tablets and Chromebooks are not compatible with online classes/testing.

Admission/Selection Requirements*

The following criteria must be complete by March 15th prior to entry into the Dental Assisting program. Applicants that apply after the March 15th deadline can complete the selection requirements and be placed on a waiting list. Late applicants may be selected based on points if openings become available until the first day of class fall semester.

  1. Complete the NDSCS Admission process and submit an official high school transcript and all official college transcripts to Enrollment Services.
  2. Complete the Supplemental Program Application for Dental Assisting.
  3. Submit an official transcript with a minimum of 12 college credits semester credits and a GPA of 2.0 or higher, OR a high school transcript with a minimum GPA 2.5 or higher will be used if no college courses.
  4. Submit official ACT and/or placement testing results. Results must meet the criteria to enroll into English 110 the first semester of the program or have completed the course with a “C” or higher.
  5. Points are awarded for grades in high school biology, algebra and chemistry and college level anatomy. Additional points are awarded for grades in college level courses, concepts of anatomy and anatomy and physiology.
  6. Complete the selection assessment examination and meet the program benchmark score of 45. The exam can be retaken once. Check with program for current assessment(s) required.
  7. Review Essential Functions for Allied Dental Education Students and submit the signed Essential Functions Verification form.

Selection process details, contact information and forms are located in the Dental Assisting Program Information and Selection Process Booklet available at www.NDSCS.edu/Dental (click on Program Selection Process) or contact the program at AlliedHealthCareers@ndscs.edu.

The program is a limited enrollment program. Applicants will be selected on a point system. Once program capacity is reached, an alternate list will be established based on points. It is recommended that applicants stay in close contact with the program as they complete their admission requirements. Program Selection Requirements are subject to revision. Please check the department or program website under Program Admission Requirements for current information.

For accepted students, specific immunizations, criminal background checks, CPR certification (Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider by American Heart Association (AHA) OR Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers from American Red Cross (ARC) ONLY), and health insurance, are required by the program. Additional requirements could include but not limited to; drug screening/ finger printing, state background checks, and COVID-19 vaccinations dependent on clinical site-specific student prerequisites. *All requirements must remain current while in the program and will be at the students’ expense.


Upon successful completion of the required courses (“C” or higher), students will be awarded a certificate in Dental Assisting. Graduates will meet requirements to become registered within the state and eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board. A criminal background check will be required, and a felony conviction may affect state licensure.

An Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Assisting is also available. Please see separate fact sheet for additional information. 

The program adheres to the NDSCS Equal Opportunity Policy as stated in the NDSCS Catalog. Dental Assisting Program Competencies, Program Goals, and Essential Functions are available on the website at www.NDSCS.edu.

The Dental Assisting program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, 211 East Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611-2678.

Total Required Credits