Dental Assisting - PTE Program

FAQ - Dental Assisting - PTE Program

Dental Assisting - PTE Program

Is the dental assisting program accredited?

The Dental Assisting Program is accredited by the American Dental Association.

Can I still work while in the program?

The Dental Assisting curriculum is demanding but achievable for students who have made arrangements and are organized. Students should not attempt to work during the week. Working students often have a hard time keeping grades up. “A” students become “B” students, “B” students become “C” students, etc. Students must allow 3-4 hours per day for outside study, reading and homework. Attendance is required with penalties for excessive absences and make-up time required for clinical absences. Students with childcare responsibilities need to have reliable care arranged with alternate care for the emergency situations.

What do I need before I can start attending classes?

After submitting a completed Dental Assisting Application, you will need to contact Terrie Beckman, Dental Assisting Program Head, for an interview and if accepted into the program, current CPR and First Aid certifications are required prior to program start.

Is the program full-time? Is it during the day, night, on-line?

The program is full-time during the spring and fall semesters. Primarily courses are Monday thru Friday, during the day. During second semester, students are working in dental offices and must follow the hours of each office – usually 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

What is the cost of the program?

Approximately $6,500.00 for two semesters and summer session tuition, two semesters books $500, and $1,000 supplies (In-District Idaho Residents only).

What Kind of Degree(s) Can I Earn in Dental Assisting?

A Technical Certificate (TC) in Dental Assisting requires you to complete dental and general education courses in three semesters (approximately 11 months). Please see the Dental Grid for Technical Certificate requirements. Graduates are eligible to take the certification exam given by the Dental Assisting National Board and the Idaho Expanded Functions Tests.

To obtain your Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Dental Assisting you will need to complete your Technical Certificate first and then complete an additional semester (approximately 16 months) for your AAS. Please see the Dental Grid for Associate of Applied Science Degree requirements. Graduates are eligible to take the certification exam given by the Dental Assisting National Board and the Idaho Expanded Functions Tests.

How long is the Dental Assisting Program once I get admitted?

The Dental Assisting program is 11 months, beginning in the Fall or Spring Semester, with a maximum of 24 students.

How Do I Get Started in Dental Assisting?

Complete the admission requirements to College of Western Idaho. You must complete all steps on the application process for consideration. The PRIORITY application deadline for a Fall Semester start is May 1st and November 30th for a Spring Semester start. Applications submitted after priority deadline will be considered as space allows. The application process and all forms are available at CWI’s One Stop Student Services office or online. It is recommended that you complete COMM 101 or ENGL 101, Math 123 and Psychology 101 prior to starting the Dental Assisting Program. If you need a brush-up on your computers skills, CISA 101- Computer Literacy Skill Development is a course designed to help students develop their skills.

If the pre requisites are not completed prior to application deadline, enclose a copy of your CWI Compass Placement Scores in the application. Your placement scores need to be high enough to place into Math 015, Read 101, and English 101.

Is a dental assisting career physically demanding?

Dental assistants need to be able to move quickly from room to room and be able to stand or sit in a small area when necessary. Clinical assistants need to be able to work with both hands at the same time during many procedures and have good hand-eye coordination.

Do students work on real patients?

Students are required to recruit their own patients. Students will need four adult x-ray patients, people with whom to practice teaching oral hygiene, and patients to place sealants and perform coronal polish on. No charge is made to the volunteer patients, and it is the student’s responsibility to find them.