Dental Assisting
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Program Description

The New York State license-certified dental assistant is a vital member of the dental health care team. Primarily trained to assist the dentist during chair-side procedures, a licensed dental assistant may also perform a variety of supportive services under direct supervision of the dentist. In addition to clinical duties, assistants are also trained in laboratory and administrative procedures.

The Dental Assisting Certificate Program curriculum satisfies state and national requirements through coursework in biomedical sciences, dental sciences, clinical and laboratory procedures and practice administration. Dental Assisting students learn head and neck anatomy, dental instruments, equipment and procedures, manipulation of dental materials, x-ray techniques, disinfection and sterilization procedures, management of medical and dental emergencies and laboratory fabrication of dental products. Administrative coursework includes business office skills and basic computer operations, ethical and legal aspects of dentistry and communication skills. Clinical externships are provided through local dental health care facilities to gain hands-on experience under the direct supervision of licensed professionals.

Licensure and/or registration requirements vary per state and each graduate must verify the requirements for the state or province in which they will be practicing. Graduates who wish to apply for New York State licensure must successfully complete the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Radiation Health and Safety Exam, the DANB Infection Control Exam, the New York Professional Dental Assisting Exam, and current certification for BLS Healthcare Provider. Graduates are encouraged to seek national board certification, join their local, state and national dental assisting organizations, and volunteer in community dental health projects.


  • American Dental Assistants Association
  • Eighth District Dental Society
  • Erie County Dental Society
  • Western New York Dental Group

Degree: Certificate
Hegis: 5202
Curriculum Code: 1353
Campus Location: North
Health Sciences Division

Available at:

Career Opportunities/Further Education:
Private Practice in General or Specialized Dentistry
Dental Clinics
Dental Schools
Hospital Clinics and the Military


Did You Know?

A significant number of courses have been renumbered as part of the State University of New York's policies which promote student mobility, through transfer of academic credit, to other SUNY institutions. All courses should be numbered at the 100-200 levels. The Listing Reference contains both the old and new numbers which should aid students in their choice of courses.


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