Program Details
Program Details
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Program Details

Dental Assisting, Certificate

Northern Virginia Community College

This curriculum is designed to prepare students to perform chairside assisting, minor laboratory, and basic office procedures. Students learn the theory and skills to assist in the dental operatory through course work in the areas of chairside assisting, radiology, dental materials, dental and biomedical sciences, as well as clinical practice. Graduates can perform certain additional tasks allowing them to become productive and valued members of the dental health team. Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board Examination (DANB). After successful completion of this examination, the credential Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) is awarded.

Program Credit Requirements
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Program Overview & Guidance
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Program Web Page
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Program Guidance Element What You Need to Know
Is This Degree Right For Me?
Program Requirement Notes
Program Requirement Notes

Students must:

  • Comply with all General Admission Requirements for Allied Health Programs.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Take or place into MTH 133 or Math Unit 3 or higher.
  • Pass ENG 111,  NAS 150 or BIO 141 and BIO 142   and SDV 101  with a grade of 'B' or higher prior to admission into the program.
  • Be willing to repeat courses or to complete evaluative testing for credits earned more than ten years ago.
  • View an information session located on the Dental Assisting web site

Special Accreditation Status: The Dental Assisting program maintains their status of accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Students who successfully complete the program are considered to be graduates of an accredited program for purposes of certification and regulations as set forth by state licensing boards. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission's web address is:

Bloodborne Pathogens and Infectious Diseases Statement: By nature of the profession, students accepted into the Dental Assisting program may be exposed to blood and body fluids while practicing dental skills or providing services during clinical, preclinical, and laboratory sessions. Policies and procedures have been established to ensure the working environment is safe in order to minimize disease transmission. Prospective students may request a copy of the policy on bloodborne infectious diseases by calling 703-822-6627.

What Should I Consider When Selecting Courses

  • Create a schedule for all required courses, pay attention to prerequisites and when courses are offered, complete your first math and English courses in your first year
  • Connect with an advisor at your community college and Northern Virginia Community College within your first year via College Connect
Are there other program requirements beyond specific courses?
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Program Successes & Highlights
What If I Have An Associate Degree Or Credit For Prior Learning?
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Transfer Guidance Element What You Need to Know
Associate Transfer Degree Completion Students who have graduated with at least an associate or bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited United States institution of higher education are considered to have fulfilled NOVA's SDV requirement. Any other course transfers are evaluated based on the student's transcript,

Completion of Associate Degree Concurrent with High School
Credit for Prior Learning NOVA strives to provide students with opportunities to receive credit for prior learning while still maintaining the integrity of our academic programs. Credit for prior learning (CPL) generally refers to the process of granting college credit for learning gained in nontraditional. ways;
Did You Know That...
  • Completing your Associate transfer degree post-high school satisfies all lower division general education requirements and increases the chance of completing your bachelor's degree?
  • Exceeding 3 years or 90 credits at your community college means you may have exhausted your financial aid at that college and have limited your future financial aid at: Northern Virginia Community College
College Level Information
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Number of Transfer Students
College Fit Guidance What You Need to Know
Is This College Right For Me? Our classes feature up-to-date technology and course content to prepare you for a competitive job market; We also offer courses that will transfer to colleges all over Virginia and the nation. In fact, NOVA has guaranteed admission agreements with more than 40 colleges and universities for students who meet specific requirements.
Transfer Student Catalog Year Catalog year is determined by first semester of program placement.
First Year Student Catalog Year Catalog year is determined by first semester of program placement.
Applying for Guaranteed Admissions
Where Can This Degree Transfer
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This section displays degrees most closely related to this program and to which you may be able to transfer. Please click the degree name to visit that program page.
Institution Title Degree Award Name Award Level
Virginia Western Community CollegeAssociate of Applied Science Degree in Dental HygieneAssociateAssociate of Applied Science2-Year
Wytheville Community CollegeAssociate of Applied Science Degree in Dental HygieneAssociateAssociate of Applied Science2-Year
Careers Where This Degree Applies
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O*Net Code Name Description Parent
31-9091.00Dental AssistantsPerform limited clinical duties under the direction of a dentist. Clinical duties may include equipment preparation and sterilization, preparing patients for treatment, assisting the dentist during treatment, and providing patients with instructions for oral healthcare procedures. May perform administrative duties such as scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes.Healthcare Support Occupations
25-1071.00Health Specialties Teachers, PostsecondaryTeach courses in health specialties, in fields such as dentistry, laboratory technology, medicine, pharmacy, public health, therapy, and veterinary medicine.Educational Instruction and Library Occupations