The Dental Assisting Program of the Houston Community College is a one-year (12 month) program, in which the student learns the skills necessary to become a Dental Assistant in both classrooms and onsite labs. The training also places each student in local dental offices where hands-on experience is gained.

Applicants accepted into the program will receive instruction in infection control and bloodborne pathogens before going to clinicals. The program policies on bloodborne and infectious disease(s) are available in the Dental Assisting Program student handbook and at the New Student Orientation. All accepted students are required to have a drug screening, background check and be current with all vaccinations including the Hepatitis B vaccine. Students will not be allowed to attend clinicals until these requirements are met.

A Dental Assisting Program graduate receiving a Certificate of Completion also becomes eligible to take a national exam* which allows the individual to be professionally identified as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). Graduates must take the Registered Dental Assistant Exam (RDA) through the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners in order to work as a dental assistant in Texas.

*An individual with a previous felony conviction should contact the Dental Assisting National Board at: 1-800-FOR- DANB, or 676 North St. Clair, Suite 1880, Chicago, IL 60611, and the State Board of Dental Examiners at Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, 333 Guadalupe Street, Tower 3, Suite 800, Austin TX 78701-3942, concerning eligibility requirements.

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Degrees and Certificates

Dental Assisting - Certificate

Allied Health/Dental Assisting Track - AAS

Program Information

A Career in Dental Assisting

Dental Assistants work under the supervision of a licensed dentist and assist in the care and treatment of dental patients. They perform a variety of important functions in the dental office. As a vital member of the dental health team, the dental assistant prepares the patient for treatment, provides the dentist with necessary instruments, instructs patients in proper oral hygiene, records dental services, and performs various laboratory procedures and managerial duties for the office.

Employment may be sought as a chairside assistant, receptionist, and office manager to the general or specialty dentist in private offices, clinics, and institutions. The average starting salary for an HCCS Dental Assisting graduate ranges between $10 and $14 hourly.

Admission Steps

Are you ready to start the application process for Dental Assisting? Click here to download the admission steps.

Essential Functions

All individuals who apply for admission to theDental Assisting Program must beable to perform essential functions included in this document either with or withoutaccommodations. These essential functions are congruent with theTexas State Board ofDental Examiners, the Dental Assisting National Board and the Commission on DentalAccreditationexpectations of any individual seekingCertification or Registration as aDental Assistant.

Click here to download and review the Essential Functions for the Dental Assisting program.


There are 6,685 Dental Assistants employed in the Greater Houston Area. This number is expected to increase by 10.8% over the next four years.

  • The estimated annual job openings is 370 jobs a year.
  • Median Wages - $16.10 hourly, $33,000 annually

Program Outcomes

Students will be able to

  • Application of four-handed dentistry concepts.
  • Systematically collect diagnostic patient data.
  • Manage infection and hazard control protocol
    consistent with published professional guidelines.
  • Perform dental office business procedures.