Dental Assisting/Assistant Major

This major is a program that prepares individuals to provide patient care, take dental radiographs (x-ray photographs), prepare patients and equipment for dental procedures, and discharge office administrative functions under the supervision of dentists and dental hygienists.

Includes instruction in medical record-keeping, general office duties, reception and patient intake, scheduling, equipment maintenance and sterilization, basic radiography, pre- and post-operative patient care and instruction, chairside assisting, taking tooth and mouth impressions, and supervised practice.

What can you do with a major/degree in Dental Assisting/Assistant Major?

As a Dental Assistant your responsibilities include performing limited clinical duties under the direction and supervision 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.


Job opportunities for dental assistants are very likely in the future as this career subsector is expected to see a seven percent (7%) growth 2019-2029.


A certificate is typically the minimum educational requirement to enter this career area.  Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam. However, other states require no formal educational requirements and dental assistants learn through on-the-job training. As well, non-certification programs may be an option.


Trade Associations and Professional Organizations in Dental Assisting/Assistant Major


Professional associations are groups of professionals dedicated to topics in specific fields. Professional associations provide a wealth of online resources, some of which are geared specifically towards students. These organizations typically also host conferences and events, providing great opportunities for learning and networking across your field of interest.



Publications/Magazines in Dental Assisting/Assistant Major