AAS, Dental Assisting

Note: This degree/certificate leads to professional licensure. Licensing requirements vary by state/territory and relocating could impact whether you will meet eligibility requirements for licensure. Please visit our Professional Licensure Programs page for full details on State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.

Program Description

The TMCC Dental Assisting Program provides instruction in all facets of:

  • Infection Control
  • Chairside Procedures
  • Practice Management
  • Radiography
  • Clinical Science

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be qualified to work as dental assistants in both private and public dental facilities. Graduates will be eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board exam to become a Certified Dental Assistant.

The Associate of Applied Science degree program includes courses designed to prepare the graduate to work in a variety of positions within the dental field. In addition to an emphasis on dental assisting education, the general education courses in the program provide a foundation on which to build professional skills in communication, problem-solving and leadership.

Accreditation information is available on the Dental Assisting Website.

Recommended Course Schedule

All courses are to be taken in the sequence indicated. A grade of 75% or better is required in all courses.  Contact program coordinator for details.

Plan of Study Grid
1st semesterUnits
COM 113 Fundamentals of Speech Communications (Level I - Fall) 3
ENG 101
Composition I (Level I - Fall)
or Composition Enhanced
or Composition I for International and Multilingual Students
Social Science 3
Science 3
 Semester Total12
2nd semester
DA 110 Orientation to Dental Assisting 2
DA 111 Dental Radiography I 3
DA 112 Dental/Head and Neck Anatomy 3
DA 115 Dental Health Education 1
DA 116 Preclinical Dental Science 1.5
DA 117 Dental Materials and Techniques I 2
DA 119 Dental Chairside Procedures 5
 Semester Total17.5
3rd semester
DA 121 Dental Radiography II 2
DA 122 Clinical Dental Science 2
DA 123 Practice Management and Procedures 2
DA 125 Supervised Clinical I 5
DA 127 Dental Materials and Lab Techniques II 2
U.S. and Nevada Constitution 3
 Semester Total16
4th semester
DA 135 Supervised Clinical II 5
DA 137 Specialized Dental Assisting 1
 Semester Total6
5th semester
Science 3
Diversity 3
Electives EPY 101 Recommended 2.5
 Semester Total8.5
 Total Units60

Special Admission Requirements and Procedures

For program application and admission information, please visit the Dental Assisting Program Admissions Procedures page.

Program completion time varies and depends on number of units taken per semester. Please contact the Academic Program Director at 775-673-7125 for more information.

The Dental Assisting Program offers a:

  • Certificate of Achievement – Can be completed in 10-12 months, see certificate worksheet.
  • Associate of Applied Science – Can be completed in 2 years, see degree worksheet.

Admission to the dental assisting AAS degree program and the certificate program is limited with special requirements and procedures.

Student progression in the program is contingent upon attaining a grade of “C” or better in all dental assisting curriculum. Courses are to be taken in the sequence outlined on the worksheet.

For additional program information please contact the program coordinator at 775-673-7125, or visit the Dental Assisting Program web site.

AAS degrees are generally non-transfer degrees that are designed for students to enter the workforce.

To earn an AAS degree, students must:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (see requirements for graduation.)
  2. Complete a minimum of 15 units within the college.
  3. Satisfy General Education requirements for the AAS.
  4. Have no financial or library obligation to the college.
General Education Requirements
Required for English:
Composition I
Composition Enhanced
Composition I for International and Multilingual Students
Required for Communications:
Fundamentals of Speech Communications (Recommended) 3
Composition II
Composition II For International and Multilingual Students
Fine Arts/Humanities/Social Science3
General Psychology
Human Relations[3]
Satisfied through Degree Requirements (DA 110, DA 112, DA 125)
Mathematics requirement is satisfied through embedded curriculum in the following: DA 111, DA 117, DA 119 DA 121, DA 123, DA 127.
Select 2 courses from the following, one must be a biology course: BIOL 100, BIOL 190, BIOL 223, BIOL 224, NUTR 121, NUTR 223
General Biology for Non-Majors
and Human Nutrition
Additional College Requirements
Diversity 13
U.S. and Nevada Constitutions 3
Degree Requirements 2
DA 110Orientation to Dental Assisting2
DA 111Dental Radiography I3
DA 112Dental/Head and Neck Anatomy3
DA 115Dental Health Education1
DA 116Preclinical Dental Science1.5
DA 117Dental Materials and Techniques I2
DA 119Dental Chairside Procedures5
DA 121Dental Radiography II2
DA 122Clinical Dental Science2
DA 123Practice Management and Procedures2
DA 125Supervised Clinical I5
DA 127Dental Materials and Lab Techniques II2
DA 135Supervised Clinical II5
DA 137Specialized Dental Assisting1
Electives Recommend EPY 1012.5
Total Units60

See the diversity section of the general education descriptions for a complete list of courses. 


All DA courses are to be taken in the time sequence indicated. A grade of “C” or better required.


Some Science courses will have additional Math or Science prerequisites, please check the specific course for prerequisites. 

Students completing the degree will:

  • Perform basic side chair functions to facilitate completion of restorative and advanced operative procedures as allowed by the state dental act.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of radiation safety and proficiency in exposing, processing, and mounting dental radiographs.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of infection and hazard control in the lab/workplace.
  • Perform basic office procedures necessary to assist in managing the dental practice.