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Dental Assisting

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Dental Assisting prepares students to work collaboratively in a dental setting or transfer to a healthcare related four-year program. Students will be able to assist the dental team in a broad scope of dental procedures, perform office management functions, and provide patient support. A Certificate of Completion (CCL) is also available.

Graduates are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board Certification Exams to earn the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential. Additionally, students are prepared for the required Arizona Radiologic Proficiency Certificate (AZRC) and the Arizona Coronal Polishing Certificate (AZCP).

Dental assisting professionals meeting admissions guidelines may be eligible to participate in an Expanded Functions Dental Assisting (EFDA) program in Arizona.

This full-time Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (211 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 1900, Chicago, IL 60611-2637; (312) 440-4653).


Details iconImportant information you’ll need when applying for admission:
Field of Interest
Health Sciences
Associate Degree
Academic Plan
Dental Assisting (DEG)
Academic Plan Code
Total Credits Required
Catalog Year
Effective term
Fall 2020

This is a full-time program and requires approximately 40 hours per week for classroom, clinical, and homework.

Students must earn a grade of C or better for all courses within the program.

What You'll Learn

This pathway map will help you gain the expertise needed to:

  1. Provide direct patient care as allowed by the Arizona State Dental Practice Act.
  2. Acquire, interpret, and manage comprehensive patient data including medical and dental histories, vital signs, dental radiographs, photographs, other kinds of imaging, and impressions of patients' teeth for study casts.
  3. Document diagnoses, treatment plans, procedures performed, referrals, and lab cases.
  4. Assist general and specialty dentists and other members of the healthcare team during a variety of treatment procedures, as well as in the management of medical or dental emergencies.
  5. Provide patient support/management, i.e. helping patients feel comfortable before, during and after dental treatment.
  6. Teach patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health; provide instructions for post-operative care.
  7. Communicate with diverse audiences, including the dental team, patients, labs, other healthcare providers, insurance representatives, and suppliers.
  8. Practice OSHA and CDC guidelines for safety and infection control.
  9. Safely operate and maintain dental equipment.
  10. Demonstrate office management skills, including inventory, time management, prioritization, multitasking, computer competency, and application of specialized software.
  11. Exhibit professional behaviors for the dental environment and related professional settings.
  12. Adhere to professional ethics, legal practices, and rules and regulations set forth by the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners.
  13. Apply critical thinking skills to make appropriate decisions.
Career Opportunities

Successful completion of this degree may lead to employment in a variety of different occupations and industries. Below are examples of related occupations with associated Arizona-based annual median wages* for this program. Education requirements vary for the occupations listed below, so you may need further education or degrees in order to qualify for some of these jobs and earn the related salaries. Please visit with an academic advisor and/or program director for additional information.

Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary


* Wage information sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program. Updated May 2019.
Admission Criteria

High school diploma or GED equivalency is required.
Completion of Program Prerequisites with a C or better.
Acknowledgement of ability to fully participate in classroom, laboratory, or clinical setting program activities.
Formal application with unofficial transcripts and admission to the program is required.

After acceptance into the program, the following are required:
Arizona Department of Public Safety Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card
Background Check Requirements
Admission to an Allied Health program requires that students be in compliance with the Maricopa County Community College District Supplemental Background Check policy. Program applications will not be accepted without a copy of the Arizona Department of Public Safety Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card. Upon conditional program admission, the student must comply with all requirements of the current MCCCD background check policy.
Health and Immunity Declaration Form signed by a licensed healthcare provider.
Submit to a drug screening and demonstrate negative results.
Current CPR card for Healthcare Providers and maintain current status throughout the program.
Full compliance with the Maricopa Community Colleges Allied Health Program Students Policies.

Course Sequence by Term

The following is the suggested course sequence by term. Please keep in mind:

  • Students should meet with an academic advisor to develop an individual education plan that meets their academic and career goals. Use the Pathway Planner tool in your Student Center to manage your plan.
  • The course sequence is laid out by suggested term and may be affected when students enter the program at different times of the year.
  • Initial course placement is determined by current district placement measures and/or completion of 100-200 level course and/or program requirements.
  • Degree and transfer seeking students may be required to successfully complete a MCCCD First Year Experience Course (FYE) within the first two semesters at a MCCCD College. Courses include AAA/CPD150, AAA/CPD150AC, CPD104, and AAA115/CPD115. Course offerings will vary by college. See an academic, program, or faculty advisor for details.
  • Consult with your faculty mentor or academic advisor to determine educational requirements, including possible university transfer options, for your chosen career field.

Full-time Sequence

Full-time status is 12 credits to 18 credits per semester.

Term 1

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 1
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
BIO160 or
BIO201 or
Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology or Human Anatomy and Physiology I or Human Anatomy and Physiology I Gateway course BIO201 recommended for transfer SQ or SG or SG 4
ENG101 or
First-Year Composition or First-Year Composition for ESL FYC 3
COM100 or
COM110 or
COM225 or
Introduction to Human Communication or Interpersonal Communication or Public Speaking or Small Group Communication Recommend COM110 or COM230 SB or L 3
HU Humanities, Fine Arts & Design For students seeking university transfer, recommend selecting a course that meets both Humanities, Arts and Design [HU] designation and meets an Awareness area (Cultural Diversity [C] and/or Global Awareness [G]/Historical Awareness [H]) HU 3
AAA/CPD115 or
AAA/CPD150 or
Creating College Success or Strategies for College Success or Educational and Career Planning or Career and Personal Development 0–3

Term 2

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 2
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
BIO202 Human Anatomy and Physiology II Take BIO202 if BIO201 or BIO201XT was selected in Term 1 SG 0–4
ENG102 or
First-Year Composition or First-Year Composition for ESL FYC 3
CRE101 College Critical Reading and Critical Thinking OR Equivalent as indicated by assessment L 0–3
EMT101 Basic Life Support/Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for Health Care Providers OR Current approved CPR certification at the Health Care Provider level 0–0.5
MA Mathematics Any approved general education course from the Mathematics area
Recommend MAT14+ for students seeking university transfer
MA 3–6
Elective Elective 0–4

Term 3

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 3
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
DAE112 Dental Assisting I Gateway course 7
DAE156 Dental Assisting II Critical course 7

Term 4

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 4
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
DAE212 Dental Assisting III Critical course 2
DAE124 Dental Radiography This course can be taken in Summer if program was started in Spring 2
DAE131 Dental Radiography Laboratory This course can be taken in Summer if program was started in Spring 2
DAE140 Dental Issues Seminar 1
DAE224 General Clinical Practice 1
DAE225 Pediatric Clinical Practice 1
DAE226 Periodontal Clinical Practice 1
DAE227 Orthodontic Clinical Practice 1
DAE228 Oral And Maxillofacial Surgery Clinical Practice 1
DAE256 Dental Assisting IV 2

Term 5

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 5
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
PSY101 or
Introduction to Psychology or Introduction to Sociology SB 3
Elective Elective 0–3
Elective Elective 0–3
Course Area Key

Gateway Course = Generally the first major-specific course in a pathway.

Critical Course = A course that is highly predictive of future success in a pathway.


Students must earn a grade of C or better for all courses required within the program.

Course Sequence total credits may differ from the program information located on the MCCCD curriculum website due to program and system design.

View MCCCD’s curriculum website for the Associate in Applied Science in Dental Assisting (

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.

Other Versions

The pathway map presented above is for the current catalog year and is the intended pathway map for new students. Other versions of this pathway map from different catalog years are available below:

Catalog YearEffective Dates
2020-20215/26/2020 – 5/24/2021