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Dental students working in the classroom

Dental Assistant

Why Choose the Dental Assistant Program?

Dental assistants are a key part of a team that can make a positive impact in the lives of patients and their overall health. It is a field of constant innovation, with new technologies and techniques helping promote better health and strategies. Employees value hands-on experience, reliability and a positive personality to match the social dynamic of the workplace, and CPTC's Dental Assistant program promotes all of those. Our program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, and our student test scores on all three parts of the Dental Assistant National Board exams are consistently higher than other schools in the state and nationally. Further, the Dental Assistant Degree typically takes just five quarters to complete - you can get a great education and get ready for a great career in just over a year!

Employers are looking for professional dental assistants that have great soft skills as well as technical skills.
How Long It Takes:

Dental Assistant Degree: 5 Quarters

Dental Assistant Certificate: 5 Quarters

All program lengths are estimates and are not guarantees.


Download Our Application Packet

 

Potential Careers

DENTAL ASSISTANT

Graduates may find employment as dental assistants. In Washington, median pay for dental assistants is $40,100 per year.

Full Career Details.

Career Pathway
 

This is not a guarantee of employment or a certain wage. Full career data available at careerinfo.net.


Gainful Employment Data

Dental Assistant Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Dental Assistant Program, students will:

  • Communicate effectively, verbally and in writing with team members and patients including confidentiality in compliance with HIPAA regulations.
  • Select appropriate instruments, materials, and equipment for various dental procedures.
  • Maintain aseptic technique and apply maintenance of infection control pre-operatively, during patient care, and post-operatively according to OSHA regulations.
  • Anticipate the dentist’s needs based on the procedure being performed.
  • Correctly identify facial landmarks and dental anatomy.
  • Utilize critical thinking in evaluating information, making decisions and completing projects.
  • Evaluate work quality and generate recommendations for continuous improvement.
  • Maintain conduct in a manner appropriate with dental standards in compliance with state and federal law.
  • Multitask and demonstrate flexibility as it pertains to changes in daily routines and scheduled procedures.
  • Prioritize and organize work assignments. Demonstrate effective time management skills.
  • Obtain employment in the dental field or pursue advanced education.
  • Successfully complete all three components of the Dental Assistant National Board exam to become a Certified Dental Assistant.

Meet Your Instructors

Roberta Wirth

Roberta Wirth

Roberta Wirth graduated from CPTC’s Dental Assistant program in 1983 and worked in pediatric and general dentistry for seven years in Tacoma. She’s been teaching at CPTC as a full-time instructor since 1990. She has an MS from Liberty University in Human Services with an emphasis on Executive Leadership.

Bldg 14, Rm 107
253-589-6024
roberta.wirth@cptc.edu


Hannah Precour

Hannah Precour

Hannah Precour graduated from CPTC in 2010 as a Certified and Registered Dental Assistant with a Dental Assisting Degree in Applied Technology. Hannah worked in an Endodontic Specialty office and a general dentist office for five years. Hannah also holds a BS in Human Resources Management.

Bldg 14, Rm 10 7
253-589-5967
hannah.precour@cptc.edu


Taylyr Breiner

Bldg 14, Rm 101
253-589-6023
taylyr.breiner@cptc.edu

 

Dental Assistant Program Information Sessions are hosted in Building 17, Room 107, at 3 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. For more information and a complete schedule of session dates, click here.

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ATTEND AN INFO SESSION

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Dental tools on a tray

STORIES ABOUT OUR DENTAL ASSISTANT PROGRAM

CPTC Dental Students Serve at Project Homeless Connect

CPTC Dental Assistant students continued a decade-long partnership by serving at the Project Homeless Connect event at the Tacoma Dome in October.

Students in Clover Park Technical College’s Dental Assistant program recently had the opportunity to put some of their training to use while serving in the community, as the program’s third-quarter students volunteered at Project Homeless Connect.

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Instructor Receives PSE Distinguished Faculty Award

Roberta Wirth has been a Dental Assistant instructor at CPTC since 1990.

In her 25 years as a Dental Assistant instructor at Clover Park Technical College, Roberta Wirth doesn’t remember ever having to confirm her attendance the night before a college event. It seemed strange to Wirth when she received a phone call from the CPTC Foundation Office on the evening of Sept. 17, making sure she was planning to attend Opening Day the following day.

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‘I’m Doing This for My Future’

 

Kelli Taylor participates in a hands-on exercise with a classmate in the Dental Assistant Program.

When Kelli Taylor grew up with trips to the orthodontist, the impressionable teen enjoyed the bright colors of the office and the scrubs the assistants wore. At the time she never saw herself working in a dental office setting, but after she became a mother she decided that’s exactly what she wanted to do.

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