Skip Ribbon Commands Skip to main content
NWTC Logo   Link to Home Page

Dental Assistant Program Code 315081

1 Year Technical Diploma

Offered at the Green Bay campus. For information: (920) 498-5444. Toll-free: (888) 385-6982.

This program is fully eligible for financial aid.

The Dental Assistant program prepares students for a professional career in Dental Assisting. Upon graduation the student will be proficient in assisting during patient care in a dental office. The program is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to become a valuable member of the dental team.

Employment Potential

The program prepares graduates to work with dentists as they examine and treat patients. Dental assistants may carry out a variety of laboratory, clinical, and office duties, such as patient scheduling and bookkeeping functions. Dental assistants typically work in general or specialty dental offices. Some dental assistants may work for insurance companies, dental lab studios, or dental supply companies. The dental assistant may also find employment with federal agencies such as the Veterans Administration, US Public Health Services, the Armed Forces, or a state, county, or city health facility.

Graduates may find employment as a:

. Dental Assistant

. Dental Office Manager

. Dental Laboratory Assistant

. Dental Laboratory Technician

. Dental Treatment Coordinator

. Maxillofacial Dental Assistant

. Endodontic Dental Assistant

. Prosthodontic Dental Assistant

. Dental Receptionist

. Dental Practice Manager

. Dental Sales Representative

. Orthodontic Dental Assistant

. Pediatric Dental Assistant

. Periodontic Dental Assistant

Program Outcomes

. Collect diagnostic and treatment data.
. Manage infection and hazard control.
. Perform clinical supportive treatments.
. Take diagnostic radiographs.
. Perform dental laboratory procedures.
. Provide patient oral health instruction.
. Assist in managing medical emergencies.
. Model professional behaviors, ethics, and appearance.
. Carry out dental office procedures.

Wisconsin Caregiver Law

NWTC is required to comply with the Wisconsin Caregiver Law (1997 WISCONSIN ACT 27). The completion of a caregiver background check includes the review of criminal records for convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behavior. Students accepted into this program must complete a background check through Information regarding this process is provided to students immediately upon acceptance into the program. Students with a criminal history may be denied access to placement at the discretion of the clinical or practicum site. Consequently, should a student have a history of convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behaviors, NWTC cannot guarantee clinical/practicum placement or guarantee graduation within typical program timing.

Clinical Experience

. Students will be required to purchase personal protection equipment/clothes and provide their own transportation to the dental office.
. Students are required to complete an American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR course during their first semester.
. Submit required immunization documentation. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.


The Dental Assistant program is accredited by the American Dental Association-Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Board/Certification Examinations

Graduates will be provided the opportunity to obtain the CDA credential.

Requirements for Program Application

. Completed application.
. High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to
. Admission Assessment, or equivalent or ACT assessment taken within the last five years. (For a list of equivalents, please contact a Counselor.)

Requirements for Program Entry

. As a requirement for program entry, an Academic Skills Assessment (Compass or ACT) with appropriate benchmark scores is necessary. Compass benchmarks are Algebra, 39; Reading, 75; Writing Skills, 74. ACT benchmarks are Math, 15; Reading, 16; English, 18. Applicants not meeting these benchmarks or the equivalent will be required to establish an individualized academic plan. Upon completion of the plan, full program or waitlist status will be granted. To learn more about these assessments and program benchmark scores, please contact an advisor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.
. Attend mandatory program orientation and welcome week.
. Complete caregiver background check. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.

Suggested Skills for Success

. Students are expected to have entry-level computer and keyboarding skills. It is recommended that students complete basic computer skills coursework if deficient in this area.
. A science background with emphasis in Advanced Biology and Anatomy and Physiology is highly recommended.

Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Studies staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses. To find out more about which of your program courses may offer an opportunity during this academic year, contact your academic advisor.


Students following the study plan below will complete the Dental Assistant technical diploma in the number of semesters shown.

Start dates for the first semester are June and September.


* 10-508-101 Dental Health Safety
10-801-196 Oral/Interpersonal Comm
** 10-890-101 College 101
* 31-508-304 Dental & General Anatomy
* 31-508-307 Dental Assistant Professional

* 10-508-103 Dental Radiography
* 10-508-113 Dental Materials
* 10-508-120 Dental Office Management
* 31-508-302 Dental Chairside
* 31-508-306 Dental Assistant Clinical

* 31-508-308 Dental Chairside Advanced
* 31-508-309 Dental Laboratory Procedures
* 31-508-310 Dental Radiography - Advanced
* 31-508-311 Dental Assistant Clinical-Adv


Curriculum Note
* No final grade lower than a “C” is acceptable in any of the courses marked with an asterisk. A student who withdraws or receives a grade lower than a “C” in a program course may apply for re-entry into the program. Consideration for re-entry will be at the discretion of the re-entry team.
**The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an Institutional Requirement for graduation.
Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements.
The following courses will transfer into the Dental Hygiene Associate Degree program:
• 10-508-101, Dental Health Safety
• 10-508-103, Dental Radiography Application
• 10-508-113, Dental Materials
• 10-508-120, Dental Office Management


These courses provide an opportunity for students to develop the knowledge, skills, and understanding required for employment in this field.

10-508-101 DENTAL HEALTH SAFETY...prepares dental auxiliary students to respond proactively to dental emergencies, control infection, prevent disease, adhere to OSHA Standards, and safely manage hazardous materials. Students also take patient vital signs and collect patient medical/dental histories. CPR certification is a prerequisite; students will be required to show proof of certification before beginning the course. (Prerequisite: Accepted into the Dental Hygiene or Dental Assistant Programs)

10-508-103 DENTAL RADIOGRAPHY APPLICATIONS...prepares dental auxiliary students to operate x-ray units and expose bitewing, periapical, extra oral, and occlusal radiographs. Emphasis is placed on protection against x-ray hazards. Students also process, mount, and evaluate radiographs for diagnostic value. In this course students demonstrate competency on a manikin. In addition, students expose bitewing radiographs on a peer, role-play patient. (Prerequisites: 10-508-101, Dent Health Safety; Corequisite: 10-508-102, Oral Anat & Hist OR 31-508-304, Dental & General Anat)

10-508-113 DENTAL MATERIALS...prepares dental auxiliary students to handle and prepare dental materials such as liners, bases, cements, amalgam, resin restorative materials, gypsum products, and impression materials. They also learn to take alginate impressions on manikins and clean removable appliances. (Prerequisites: 10-508-101, Dental Health Safety; 31-508-304, Dental & General Anatomy OR 10-508-102, Oral Anatomy, Embry, Histology)

10-508-120 DENTAL OFFICE MANAGEMENT...prepares dental auxiliary students to manage telephones, appointments, recall systems, and inventory. Students also develop the skills need to process accounts receivable and payable, collections, and third party reimbursements. (Prerequisite: 10-508-101, Dental Health Safety)

31-508-302 DENTAL CHAIRSIDE...prepares dental assistant students to chart oral cavity structures, dental pathology, and restorations and to assist a dentist with basic dental procedures including examinations, pain control, amalgam restoration, and cosmetic restoration. Students will also develop the ability to educate patients about preventive dentistry, brushing and flossing techniques, and dental procedures, using lay terminology. Throughout the course, students will apply decoding strategies to the correct use and interpretation of dental terminology. (Prerequisites: 10-508-101, Dental Health Safety; 31-508-304, Dental & General Anatomy; Corequisite: 10-508-113, Dental Materials; All other 2nd semester classes)

31-508-304 DENTAL & GENERAL ANATOMY...prepares dental assistant students to apply fundamentals of general and dental anatomy to informed decision-making and to professional communication with colleagues and patients. (Corequisites: 10-508-101, Dental Health Safety; 31-508-307, Dental Asst Professionalism)

31-508-306 DENTAL ASSISTANT CLINICAL...students apply skills developed in Dental and General Anatomy, Dental Health Safety, Dental Chairside, Dental Materials, Dental Radiography, and Professionalism in a clinical setting with patients. Emphasizes integration of core abilities and basic occupational skills. (Prerequisites: 10-508-101, Dental Health Safety; 31-508-304, Dental & General Anatomy; 31-508-307, Dental Assistant Professionalism; Corequisites: 31-508-302, Dental Chairside; 10-508-113, Dental Materials; 10-508-103 ,Dental Radiography Applications)

31-508-307 DENTAL ASSISTANT PROFESSIONALISM...prepares dental assistant students for professional success in a dental practice or another dental health care environment. Students develop professional appearance and image. More importantly, they learn to work within ethical guidelines and legal frameworks. In preparation for entering the work force, dental assistants customize or develop their portfolios and lay out an ongoing professional development plan. (Corequisites: 10-508-101, Dental Health Safety; 31-508-304, Dental & General Anatomy)

31-508-308 DENTAL CHAIRSIDE - ADVANCED...prepares dental assistant students to adapt chairside skills to assisting with dental specialties as they are performed in general practice. Focuses on pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, oral maxillofacial surgery, endodontics, periodontic, and prosthodontics. Students will also develop the ability to assist with sealants, perform coronal polishing, and apply topical fluoride and topical anesthetics. (Prerequisites: 31-508-302, Dental Chairside; 31-508-306, Dental Assistant Clinical; All other 2nd semester classes; Corequisite: 31-508-309, Dental Lab Procedures; All other 3rd semester classes)

31-508-309 DENTAL LABORATORY PROCEDURES...prepares Dental Assistant students to produce alginate impressions and fabricate diagnostic models, oral appliances, temporary restorations, and custom trays. Students also polish oral appliances. (Prerequisites: 31-508-304, Dental & Gen Anatomy; 10-508-113, Dental Materials; All other 2nd semester classes; Corequisite: 31-508-308, Dental Chairside-Advanced; All other 3rd semester classes)

31-508-310 DENTAL RADIOGRAPHY - ADVANCED...builds on principles and skills developed in Dental Radiography. Dental assisting students expose full mouth series, extra-oral and specialized radiographs on adult and child patients. Emphasis is placed on protection against x-ray hazards. Students will also process, mount, and evaluate radiographs for diagnostic value. In addition, they will use radiographs to explain dental health and treatment plans to patients. (Prerequisite: 10-508-103, Dental Radiography Applications; All other 2nd semester classes; Corequisite: 31-508-311, Dental Assistant Clinical Advanced; All other 3rd semester classes)

31-508-311 DENTAL ASSISTANT CLINICAL - ADV ...Dental assisting students apply skills developed in Dental Chairside - Advanced, Dental Lab Procedures, Dental Radiography - Advanced, and Dental Office Procedures in a clinical setting with patients. Emphasizes integration of core abilities and basic and advanced occupational skills. (Prerequisite: 31-508-306, Dent Asst Clinical; All other 2nd semester classes; Corequisites: 31-508-308, Dental Chairside Advanced; 31-508-309, Dental Lab Procedures; 31-508-310, Dental Radiography Advanced; 10-508-120, Dental Office Management)

10-801-196 ORAL/INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION ...the communication process, perception and self-concept, language, listening, nonverbal communication, interpersonal relationships, communication in groups and public communication; prepare and deliver an oral presentation. (Prerequisite: Compass Reading=70 AND Compass Writing Skills=60 OR ACT- Reading =15 and ACT English=16 OR 10-838-105, Intro to Reading & Study Skills or 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing with "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

10-890-101 COLLEGE 101 ...develops tools and strategies that support success in college. Focuses on study skills, college resources, goal setting, time management, and learning styles. Introduces concepts for self assessing learning and completing an Exit Assessment that provides evidence that learning took place. Students should take this course prior to or during the first semester of their programs. 1 cr.

Dental Assistant