Dental Assisting - Certificate Program
Dental assistants perform a wide variety of essential functions in dental offices and benefit from strong job opportunities. Eastern Florida State College’s Dental Assisting Applied Technology Diploma is one of the best options for students wishing to get a fast start on their career, with convenient daytime and evening program options.
EFSC students work with dental patients, under the supervision of a licensed dentist and program faculty in the on-site College Dental Clinic or local dental offices, for maximum hands-on experience. Dental assisting students serve approximately 320 clinical hours treating patients prior to graduation.
Graduates of the dental assistant program are qualified to take the Dental Assisting National Board exam. Dental assistants who successfully complete that exam may use the title "Certified Dental Assistant" and the letters "CDA" following their name. Graduates also receive certification in Expanded Functions, as required by the Florida State Board of Dentistry.
Dental Assisting A.T.D. COURSE CURRICULUM
Training topics include dental profession ethics and goals, human anatomy and physiology, dental equipment, instruments and materials, dental X-ray techniques, chairside assisting techniques, sterilization, oral hygiene, office management, and emergency patient care.
The Daytime Program begins in May each year on EFSC's Cocoa Campus and lasts for 14 months. The evening option is a hybrid 16-month program that starts in Fall Term each year, with online courses and evening on-campus labs in Cocoa two nights per week, making it a convenient option for working adults. During the third and fourth semesters, hybrid program students must also attend at least two clinical days during the Monday through Friday work week.
Dental Assisting ATD Admissions Information
EFSC’s Dental Assisting ATD is a limited-access program with a special selection and application process in addition to the general Eastern Florida admissions process.
Daytime Program Annual Application Deadline: April 8
Hybrid/Evening Program Annual Application Deadline: June 8
- Meet with a Health Sciences advisor to review program requirements and the selection process. For both dental assisting
program options, selection for admission is guided by a selection point scale. Discussing this with an advisor before you apply is very beneficial.
- Apply for Admission: Interested students must review and complete the customized Dental Assisting Application Process. Completed application files are due by the annual deadline for each program option.
- Review complete program information. Check out all the details on this page and look over common questions and answers about the program.
- If selected, complete Accepted Student Requirements. Students accepted in the Dental Assisting ATD program are required to complete and pass a background check, drug screening, and comply with immunization requirements.
Accreditation Details and Additional Program Info
The Dental Assiting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
The Commission on Dental Accreditation is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.
The program must solicit third-party comments through appropriate notification of communities of interest and the public such as faculty, students, program administrators, specialty and dental-related organizations, patients, and consumers that pertain to the standards of policies and procedures used in the Commission's accreditation process. The accreditation happens every 7 years. The next site visit will be in 2025. All third party comments are due in the Commission's office no later than 60 days prior to the site visit.
An "Expanded Functions Certificate" enables dental assistants to perform designated tasks permitted by the State Board of Dentistry. Some of the tasks to be learned by students include the following:
- Polishing clinical crowns of teeth
- Taking impressions for study casts
- Application of topical fluorides
- Fabrication of temporary crowns and bridges
- Taking Radiographic Films
The careful management of infection and cross contamination is extremely important in the dental field. The Department of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting follows the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2003, and all subsequent revisions.
Students enrolled in a Dental program may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens. All students must have a thorough knowledge and understanding of infectious diseases, the mechanism of disease transmission, the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, and CDC Guidelines for Infection Control in the Dental Health-Care Setting.
The Goals of Eastern Florida State College's Dental Assistant program are:
- To prepare students as competent Dental Assistants
- To fulfill the need for Dental Assistants in the local and regional communities
- To provide guidance, information, evaluation, and role-modeling faculty who will foster the development of knowledgeable and skilled Dental Assistants
- To provide safe and sufficient resources for the attainment of educational goals
Frank Reuter, Dental Assisting ATD Graduate
I continuously boast about the knowledge I gained while attending the 16-month program. Our class became a close-knit family. It is a great place to start your dental career. The knowledge I have gained from the Dental Assisting program will serve me for the rest of my career.
Dental Assisting Costs & Financial Aid Eligibility
Estimated expenses for EFSC’s Dental Assisting A.T.D. program total approximately $7,500.
You may be eligible for financial aid and scholarships to assist you in paying for the the Dental Assisting program. We highly recommended applying for both federal aid and Titan Scholarships provided by the EFSC Foundation, as well as community-based scholarships.
College Courses You Will Take
In this course, students learn how to take digital x-rays safely, plus how to process and evaluate diagnostically acceptable dental radiographs.
In this course, dental assistant students participate as patients so they know what it feels like to have certain procedures performed and can better explain them to their patients.
In this course, students work in dental offices, sitting chairside and perfecting their skills while learning from professionals.
This course enables students to transfer theory into technique by providing hands-on experience with dental equipment and materials.
Why study dental assisting at EFSC?
- The opportunity to work with patients of all ages to gain different skills in a dental office
- An on-site dental clinic for patient treatment and lab with necessary equipment to perform dental assisting skills
- Hands-on training in both EFSC’s clinical setting and externship dental offices in the community
- Job open houses and other on-campus student activities
- Our daytime and evening program options
- Passionate, dedicated faculty with lengthy experience in dental assisting and dental hygiene, including the real-world expertise to make student coursework more relevant to the workplace
- The opportunity to continue on to earn the Dental Hygiene A.S. degree or Dental Assisting Technology and Management A.S. degree, with your Dental Assisting ATD courses earning you partial credit toward either degree.