Few careers offer the diversity and flexibility that dental assisting does. There are opportunities for part-time and full-time employment, chairside, office and laboratory work and patient education. Most dental assistants work in private dental offices. Others, however, may work in dental schools, hospital dental departments, public health departments, dental laboratories or public and private dental clinics. There are also opportunities to work in the offices of dental specialists like pediatric dentists and orthodontists. Trained dental assistants are often in short supply, making graduates highly employable.
This curriculum allows students to qualify for jobs as both Certified and Registered Dental Assistants in one year. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA) and approved by the Michigan Board of Dentistry.
At the conclusion of their first ten months of training and education at GRCC, graduates will have earned a GRCC Certificate in Dental Assisting. The graduate is eligible to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board examination to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). The graduate is also eligible to sit for the Michigan RDA Examination to become a Registered Dental Assistant in Michigan. Requirements for licensure as an RDA in the State of Michigan are as stated in the Michigan Public Health Code, Public Act 368 of 1978. The new applicant for licensure will be asked about felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions resulting in imprisonment, and convictions for possession of controlled substances (including those involving alcohol related to motor vehicle violations). Previous convictions may prevent the applicant from receiving a license.
Students learn through a three-way combination of classroom, laboratory and clinical experiences. Not only are the latest dental techniques stressed throughout the curriculum, but students also learn how to use computers and digital imaging in the modern dental office.
Following completion of the 10-month curriculum, students may return to GRCC and earn an Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences degree by taking eight more courses in the liberal arts.