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Dental Assisting Program

Our Dental programs provide students with learning opportunities that enable them to obtain licensure as a Registered Dental Hygienist or Registered Dental Assistant, and empowers them to succeed in a changing healthcare environment.

This program is designed to provide the credits necessary for eligibility for Registered Dental Hygiene licensure, Registered Dental Assisting licensure, and transferability for a bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene or likewise.

GRCC's Dental Programs prepare individuals to take the program’s corresponding licensing exams in the state of Michigan, upon program completion. Graduates who wish to practice either Dental Hygiene or Dental Assisting in other states should review the licensure requirements for each state through their individual state board of dentistry and licensing bureau.

Dental Assistant Program 

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.

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.

  • Effective fall semester 2015, a three credit natural science course is required for ALL dental assisting students that plan to graduate with an Associate Degree in Applied Arts and Sciences. The department requires BI117. However, any three credit natural science course will fill the requirement.

The programs in dental assisting and dental hygiene are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation [and has been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements"]. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted by phone (312) 440-4653, by mail 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 or online.

Apply Today

Check out your program options and steps on how to apply.


Catalog Information

Our college catalog contains pre-program requirements and additional information:

Estimated Cost Sheet

Additional Program Information

Posting Form for Policy on Third Party Comments (Commission on Dental Accreditation)

Administrative Rules

Public Health Code

How does a student find out what courses transfer to four year colleges?

The following links will take you to online equivalency guides provided by the transfer institution. This will allow you to check how your GRCC courses will transfer. The college catalogs will allow you learn more about your transfer school. If your transfer institution does not provide an online transfer equivalency guide, you should contact the Counseling and Career Development for additional information and assistance in transferring.

Four year schools and the transfer equivalency guide

Dental Externships

Required dental externships and community rotation sites are within a 200-mile radius of GRCC’s main campus. Students may be placed at any clinical site, regardless of distance. Students are responsible for their own transportation and any cost associated with it. While most rotations occur on weekdays, weekend and night assignments are possible.


The allied dental programs require students to have and be up to date with several vaccinations for admission into either program, including but not limited to:

  • Hepatitis B series.
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (TDap).
  • Varicella Zoster.
  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR).
  • Tuberculosis (TB) skin test.
  • Annual influenza shot.
  • Covid-19 Vaccine*

*Covid-19 Vaccine Requirements

Students enrolled or intending to enroll in any of GRCC's Health Programs that include off campus clinical components (credit or non-credit) will require a COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine will be in addition to any other vaccination and program requirements dictated by accreditation standards and clinical placement requirements. This decision will best ensure the health and success of our students. Students currently in GRCC health programs will be required to complete their COVID-19 vaccination by Nov. 1, 2021. As a reminder, regardless of any exemption granted by GRCC, this does not guarantee an exemption from the vaccine requirement at individually assigned clinical sites, and thus may impact a student's ability to progress. 


Contact Amelita, for specific vaccination requirements.