Dental Assistant Program

The Dental Assistant program prepares the students, as a member of the dental health team, to assist the dentist in all phases of dentistry. The program includes general and specialty dentistry, chairside procedures, radiology, and laboratory and business office assisting.

An integral part of the educational program is clinical experience; this is provided by rotation through various dental facilities.

The Dental Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council of Postsecondary Accreditation and the United States Department of Education. The Dental Assistant Program adheres to DMACC's Bloodborne pathogen policy.

This program may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.


The Dental Education programs at Des Moines Area Community College will be visited by an accreditation team from the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (ADA CODA) July 9-11, 2014. During that time, the team will review the Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene programs for renewed accreditation. Accreditation is granted for a period of seven years.

As part of the accreditation process, the Dental Assisting program is soliciting third-party comments from interested parties such as faculty, students, program administrators, special and dental related organizations, clients, and/or consumers that pertain to the standards of policies and procedures used in the Commission's accreditation process. Comments are due in the ADA commissioner's office by May 8 and should be submitted to: Third Party Comments, Commission on Dental Accreditation, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60611; or by calling 1-800-621-8099 extension 4653. All comments must be signed and must pertain only to the standards relative to the dental assisting program policies and procedures used in the accreditation process.

The mission of the Commission on Dental Accreditation is to serve the public by establishing, maintaining, and applying standards that ensure the quality and continuous improvement of dental and dental-related education and reflect the evolving practice of dentistry. The Commission, established in 1975, is nationally recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) to accredit dental and dental-related education programs conducted at the post-secondary level.

For more information, contact Deborah Penney, chair and professor, Department of Health & Public Services, at 515-964-6582 or

Program Information Session Dates

  • Wednesday,June 11, 2014-10 a.m. to Noon
  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014-10 a.m. to Noon