Begin a rewarding in-demand career in Dental Assisting! The program familiarizes students with all areas of pre-clinical dental assisting and provides training in the professional skills required to function as an assistant in the dental practice. Topics include history of dentistry and dental assisting; introduction to the dental office; the legal aspects of dentistry; policies and guidelines.
Tuition includes an e-book and course support. An externship opportunity to learn the profession in the field is available upon request as you near the end of your program. The National Workforce Career Association (NWCA) test voucher, which enables you to take the career credentialing national exam, is included in the tuition. This highly desirable, portable credential enhances your resume and signifies that you have the skills employers demand.
Although listed as Asynchronous (self-study), an instructor will be assigned to teach the class once enrollment reaches six or more students. Should this happen, classes will meet over Zoom Mondays and Wednesdays for an hour to an hour-and-a-half between 6 pm – 9:30 pm. These Zoom sessions are not mandatory, but it will be beneficial to your studies if you want to participate. You will still maintain your self-study schedule and will need to complete the quizzes and final to successfully complete the class.
With six or more students, in-person labs will take place at the Chelsea campus (70 Everett Avenue in Chelsea, MA) near the end of the program. There are five lab sessions with each session being 3.5 hours in duration, 6-9:30 p.m. You will receive communication about the dates for when the in-person labs will be held, if they run.
NOTE: In-person labs may be cancelled if COVID-19 regulations restrict in-person learning.
Once you register and pay for the course, you will receive your course start-up instructions along with your e-book within two days of the course start date. As soon as you receive the materials by email, you may begin your course. If an instructor is assigned to your cohort, you will receive a link to join the Zoom sessions. Each session runs 1.5 hours between the hours of 6-9:30 p.m. Once you complete the program you can email learner support to let them know and they will give you the NWCA voucher along with directions on how to complete it.
- Students who are approved for the Training Opportunity Program (TOP) must commit to studying full time in the program. Full-time equals 20 hours per week spent on making progress in the course. Maintaining the 20 hour per week study plan should enable TOP students to finish the program in as little as four weeks.
- Students putting in 6-11 hours of study time per week can expect to complete the program anywhere from 8-16 weeks. Tuition includes the NWCA test voucher. Beyond the NWCA exam, students may also pursue the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Radiology Health and Safety (RHS) Examination. Students pay out of pocket for the DANB (RHS) exam.
This program is approved for Rapid Recovery & Reemployment (R3) grant funds. To determine if you qualify for financial assistance, please contact Lateia Johnson at email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I qualify for this course?
To qualify for this program, you need to have earned your high school diploma or have an equivalent like a GED or HiSet. You should also possess a 10th grade English reading level.
What does the tuition include?
Your tuition includes an e-book, course support, and the NWCA (DACC) exam.
Does This Self-Paced Course Offer Instructional Assistance?
Yes. You may reach out to Learner Support to ask course content questions. Please visit the Learner Support center to look through Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that address the most common Learner issues. Here, you can also submit a Support Ticket that will be assigned to a Learner Support team member and we'll get in touch right away to help. If you need help immediately, please contact us at 877-261-1484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much time should I be studying each week in the course?
The online portion of the course is approximately 60 hours and most students will complete their certification in 8-16 weeks. If you want to finish the online portion of your studies in 8 weeks, be prepared to spend a minimum of 7.5 hours per week persisting in the course. If you want to complete it in 16 weeks, then you are looking at spending about four hours per week studying. The more hours you spend studying in the course per week, the sooner you will finish. This does not account for in-person lab times and externship.
Are the in-person labs and clinical externships required?
While neither the in-person lab nor the clinical externship is required, they are both beneficial. We highly encourage taking advantage of both. Or you may choose to do one of the two.
What are the workplace tasks of a Dental Assistant?
- Professional written and verbal communication with patients, dental personnel, 3rd party payers, and vendors and suppliers
- Knowledge of general anatomy and physiology, infection control, and the ability to counsel patients on oral health and nutrition
- Assist in the daily delivery of oral health procedures while maintaining a safe and moisture free environment in the oral cavity
- Interview patients to complete documents, case histories, and intake or insurance forms
- Expose and develop high quality radiographs or digital images and work with dental instruments and materials
- Handle dental records with attention to HIPAA privacy requirements
- Follow the common procedures of the dental specialties
- Assist in emergency care situations
What is the NWCA (DACC) Exam?
A credential from National Workforce Career Association (NWCA) demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of an entire content area, industry or area of expertise. An NWCA credential indicates to prospective or current employers that an earner has passed an extensive, rigorous exam which thoroughly tests the competency and skills of the earner.
The Dental Assistant Clinical Certification (DACC) credential is appropriate for a dental assistant, and all others who participate in the daily delivery of oral health care of a dental office practice. This credential documents the knowledge and skills of a Dental Assistant. The certification will test the knowledge of the assistant in areas anatomy and physiology, ethics and law, patient records, examination and treatment planning, infection control, radiography, dental materials and instruments, the dental specialties, and assisting in emergency care.
How do I register for the NWCA (DACC) Exam?
You will need to contact Learner Support.
Please visit the Learner Support center to look through Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that address the most common Learner issues. Here, you can also submit a Support Ticket that will be assigned to a Learner Support team member and we'll get in touch right away to help. If you need help immediately, please contact us at 877-261-1484 or email@example.com
How long is the NWCA exam?
Exam Structure Overview Number of Questions in Exam: 60
Total Time: 90 minutes
Overall Passing Score: 70%
(All sections require an individual passing score of 70%)
Does the course offer the Radiology Exam?
No. It does not. Although the Dental Assisting course covers dental radiography, dental film and processing procedures, intraoral radiographic procedures, and extraoral and digital radiographic procedures, it does not offer the radiology exam. The course prepares you to sit for two exams: NWCA and Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Radiology Health and Safety (RHS) Examination. Your tuition includes the NWCA exam and you would request to take this exam via Learner Support and they will set it up for you.
To take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) – Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam you must be Dental Assistant Trained on the Job (OJT) and complete a course in radiological techniques and safeguards. Since the course you are taking covers radiological techniques and safeguards, you are good with this. In many states, including Massachusetts, DANB-RHS certification is required to work in dental radiography. Examinees must register separately for this exam and pay out of pocket. To fulfill the OJT requirement you must already be employed at a dental practice.
For additional information about the DANB RHS exam, please visit the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. website at https://www.danb.org/en/Meet-State-Requirements/State-Specific-Information/Massachusetts.aspx. There is a link located on the right hand of the page titled, The DANB RHS exam application packet. This packet includes applications for the following exam: Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) DANB.
The exam fee is $270 as listed in the application.
Do I need to complete the DANB-RHS exam to work as a dental assistant?
No. Once you complete the Dental Assisting course you can work as a dental assistant. However, to do the radiation you will have to sit for the RHS exam.
What will I earn after I complete the course?
Upon successful completion of the Dental Assisting course, you will earn an e-certificate from BHCC. This is evidence that you have completed your course at the college.
Then, when you take and pass the NWCA Dental Assisting Clinical Certification exam, included in your course tuition, you earn a national certification.
A certification denotes that someone has met certain professional requirements and passed a certification exam. The NWCA credential documents development of knowledge and skills related to the procedures used in assisting the dentist. This credential is appropriate for a dental assistant, and all others who participate in the daily delivery of oral health care of a dental office practice. For details about this credential, visit https://nwca.edu2.com/product/1569/dental-assisting-clinical-certification
Demonstration of success on the NWCA exam will result in the achievement of the digital badge and will be available for display on the earners’ digital portfolio on CampusEd.
Can I apply for dental assisting jobs?
You may apply for dental assisting jobs upon successful completion of the course and pass the NWCA exam. If the dental practice requires a CPR certification, you may ask if the practice offers CPR training to help you obtain your certification. Or, you may access the training from the Red Cross here: https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr
Does this course cover infection control?
Yes. Infection control is covered in lesson #5, “Oral Pathology and Infection Control” in your e-book, Comprehensive Dental Assisting, Enhanced First Edition.
If the dental practice where you are seeking employment asks if you possess the Infection Control certificate, you may say that the course you took covered “Oral Pathology and Infection Control”, and that the course includes the NWCA Dental Assisting Certification exam, which tests the knowledge of the assistant in several key areas, including Infection Control and Radiography. You may add that, with the support from the Dental practice, you will take the ICE exam after you are hired and gain some work experience.
What dental assisting certifications can I pursue beyond the NWCA exam?
Whether you earn certification as a general dental assistant or expand your skills with certification in specialty areas, a professional credential can boost your employment options and career opportunities.
The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) is the nationally recognized certification organization for dental assistants. DANB offers several certifications for all stages of your career, from entry-level to advanced. Some DANB certifications are made up of different component exams, which you can take together or separately. When you pass all the exams, you will earn the certification. It’s common for dental assistants to begin with earning DANB’s NELDA or CDA certification before continuing on to earning specialty certification. Please visit https://www.danb.org/certification/earn-dental-assistant-certification for description of each certification you may earn throughout your dental assisting career journey.
For information about DANB’s Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam, please visit https://www.danb.org/exams/exam/rhs-exam.
For information about DANB’s Infection Control (ICE) exam, please visit https://www.danb.org/exams/exam/ice-exam.
Please note: Bunker Hill Community College does not offer any assistance in helping you apply for any of the DANB exams you choose to pursue. You will need to follow the steps to apply reflected on the DANB application. You may also contact Learner Support at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance surrounding preliminary information about DANB.
Applying for A Dental Assisting License in Massachusetts
Completion of the Dental Assisting course at Bunker Hill Community College will not enable you to obtain a dental assisting license in Massachusetts. The college does not offer assistance in helping you with your application when you apply. To pursue a license and to determine if you meet the qualifications prior to applying, please visit https://www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-a-dental-assistant-license.
What are the Massachusetts Dental Assisting Requirements?
Each state has different requirements for dental assistants. Visit https://www.danb.org/state-requirements/detail/massachusetts-state-requirements to see the links to all the information you need to understand the requirements for dental assistants in this state. View the different dental assisting levels, along with the requirements for each. You can also view the allowable duties at each level.
For Radiography Requirements, please visit https://www.danb.org/state-requirements/massachusetts-radiography.
For Requirements for Dental Assistant Trained on the Job, visit https://www.danb.org/state-requirements/massachusetts-dental-assistant-trained-on-the-job
How do I apply for a Dental Assisting license in Massachusetts?
Please visit https://www.mass.gov/dental-assistant-licenses
Note: Bunker Hill Community College does not offer assistance in helping you apply for your Dental Assisting license. The dental assisting course does not automatically qualify you for a Dental Assisting license in Massachusetts.
Career Ladders of a Dental Assistant in Massachusetts, Allowable and Prohibited Duties (make this a hyperlink to https://danbsfprodassets.azureedge.net/assets/docs/default-source/clt/massachusetts_aba9b1b3-a977-4987-8c53-fbd31ae42588.pdf?sfvrsn=73b2a7b6_2
Hybrid Dental Assisting Program w/Clinical Externship (NWCA Exam Included) NON-900E
Online Course: The Dental Assisting program familiarizes students with all areas of pre-clinical dental assisting and provides training in the professional skill required to function as an assistant in the dental practice. This hybrid course allows you to take the "classroom" portion remotely via pre-recorded sessions. You will have access to online course support, if needed.
The online portion is approximately 60 hours and most students will complete their certification in 8-16 weeks. Upon registration and payment. you will received your course start-up instructions along with your e-book within 10 days of the course start date. Clinical externship available upon request. Tuition on includes an e-book, course support, and a voucher to take the National Workforce Career Association (NWCA)exam.
|Section||Dates||Days and Times||Instructor||Fee||Register|
|NON-900E-SU01||Jun 12 - Aug 7|
This course is Asynchronous
(Ends Jun 11)
|NON-900E-FN01||Sep 18 - Nov 15|
This course is Asynchronous
(Ends Sep 15)
|NON-900E-FN02||Oct 31 - Jan 15|
This course is Asynchronous
(Ends Oct 27)