Dental Assisting Program

Dental Assisting Program

Program Description

The Dental Assisting Program offers two certificate options. The Certificate of Competence (CO) is a one-semester, daytime only, curriculum designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in private dental offices, hospital outpatient clinics, state and federal agencies, insurance companies and dental supply houses. Students receive instruction in basic dental operatory and laboratory skills and dental terminology. Students are accepted in the Fall semester.

Students who complete the Certificate of Competence may choose to go on for the accredited Certificate of Achievement (CA) program. The CA courses are offered in the Spring semester.

Mission Statement​

The mission of the Dental Assisting Program is to follow the Health Education Unit as well as to serve the needs of the Dental health community by:

  • Preparing students to meet patients’ needs in the dental office
  • Preparing students to apply basic dental operatory and laboratory skills
  • Practicing and implementing CDC-recommended infection control procedures and adhering to OSHA workplace safety standards
  • Understanding and implementing basic dental radiology
  • Assisting in community health by providing clients with oral health information

Degree and Certificate Programs

  • Certificate of Achievement - Dental Assisting (28 credits)
    The Certificate of Achievement in Dental Assisting is a 2 semester, 28 credit program that has been awarded accreditation by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (ADACODA). The Certificate of Achievement in Dental Assisting program prepares individuals to work as clinical and administrative assistants in dental offices, clinics or other dental practice settings. The curriculum is aligned with standards of the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (ADACODA) as well as the Hawai‘i Administrative Rules of the Board of Dental Examiners. Graduates of the accredited program will be immediately eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examination to become Certified Dental Assistants (CDA).
  • Certificate of Competence - Dental Assisting (15 credits)
    The Dental Assisting program is a one-semester, daytime only, curriculum designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in private dental offices, hospital outpatient clinics, state and federal agencies, insurance companies and dental supply houses. Students receive instruction in basic dental operatory and laboratory skills and dental terminology.

Certification

The Dental Assisting National Board offers an examination to students who graduate from a program that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association or have worked more than 3500 hours as a dental assistant (subject to employer verification).

Currently the state of Hawai‘i does not require dental assistants to be certified, unlike 38 mainland states. Certified Dental Assistants are sought after by Federal Agencies such as the military.

Potential Careers and Employers

  • Careers: The purpose of the Dental Assisting program is entry-level preparation of dental assistants to work in private dental offices, hospital outpatient clinics, state and federal agencies, insurance companies, and dental supply houses.  The career outlook nationwide remains positive.

Contact Information

  • Dental Assisting Program: 808.734.9260; Fax: 808.734.9126; Email: hlthsci@hawaii.edu

Health Science & EMS Information Sessions

Program Information sessions are held monthly and provide potential applicants with program details and requirements, application procedures, and career outlook. Attending an information session is recommended before you start your academic journey. Attendance of a program information session within one year of the application submission is mandatory when applying to a Health Science and EMS program.

See the Information Session Schedule below for session dates and times.

Accreditation

The program in Dental Assisting is 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 at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda.

Currently the state of Hawai‘i does not require dental assistants to be certified, unlike 38 mainland states. Certified Dental Assistants are sought after by Federal Agencies such as the military.

**************************          NOTICE           ************************** 

The Dental Assisting Program is going through the accreditation process with the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The site visit will be on October 27 and 28th and we must solicit comments from interested parties. A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission’s policy on third-party comments may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, or by calling 1/800-621-8099, extension 4653.

All comments submitted must pertain only to the standards relative to the particular program being reviewed or policies and procedures used in the accreditation process. Comments will be screened by Commission staff for relevancy. Signed or unsigned comments will be considered. For comments not relevant to these issues, the individual will be notified that the comment is not related to accreditation and, where appropriate, referred to the appropriate agency. For those individuals who are interested in submitting comments, requests may be made to the Commission office.

All relevant comments will have names and/or signatures removed and will then be referred to the program at least fifty (50) days prior to the site visit for review and response. A written response from the program should be provided to the Commission office and the visiting committee fifteen (15) days prior to the site visit. Adjustments may be necessary in the site visit schedule to allow discussion of comments with proper personnel. Negative comments received after the established deadline of sixty (60) days prior to the site visit will be handled as a complaint. Any unresolved issues related to the program’s compliance with the accreditation standards will be reviewed by the visiting committee while on-site.

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