Dental Assisting

Dental Assisting Certificate and A.A.S. Degree Program

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What is Dental Assisting?Dental Program Student Working

A dental assistant is an important member of an efficient dental team--providing a valuable service to both the office and the patient. An assistant anticipates the need of a dentist and aids in intraoral procedures, takes x-rays, prepares lab work, is responsible for disinfection/sterilization protocols, and can also perform office administrative duties.

Program Options

Illinois Valley Community College’s Dental Assisting Program is completed in three semesters or one full year. After the completion of the required courses, you will receive a Certificate in Dental Assisting. Students successfully completing the Dental Assisting Program at Illinois Valley Community College will be considered Expanded Functions Dental Assistants (EFDA). This is a designation that is currently only awarded to graduates of IVCC's Dental Assisting Program.

Additional Certificates will also be awarded after the successful completion of the program including:

  • Expanded Functions Dental Assistant
    • Coronal Polish
    • Enamel Sealants
    • Nitrous oxide monitoring
    • Vitality testing
    • Composite placement
    • Amalgam placement
    • Final impressions (material and digital)
  • Coronal Scaling
    • Prerequisite: Must be currently certified in BLS for healthcare providers or its equivalent and have successfully completed an approved coronal polishing course. A copy of your current BLS card and Coronal Polish Certificate must accompany registration form. Illinois Valley Community College is an approved provider of continuing education in the State of Illinois.
    • A dental assistant who has at least 2,000 hours of direct clinical patient care experience and who has successfully completed an approved coronal polishing certification course is eligible to attend the coronal scaling course.
    • The dental assistant is limited to the use of hand instruments. The coronal scaling is limited to above the gum line, supragingivally, on the clinical crown of the tooth of a patient 17 years of age or younger, who have an absence of periodontal disease and who are not medically compromised or individuals with special needs.
    • This course includes 16 hours of instruction in both didactic and clinical manikin instruction in the areas of study in dental anatomy, public health dentistry, medical history, dental emergencies, and managing the pediatric patient.
    • After successfully completion of the course, the supervising dentist must observe and approve the completion of six full mouth supragingival scaling procedures before the Coronal Scaling Certificate is awarded.
    • Sixteen continuing education hours will be awarded through the Continuing Education Office upon completion of the course.
  • Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
    • After successful completion of IVCC's Dental Assisting Program, students are eligible to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board Exam to become Certified Dental Assistants. This prestigious title offers higher wages, and superior knowledge.
  • AAS in Dental Assisting
    • Students have the opportunity to complete an additional 19 credit hours of general education courses chosen from the Gen Ed Package, and obtain an AAS in Dental Assisting.
  • Dental Assisting to Dental Hygiene
    • The IVCC 1+1.5 curriculum design between dental assisting and dental hygiene requires full completion of an ADA-CODA accredited dental assisting program to qualify for dental hygiene admission. The dental assisting program is designed to be the first year of the dentla hygiene program at Illinois Valley Community College. This program is approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. For more information, visit the dental hygiene webpage.

Features of the Program

IVCC’s Dental Assisting Program prepares you for an active role in dentistry through classroom, laboratory, and hands-on experiences in modern, high-tech facilities where highly experienced and qualified dental professionals teach and supervise all on- and off-campus activities. Members of the dental community also donate their time and expertise to the program to ensure well-rounded and highly trained dental assistants enter the workforce.


IVCC tuition is just one-third to one-fourth the cost of state universities and far below most private institutions. An approximation of tuition and fees and cost comparison can be found on the IVCC website at and at
Many scholarship opportunities are available through the IVCC Foundation at and Financial Aid is available for those who qualify at

Careers in Dental Assisting

Find out more about Dental Assisting Careers at

Dental Student with Dentist

Career Options in Dental Assisting

Added Subtitle
  • Private and Group Practices    
  • Specialty Practices      
  • Public Health Dentistry
  • Dental School Clinical          
  • Hospitals         
  • Insurance Companies
  • Education       
  • Dental Laboratory       
Dental Student with Dentist

A Few Things Dental Assistants Do

  • Direct patient care
  • Four or six-handed dentistry
  • Office management
  • Fabricating oral appliances
  • Oral hygiene instruction
  • Obtaining medical/dental history
  • Patient Assessment
  • Vital signs
  • Post-op instructions
  • Inventory/Supply Ordering
  • Impressions
  • Digital, Film, Phosphor Plate Radiographs
  • Coronal Polish (EFDA)
  • Coronal Scaling (EFDA)
  • Enamel Sealants (EFDA)
  • Place Amalgam and Composite Restorations (under dentist supervision) (EFDA)
  • Material/Digital Final Impressions (EFDA)
  • Tooth Vitality Testing (EFDA)



Lyndsey headshot

Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Program Coordinator

Lyndsey Beetz, M.Ed., BSDH, RDH, CDA

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Dental Instructor

Kora Jones, BSDH, RDH, CDA

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Heather Seghi Headshot

Dean of Health Professions

Heather Seghi, MPH, CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA
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Kaylee Martin headshot

Adjunct Dental Instructor

Kaylee Martin, BA, CDA

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Deanne Vicic headshot

Adjunct Dental Instructor

Deanne Vicic, RDH, CDA

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Morgan Myre headshot

Adjunct Dental Instructor

Morgan Myre, CDA

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