Dental Assisting Program Overview


    Dental Assistants are a high demand occupation in our County, State and Country. You will never be without a job unless you choose to be.


    The Dental Assisting program at BCIT consists of a strong blend of theory and clinical based instruction in a state-of-the-art facility in combination with an extramural clinical experience with some of the area’s finest dental professionals.

    We have created a schedule so that students could still maintain part-time employment while attending our program. The Dental Assisting is a 10-month program accredited by CODA, Middle States and the United States Department of Education. The total hours are approximately 1,100 hours including school and clinical hours. Also, the program offers Financial Aid to qualified students.

    We are one of only 4 programs in the State of New Jersey that are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association ( This allows our graduates to become Certified Dental Assistants and Registered Dental Assistants immediately after completing our program and passing all the exams and submitting the paperwork for licensure.

    The first 7 months of the Dental Assisting program combines theory and hands-on work in the school’s dental facility. June through August consists of a combination of clinical rotations and classroom seminars. During the clinical portion of the program students acquire experience in local dental practices under the supervision of dentists, dental assistants and office personnel. Students will rotate through several offices including at least one specialty.

    After successful completion of course work and examinations this program will qualify the students to earn the following

    • New Jersey Dental Radiology License (Department of Environmental Protection)
    • Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) a national credential sponsored by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB)
      • Three component exams:
        • Infection Control Exam (ICE)
        • Radiation Health and Safety Exam (RHS)
        • General Chairside Exam (GC)
    • New Jersey Registered Dental Assistant registration (RDA)(State Board of Dentistry)

    College articulation agreement:

    • 33 college credits through Camden County College toward an Associates Degree in Applied Science (pending college approval) must complete 30 credits at the college.

    Documentation necessary for enrollment includes:

    • High School Diploma or Equivalent
    • Physical Exam including Hepatitis B Vaccination and Tuberculosis 2-part screening
    • Basic Life Support for healthcare provider (CPR) Professional Rescuer

    Radiology clinical:

    • All students will need to identify at least two patients who require a full mouth series of radiographs for diagnostic purposes prescribed by the patient’s dentist who can come to our Westampton campus or to one of our off-clinical offices during regular school hours while a volunteer dentist is present and have their radiographs taken and interpreted. At all- time the students will be supervised by our dental instructors approved by the New Jersey Radiologic Technology Board
      of Examiners.

    Program Information
    November – August (1100 hours)
    Schedule: Tuesdays 3:30PM to 10PM, Wednesdays 6PM to 10PM, Thursdays 8AM to 5PM, Fridays 8AM to 4:30PM
    Total Cost for 23/24 School Year = $8,623 

    Program cost includes: examination fees, radiation monitoring badge, personal protective equipment and supplies

    The Dental Assistant Student will be trained to:

    • Prepare a patient for treatment
    • Prepare tray setups for dental procedures
    • Assist dentist in a variety of dental procedures
    • Prepare materials for making impressions and restorations
    • Expose radiographs and process dental x-ray film as directed by the dentist
    • Perform all New Jersey expanded function intraoral procedures
    • Instruct patients in oral health care
    • Assist in managing medical emergencies
    • Provide postoperative instruction
    • Sterilize and disinfect instruments and equipment
    • Practice Management

    Curriculum Course Work

    DA – 1 Dental/ Medical Emergencies
    This course is designed to provide the student with the basic skills and knowledge necessary to handle dental and medical emergencies in a skilled and professional manner.

    DA – 2 General Science
    This course is designed to provide the student with knowledge and an understanding of the systems of the body and how they interact with each other. The structures of the head and neck will be our main focus. In addition oral pathology, oral embryology, oral histology and tooth morphology will be covered.

    DA – 3 Infection Control
    This course is designed to provide the student with the knowledge they need to adequately handle hazards encountered in dentistry from infectious microorganisms, chemicals, and how to combat them on a daily basis. The course will focus on all content areas covered in the DANB Infection Control Exam.

    DA – 4 General Chairside Assisting
    This course starts with coverage of the New Jersey Dental Practice Act and includes taking the NJ Ethics and Jurisprudence exam. Also includes tooth numbering systems, charting, dental terminology and all basic general dentistry skills preparing the student to work in all facets of general dentistry including expanded functions performed in general dentistry practices. It prepares the student to effectively manage duties related to the entry level chairside assistant’s responsibilities. Aseptic
    techniques, equipment maintenance, patient and operatory preparation, as well as a variety of isolation, retraction and evacuation techniques will be covered. General instrument identification is covered thoroughly in this course.

    DA – 5 Dental Materials I
    This course prepares the student to handle, set-up and mix properly the many lab and impression materials utilized in the dental setting.

    DA – 6 Dental Radiology
    This course follows the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) mandated dental radiography curriculum. The program has been designed to prepare the student to expose; process and mount all types of intraoral radiographs. As well as all theory necessary in preparation for the Dental Assisting National Board’s Radiology Examination. Passing the exam leads to State licensure (NJ-LRT (D)). A grade of 75% or better in the classroom is required before taking the exam.

    DA – 7 Human Psychology/ Communications
    This course focuses on interpersonal, group dynamics and teamwork, verbal and nonverbal communication skills, cultural differences, phases of the helping relationship, and basic conflict management

    DA – 8 Dental Specialties
    This course will prepare the learner to assist and apply chairside techniques to all dental specialties. They will also understand the procedures and instruments used within the different specialties. Specialties will include endodontics, orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, pedodontics and exodontics.

    DA – 9 Dental Materials II
    This course prepares the student to handle, set-up and mix properly the many restorative and luting materials utilized in the dental setting.

    DA – 10 Preventive Dentistry/Nutrition
    The course discusses many procedures for oral health education and the key principles of a healthy diet plan. This course will introduce the student to the various aspects of preventive dentistry and nutrition, as the dental assistant is a key person in the incorporation of dental disease prevention programs in the dental setting.

    DA – 11 Business Administration
    This course is designed to provide the student with the basic skills and knowledge necessary to handle all business transactions that take place daily in a dental practice. It includes coverage of the New Jersey Dental Practice Act and preparing for employment.

    DA – 12 Affiliation /Clinical Experience
    A 300-minimum hour clinical requirement to enhance the preclinical dental assisting skills learned in the classroom setting. Students will gain hands-on experience sitting chairside to the practitioner as well as developing business administrative skills. An individualized schedule is issued to each student prior to the beginning of affiliation. Each student is normally assigned to a general dentistry practice as well as at least one different specialty practice. In some situations, the student will be assigned
    to the same site to complete a general dentistry rotation and a specialty rotation. This will occur when assigned to one of our large clinical settings, which are an integral part of our affiliation program.

    DA – 13 Expanded Functions Testing
    This course demonstrates safe and acceptable completion of all NJ registration functions to either laboratory or clinical competence.

    Career Opportunities Include:

    • Solo Dental practices
    • Group practices
    • Specialty practices
    • Public Health Dentistry
    • Hospital Dental Clinics
    • Insurance Companies
    • Dental Product Sales Representative

    We wish you success in attaining your academic goals, and if we can be of service in answering questions or assisting you in any way, please feel free to contact us.

    Contact information:
    BCIT Westampton Campus (609) 267-4226

    Dental Assisting Director: Claire Heston at (609) 267-4226 extension 8174 or by email
    Instructor: Nicole Sullivan at (609) 267-4226 extension 8372 or by email