The Dental Assisting Program at San Diego Mesa College is a nine-month program, beginning in the summer semester with a required introductory course. Students passing the introductory course begin the program in the fall semester and complete the program in the spring semester (Courses). Students successfully completing the program may earn a Certificate of Achievement or an Associate's Degree in Dental Assisting. The program is accredited by the Dental Board of California and the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

The program offers the student theory, skills and certifications needed to work as a dental assistant and a credentialed dental assistant (RDA/CDA). Professionalism and ethics are also emphasized to enable the student to integrate with a dental team.

Clinical experience (Directed Clinical Practice, DCP) in a dental clinic or private practice is provided during the program to enable students to utilize course information (theory) and skills taught in the laboratory courses.

The dental assisting program is a full time program. Students are in classes most days, Monday through Friday (see the campus schedule for specific information).

Aptitudes needed for the dental assisting program are attention to detail, hand-eye coordination, basic computer skills, reading comprehension and an interest in serving the public in a health setting. San Diego Mesa College offers several programs to assist students in achieving educational goals (see Future Students - About Mesa College). Courses such as English 48 and 49 or equivalent or assessment skill levels of R5 and W5 are encouraged as well as Personal Growth courses.

Cost - The cost of the dental assisting program is approximately $1600.00 - $2600.00 for the entire program (subject to change). This estimate includes, registration fees (CA residents), student health fee, parking permit, required textbooks, uniforms, required dental model and instruments, application fees for the RDA and CDA exams and general school supplies.

Students successfully completing the program are eligible to apply for the exams for the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA in CA) and the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA, a national certification).

For enrollment: Special Admission Clerk - Cathy Sullivan - or (619) 388 - 2684

For program information: Margaret Fickess, CDA, RDA, MEd, Program Director - or (619) 388-2697