Degrees & Classes

Degrees & Classes

Dental Assisting

Associate Applied Science - Transfer

Choose BTC’s Dental Assisting program to train for a position as a dental assistant. Learn how to provide patient care, perform office duties and lab work, while working alongside dentists as they examine and treat their patients. Graduates will find employment opportunities with dental, orthodontic, and periodontal offices, as well as hospitals, public health departments, or in clinics.

Program Facts

100% Average placement rate for program graduates

Average annual wage $38,624

Wage potential $45,427 annually

Employment and wage data sources

The Dental Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Jobs & Employment

Employment opportunities for dental assistants in Washington State are expected to grow due to rapid employment growth and above average job turnover.

About 100% of BTC Dental Assisting students are employed within nine months of graduation. The average annual wage in this field is $38,624, with an earning potential of about $45,427 per year.*

Criminal convictions may restrict or prevent student participation with internships and employment in this industry.

Potential Positions

Most dental assistants are employed by private dental offices. Dental assistants may also be employed by orthodontists, periodontists, hospitals, dental schools, state and local public health departments, the military, or in clinics. Although most program graduates work as dental assistants, opportunities may also exist for employment as research assistants or sales representatives.

Courses

Filter courses by quarter 
Use this tool to see this program's course offerings for upcoming quarters

  • Quarter 1
  • DEN 110Dental Foundations5 credits

    This course provides the student with the foundation necessary to enter into the Bellingham Technical College Dental Clinic. The student will gain the knowledge and skills required to maintain a safe and disease transmission free dental environment. The student will understand federal and state regulations regarding chemical use and infection control in the dental office. This course will also introduce the basic concepts of radiography and build on those skills and theoretical knowledge. Students will also learn to correctly and safely evaluate need for x-rays, exposure, process and mount intraoral radiographs utilizing the bitewing technique.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AWaitlisted: 0
    4/7-6/23DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 112Chairside Assisting I7 credits

    This course provides the student with the knowledge and skills needed to operate and maintain typical equipment found in a dental operatory. The student will gain an understanding of the design, function, and maintenance of handpieces, dental instruments and the dental unit water/vacuum line. This course will also focus on the theory and delivery of basic dental assisting skills such as: dental ergonomics, principles of team positioning, instrument transfer and oral evacuation.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AWaitlisted: 0
    4/7-6/23DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 114Dental Sciences4 credits

    This course focuses on related biomedical sciences that are the foundation of the Dental Assistant curriculum. Course content includes basic oral embryology, histology and tooth morphology. Concepts of oral pathology and oral inspection will be introduced. The course covers the impact of blood borne pathogens and how they relate to the field of dentistry.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AWaitlisted: 0
    4/7-6/23DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 115Dental Clinic Practicum I6 credits

    This course provides a clinical introduction for the student. Students will be assigned to a variety of weekly clinical responsibilities. They will begin their duties with a mentor and eventually move to independent competencies. Students will gain hands-on experience in front office, clinical coordination, x-ray processing, patient intake, and sterilization. Toward the end of clinical practice phase I, they will begin assisting and documenting dental exams and dental hygiene appointments.


    Future Offerings
    9/25-12/12ThF 7:30a-3:00pWOLLENS AWaitlisted: 0
  • Quarter 2
  • DEN 120Patient Assessment8 credits

    This course provides the student with the level of knowledge and skills required for the dental assistant to accurately collect and assess patient data. The student will have the opportunity to learn and practice the skills associated with collecting a health history, obtaining vital signs, assisting with medical emergencies, and assisting the dentist in the diagnostic stages of dental treatment. Pharmacology and anesthesia will be presented as it relates to dentistry and oral health. This course also includes instruction on dental office administration, concentrating on specific job duties in the Bellingham Technical College Dental Clinic.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AOpenings: 20
  • DEN 122Chairside Assisting II6 credits

    Provides the student with appropriate skills required to perform routine dental procedures. Instruction will include the use and manipulation of dental instrument setups, restorative materials, isolation techniques and how to effectively transfer instruments when assisting in a dental procedure.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AOpenings: 20
  • DEN 124Radiography3 credits

    The student will learn to accurately and safely expose, process and mount full mouth periapicals, maxillary and mandibular occlusal films. Also including panoramic radiographs utilizing a variety of techniques. This course will provide the skills necessary to produce films with optimal diagnostic quality on a variety of patient situations including: pedodontics, edentulous and extra oral.


    Future Offerings
    9/23DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AOpenings: 20
  • DEN 125Dental Clinic Practicum II4 credits

    Orients the student and identifies the clinic competencies that must be successfully demonstrated in order for the student to advance to DEN 135. This course provides the hands-on experience required for front office, clinic coordination, and assistive functions with the clinic dentist and dental hygienist.


    Future Offerings
    9/25-12/12ThF 7:30a-3:00pMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/7-3/26ThF 7:30a-3:00pWOLLENS AOpenings: 20
  • Quarter 3
  • DEN 130Preventative Dentistry3 credits

    This course provides the student with a working knowledge of preventative dentistry, good oral hygiene and nutrition. Students will learn how to promote preventative dentistry in the office and the procedures available to curb oral diseases including: dental caries and periodontal disease.


    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 132Dental Specialties1 credits

    Provides the knowledge and skills necessary to assist in dental specialties including: prosthodontics, oral surgery, pediatrics and orthodontics.


    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/27DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 134Laboratory Procedures2 credits

    Enables students to develop skills in the use and manipulation of dental materials and lab equipment. Taking, pouring, separating, trimming, and finishing study modules and preparing custom trays will be included in this course.

  • DEN 135Dental Clinic Practicum III4 credits

    This course is a continuation of DEN 125. It provides the hands-on experience required for front office, clinic coordination, and assistive functions with the clinic dentist and dental hygienist. The student must successfully demonstrate the required clinic competencies in order to be eligible to participate in the extramural experience.


    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 137Extramural Practicum8 credits

    Allows students to apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained in the Dental Assistant Program. Expected behaviors regarding office policies, record keeping, and evaluation procedures, as an employee and team member, are explored. Ethical and legal concerns are also addressed. Students are then placed in a variety of local dental offices where they apply skills related to basic chairside, oral hygiene and operative dentistry.


    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • Pre-Program
  • BIO 105Essentials of Anatomy Physiology5 credits

    The student will develop a basic knowledge of the structure and function of the various body systems. The course emphasizes the essential structure and function of the normal human body, which will serve as a foundation of general understanding for future study in health occupations. Integration of each system to other systems and the whole organism as well as application of key concepts to health and disease are emphasized.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension and Sentence Skills score of 71 or higher.

    Future Offerings
    9/24-12/8MW 3:15p-6:15pCARRERO RWaitlisted: 3
    1/7-3/23MW12:00p-3:00pCARRERO ROpenings: 32
    4/8-6/17MW12:00p-3:00pCARRERO ROpenings: 32
  • MATH& 141 *Precalculus I5 credits

    The focus of this course will be functions. Students manipulate and graph linear, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic and quadratic functions. The course will also cover systems of equations, matrices and determinants, and their applications.

    Prerequisite:
    BTC College Level Math score of 32 or a C grade in MATH 099.

    Future Offerings
    9/24-12/12MWF 9:00a-10:25aBILLS MOpenings: 17
    9/24-12/12MWF 1:00p-2:25pBILLS MOpenings: 11
    9/24-12/12MWF 3:00p-4:25pHONEYCUTT TOpenings: 11
    1/7-3/25MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 credits

    Designed to introduce students to the application of basic interpersonal communication theory, with a focus on achieving success in the workplace. Topics explored include self-awareness, self-disclosure, conversation skills, relationship development and maintenance, assertiveness, teamwork and group dynamics, conflict management strategies, and diversity issues.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or a C grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or a C grade in ENGL 092.

    Future Offerings
    9/24-12/12MWF 1:00p-2:25pOEKERMAN CWaitlisted: 0
    9/24-12/12MWF11:00a-12:25pOEKERMAN CWaitlisted: 2
    9/23-12/11TTh 6:00p-8:05pOEKERMAN COpenings: 14
    9/24-12/12MWF 3:00p-4:25pNELSON NOpenings: 14
    9/23-12/12Online OEKERMAN CWaitlisted: 0
    9/23-12/12Online LIPPMAN LOpenings: 7
    1/7-3/25MWF 1:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/26Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    1/7-3/26Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    4/8-6/22MWF 1:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/7-6/23TTh12:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/7-6/23Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    4/7-6/23Online STAFFOpenings: 24
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 credits

    A composition course in which students read, analyze, and write essays using a variety of rhetorical strategies, as well as develop and verbally express ideas clearly and effectively. The critical reading of essays will provide a basis for the student's own critical writing, which will reflect a command of college-level literacy standards. Attention to writing fundamentals and stylistic techniques will also be included. Word processing, email and internet knowledge required.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 85 or B grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 86 or B grade in ENGL 092 or C grade in AENGL 100.

    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/11TTh 9:00a-11:05aLONG ROpenings: 14
    9/24-12/12MWF 9:00a-10:25aLONG ROpenings: 16
    9/24-12/12MWF11:00a-12:25pNEWTON DOpenings: 9
    9/23-12/11TTh 6:00p-8:05pNEWTON DOpenings: 23
    9/23-12/12Online VANLEUVEN NOpenings: 5
    1/8-3/26TTh 9:00a-11:05aSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/8-3/26TTh12:00p-2:05pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/25MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/25MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/26Online NEWTON DOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/26Online NEWTON DOpenings: 26
    4/8-6/22MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 26
    4/8-6/22MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    4/8-6/22MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    4/7-6/23Online NEWTON DOpenings: 26
    4/7-6/23Online NEWTON DOpenings: 26
  • HLTH 133HIV/AIDS: For Healthcare Professional1 credits

    This workshop is designed for the professional needing seven hours of HIV/AIDS education for licensure or professional update. The program utilizes a multi-media approach and meets Washington State certification requirements.


    Future Offerings
    10/10F 8:30a-4:30pWESTER LOpenings: 24
    9/23-12/5Online WESTER LOpenings: 2
    2/6F 8:30a-4:30pWESTER LOpenings: 30
    1/7-2/12Online WESTER LOpenings: 50
    2/17-3/13Online WESTER LOpenings: 25
  • HO 127Healthcare Provider CPR0.5 credits

    This 6-hour basic life-support course is designed for healthcare providers and includes adult one- and two-rescuer CPR, pediatric one-rescuer CPR, and barrier devices. Successful written and mannequin skill evaluation and and attendance at all sessions is required to receive a card.


    Future Offerings
    9/13Sa 9:00a-2:00pREAD AMWaitlisted: 0
    10/18Sa 9:00a-2:00pREAD AMWaitlisted: 0
    9/17W 6:00p-9:00pKING JOpenings: 8
    11/3M 5:30p-8:30pKING JOpenings: 11
    1/24Sa 9:00a-2:00pSTAFFOpenings: 12
    2/28Sa 9:00a-2:00pSTAFFOpenings: 12
    2/17T12:00p-3:00pSTAFFOpenings: 8
    2/2M 6:00p-9:00pSTAFFOpenings: 8
    3/4-3/14W12:00p-3:00pSTAFFOpenings: 8
  • DEN 100Introduction to Dental Assisting1 credits

    This course provides information relating to the role of the Dental Assistant within the dental team. The history of dental assisting, progress of dentistry, and concepts of dental health are included. In addition, college/program policies and strategies for successful learning are incorporated.


    Future Offerings
    9/25-11/6ARRMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/8-3/27ARRSTAFFOpenings: 24
    4/7-5/26ARRSTAFFOpenings: 24
  • DEN 105Head and Neck Anatomy2 credits

    Introduction to structure of head and neck region. Emphasis on anatomical structures of the skeletal, muscular, nervous, cardiovascular, and digestive systems as pertains to the head and neck. Also includes an overview of microbiology and disease.


    Future Offerings
    11/11-12/12Online STAFFWaitlisted: 2
    2/24-3/26ARRSTAFFOpenings: 24
    5/26-6/23ARRSTAFFOpenings: 24
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 credits

    An overview of the factors affecting behavior including topics related to theories of learning, the senses, perceptions, nervous system, emotions, personality theory, motivation, abnormal behavior and therapy, and social psychology.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 85 or B grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 86 or B grade in ENGL 092 or C grade in AENGL 100.

    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/11TTh 9:00a-11:05aMUDD SOpenings: 24
    9/23-12/11TTh12:00p-2:05pMUDD SOpenings: 10
    9/24-12/12MWF 9:00a-10:25aMUDD SOpenings: 10
    9/23-12/12Online MUDD SOpenings: 5
    1/8-3/26TTh 9:00a-11:05aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 1:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/26Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    4/7-6/23TTh 9:00a-11:05aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF 1:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/7-6/23Online STAFFOpenings: 24
TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS90.5 credits

* Minimum requirement. List of other AAS-T General Education class options

Program Entry Information

This program typically starts in Spring and Fall Quarters on a space available basis.

Program Start

  • Admissions Information
  • To be eligible for admission to the program, applicants must meet college admission requirements.
  • To be eligible for the program ready list, all general education courses must be successfully completed with a 2.0 or above. General education courses/prerequisites (excluding DEN 100 and DEN 105) are offered every quarter.
  • Students are required to submit official transcripts (BTC can be unofficial), additional application materials, and the Application Completion Form for program ready list placement.
  • After acceptance to be on the program ready list for the Dental Assisting Program, and prior to the beginning of the dental courses, students are required to: 1) Be 18 years of age; 2) Demonstrate satisfactory oral health by dental examination; 3) Demonstrate satisfactory health status by physical examination and current immunization status; 4) Provide evidence of negative test for tuberculosis from physician or health department; 5) Complete hepatitis B immunization series (students should note that the cost of this immunization is estimated to be approximately $225.00); 6) Possess and maintain a current CPR card. Minimum CPR required is HO 127-Healthcare Provider (six 6-hour).
  • After being accepted to the program students must be able to successfully pass a criminal background check.

Testing Requirements

These requirements are for the AAS-T degree and are higher than those for the AAS degree. Please see AAS Entry Page for AAS requirements.

  • Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 85 or B grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 86 or B grade in ENGL 092 or C grade in COM 170.
  • BTC College Level Math score of 32 or a C grade in MATH 099.

Pre-Program Course Requirements

  • BIO 105 Essentials of A & P (this MUST be no older than 5-years at the time you are eligible for placements on the Dental Assisting Program ready list).
  • CMST& 210 Interpersonal Communications.
  • DEN 100 Introduction to Dental Assisting (this MUST be no older than 1-year at the time you are eligible for placement on the Dental Assisting Program ready list).
  • DEN 105 Head & Neck Anatomy (this MUST be no older than 1-year at the time you are eligible for placement on the Dental Assisting Program ready list).
  • ENGL& 101 English Composition I.
  • HLTH 133 HIV/AIDS: Healthcare Professional.
  • HO 127 Healthcare Provider CPR.
  • MATH& 141 PreCalculus or MATH& 107 Math in Society or MATH& 146 Introduction to Statistics.
  • PSYC& 100 General Psychology.

Program Application/Forms

Program Outcomes

  • Apply academic, technical, and professional skills to effectively contribute to the dental health team.
  • Apply cognitive retention of dental terminology, theory, and science.
  • Expose and evaluate intraoral and extraoral radiographs implementing radiation safety and processing skills.
  • Verify critical thinking, problem solving, and positive work ethics as they directly relate to the Dental Assistant profession.
  • Validate the importance of National Certification and participation in professional activities and education opportunities.

Karen McGuinn - Instructor image

Karen McGuinn

360 752-8315

kmcguinn@btc.ctc.edu


Instructor Information

    • Degrees and Certifications

      Dental Assisting Certificate, Bellingham Vocational Technical Institute

      AAS-T, Professional Technical Education, Bellingham Technical College

      Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant

      Certified Dental Assistant

      Registered Dental Assistant, Washington State

      WA Professional Technical Certification



Alisa Wollens - Instructor image

Alisa Wollens

360 752-8408

awollens@btc.ctc.edu


Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Alisa has been working in the dental field for well over 20 years. She has worked as a dental assistant and a dental hygienist in many offices and brings a broad range of knowledge. She is a Certified Dental Assistant and holds Registered Dental Assistant and Registered Dental Hygienist Licenses in Washington and California. She has a Bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene from Loma Linda University. She is excited to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for dentistry with students.

    • Degrees and Certifications

      B.S., Dental Hygiene, Loma Linda University

      Certified Dental Assistant, Dental Assisting National Board

      WA Professional Technical Certification

      Registered Dental Hygienist, Washington State and California

      Registered Dental Assistant, Washington State and California



Choose BTC’s Dental Assisting program to train for a position as a dental assistant. Learn how to provide patient care, perform office duties and lab work, while working alongside dentists as they examine and treat their patients. Graduates will find employment opportunities with dental, orthodontic, and periodontal offices, as well as hospitals, public health departments, or in clinics.

Program Facts

100% Average placement rate for program graduates

Average annual wage $38,624

Wage potential $45,427 annually

Employment and wage data sources

The Dental Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Jobs & Employment

Employment opportunities for dental assistants in Washington State are expected to grow due to rapid employment growth and above average job turnover.

About 100% of BTC Dental Assisting students are employed within nine months of graduation. The average annual wage in this field is $38,624, with an earning potential of about $45,427 per year

Criminal convictions may restrict or prevent student participation with internships and employment in this industry.

Potential Positions

Most dental assistants are employed by private dental offices. Dental assistants may also be employed by orthodontists, periodontists, hospitals, dental schools, state and local public health departments, the military, or in clinics. Although most program graduates work as dental assistants, opportunities may also exist for employment as research assistants or sales representatives.

Courses

Filter courses by quarter 
Use this tool to see this program's course offerings for upcoming quarters

  • Quarter 1
  • DEN 110Dental Foundations5 credits

    This course provides the student with the foundation necessary to enter into the Bellingham Technical College Dental Clinic. The student will gain the knowledge and skills required to maintain a safe and disease transmission free dental environment. The student will understand federal and state regulations regarding chemical use and infection control in the dental office. This course will also introduce the basic concepts of radiography and build on those skills and theoretical knowledge. Students will also learn to correctly and safely evaluate need for x-rays, exposure, process and mount intraoral radiographs utilizing the bitewing technique.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AWaitlisted: 0
    4/7-6/23DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 112Chairside Assisting I7 credits

    This course provides the student with the knowledge and skills needed to operate and maintain typical equipment found in a dental operatory. The student will gain an understanding of the design, function, and maintenance of handpieces, dental instruments and the dental unit water/vacuum line. This course will also focus on the theory and delivery of basic dental assisting skills such as: dental ergonomics, principles of team positioning, instrument transfer and oral evacuation.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AWaitlisted: 0
    4/7-6/23DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 114Dental Sciences4 credits

    This course focuses on related biomedical sciences that are the foundation of the Dental Assistant curriculum. Course content includes basic oral embryology, histology and tooth morphology. Concepts of oral pathology and oral inspection will be introduced. The course covers the impact of blood borne pathogens and how they relate to the field of dentistry.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AWaitlisted: 0
    4/7-6/23DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 115Dental Clinic Practicum I6 credits

    This course provides a clinical introduction for the student. Students will be assigned to a variety of weekly clinical responsibilities. They will begin their duties with a mentor and eventually move to independent competencies. Students will gain hands-on experience in front office, clinical coordination, x-ray processing, patient intake, and sterilization. Toward the end of clinical practice phase I, they will begin assisting and documenting dental exams and dental hygiene appointments.


    Future Offerings
    9/25-12/12ThF 7:30a-3:00pWOLLENS AWaitlisted: 0
  • Quarter 2
  • DEN 120Patient Assessment8 credits

    This course provides the student with the level of knowledge and skills required for the dental assistant to accurately collect and assess patient data. The student will have the opportunity to learn and practice the skills associated with collecting a health history, obtaining vital signs, assisting with medical emergencies, and assisting the dentist in the diagnostic stages of dental treatment. Pharmacology and anesthesia will be presented as it relates to dentistry and oral health. This course also includes instruction on dental office administration, concentrating on specific job duties in the Bellingham Technical College Dental Clinic.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AOpenings: 20
  • DEN 122Chairside Assisting II6 credits

    Provides the student with appropriate skills required to perform routine dental procedures. Instruction will include the use and manipulation of dental instrument setups, restorative materials, isolation techniques and how to effectively transfer instruments when assisting in a dental procedure.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AOpenings: 20
  • DEN 124Radiography3 credits

    The student will learn to accurately and safely expose, process and mount full mouth periapicals, maxillary and mandibular occlusal films. Also including panoramic radiographs utilizing a variety of techniques. This course will provide the skills necessary to produce films with optimal diagnostic quality on a variety of patient situations including: pedodontics, edentulous and extra oral.


    Future Offerings
    9/23DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AOpenings: 20
  • DEN 125Dental Clinic Practicum II4 credits

    Orients the student and identifies the clinic competencies that must be successfully demonstrated in order for the student to advance to DEN 135. This course provides the hands-on experience required for front office, clinic coordination, and assistive functions with the clinic dentist and dental hygienist.


    Future Offerings
    9/25-12/12ThF 7:30a-3:00pMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/7-3/26ThF 7:30a-3:00pWOLLENS AOpenings: 20
  • Quarter 3
  • DEN 130Preventative Dentistry3 credits

    This course provides the student with a working knowledge of preventative dentistry, good oral hygiene and nutrition. Students will learn how to promote preventative dentistry in the office and the procedures available to curb oral diseases including: dental caries and periodontal disease.


    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 132Dental Specialties1 credits

    Provides the knowledge and skills necessary to assist in dental specialties including: prosthodontics, oral surgery, pediatrics and orthodontics.


    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/27DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 134Laboratory Procedures2 credits

    Enables students to develop skills in the use and manipulation of dental materials and lab equipment. Taking, pouring, separating, trimming, and finishing study modules and preparing custom trays will be included in this course.

  • DEN 135Dental Clinic Practicum III4 credits

    This course is a continuation of DEN 125. It provides the hands-on experience required for front office, clinic coordination, and assistive functions with the clinic dentist and dental hygienist. The student must successfully demonstrate the required clinic competencies in order to be eligible to participate in the extramural experience.


    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 137Extramural Practicum8 credits

    Allows students to apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained in the Dental Assistant Program. Expected behaviors regarding office policies, record keeping, and evaluation procedures, as an employee and team member, are explored. Ethical and legal concerns are also addressed. Students are then placed in a variety of local dental offices where they apply skills related to basic chairside, oral hygiene and operative dentistry.


    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • Pre-Program
  • BIO 105Essentials of Anatomy Physiology5 credits

    The student will develop a basic knowledge of the structure and function of the various body systems. The course emphasizes the essential structure and function of the normal human body, which will serve as a foundation of general understanding for future study in health occupations. Integration of each system to other systems and the whole organism as well as application of key concepts to health and disease are emphasized.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension and Sentence Skills score of 71 or higher.

    Future Offerings
    9/24-12/8MW 3:15p-6:15pCARRERO RWaitlisted: 3
    1/7-3/23MW12:00p-3:00pCARRERO ROpenings: 32
    4/8-6/17MW12:00p-3:00pCARRERO ROpenings: 32
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 credits

    Designed to introduce students to the application of basic interpersonal communication theory, with a focus on achieving success in the workplace. Topics explored include self-awareness, self-disclosure, conversation skills, relationship development and maintenance, assertiveness, teamwork and group dynamics, conflict management strategies, and diversity issues.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or a C grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or a C grade in ENGL 092.

    Future Offerings
    9/24-12/12MWF 1:00p-2:25pOEKERMAN CWaitlisted: 0
    9/24-12/12MWF11:00a-12:25pOEKERMAN CWaitlisted: 2
    9/23-12/11TTh 6:00p-8:05pOEKERMAN COpenings: 14
    9/24-12/12MWF 3:00p-4:25pNELSON NOpenings: 14
    9/23-12/12Online OEKERMAN CWaitlisted: 0
    9/23-12/12Online LIPPMAN LOpenings: 7
    1/7-3/25MWF 1:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/26Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    1/7-3/26Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    4/8-6/22MWF 1:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/7-6/23TTh12:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/7-6/23Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    4/7-6/23Online STAFFOpenings: 24
  • AENGL 100 *Applied English5 credits

    This applied English course focuses on the workplace communication skills needed to send, receive, and process oral and written information. Along with a review of writing fundamentals, learners will use principles of clear communication, professionalism, and cultural awareness in occupational contexts. Learners will sharpen their reading, writing, and presentation skills.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or a C grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or a C grade in ENGL 092.

    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/11TTh12:00p-2:05pMATHEWS ROpenings: 14
    9/24-12/12MWF 9:00a-10:25aKONGSHAUG COpenings: 1
    9/24-12/12MWF 3:00p-4:25pKONGSHAUG COpenings: 21
    9/24-12/12MWF11:00a-12:25pWISE JOpenings: 12
    9/24-12/12MWF 1:00p-2:25pBURNS JOpenings: 16
    9/23-12/12Online DONNELLY ROpenings: 5
    1/8-3/26TTh12:00p-2:05pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/25MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/25MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/25MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/25MWF 1:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/8-3/26TTh 6:00p-8:05pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/26Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    4/7-6/23TTh12:00p-2:05pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    4/8-6/22MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 26
    4/8-6/22MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    4/8-6/22MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    4/7-6/23Online STAFFOpenings: 24
  • DEN 100Introduction to Dental Assisting1 credits

    This course provides information relating to the role of the Dental Assistant within the dental team. The history of dental assisting, progress of dentistry, and concepts of dental health are included. In addition, college/program policies and strategies for successful learning are incorporated.


    Future Offerings
    9/25-11/6ARRMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/8-3/27ARRSTAFFOpenings: 24
    4/7-5/26ARRSTAFFOpenings: 24
  • HLTH 133HIV/AIDS: For Healthcare Professional1 credits

    This workshop is designed for the professional needing seven hours of HIV/AIDS education for licensure or professional update. The program utilizes a multi-media approach and meets Washington State certification requirements.


    Future Offerings
    10/10F 8:30a-4:30pWESTER LOpenings: 24
    9/23-12/5Online WESTER LOpenings: 2
    2/6F 8:30a-4:30pWESTER LOpenings: 30
    1/7-2/12Online WESTER LOpenings: 50
    2/17-3/13Online WESTER LOpenings: 25
  • DEN 105Head and Neck Anatomy2 credits

    Introduction to structure of head and neck region. Emphasis on anatomical structures of the skeletal, muscular, nervous, cardiovascular, and digestive systems as pertains to the head and neck. Also includes an overview of microbiology and disease.


    Future Offerings
    11/11-12/12Online STAFFWaitlisted: 2
    2/24-3/26ARRSTAFFOpenings: 24
    5/26-6/23ARRSTAFFOpenings: 24
  • HO 127Healthcare Provider CPR0.5 credits

    This 6-hour basic life-support course is designed for healthcare providers and includes adult one- and two-rescuer CPR, pediatric one-rescuer CPR, and barrier devices. Successful written and mannequin skill evaluation and and attendance at all sessions is required to receive a card.


    Future Offerings
    9/13Sa 9:00a-2:00pREAD AMWaitlisted: 0
    10/18Sa 9:00a-2:00pREAD AMWaitlisted: 0
    9/17W 6:00p-9:00pKING JOpenings: 8
    11/3M 5:30p-8:30pKING JOpenings: 11
    1/24Sa 9:00a-2:00pSTAFFOpenings: 12
    2/28Sa 9:00a-2:00pSTAFFOpenings: 12
    2/17T12:00p-3:00pSTAFFOpenings: 8
    2/2M 6:00p-9:00pSTAFFOpenings: 8
    3/4-3/14W12:00p-3:00pSTAFFOpenings: 8
  • AMATH 100 *Applied Occupational Math5 credits

    This course covers fractions, decimals, percents, ratios and proportions, English and metric measurement systems, geometry, and algebra. The contents will include relevant technical applications and the use of a calculator. Text required.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Arithmetic score of 50 or a C grade in MATH 090 or ABE 050.

    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/11TTh 9:00a-11:05aHEGEBERG LOpenings: 26
    9/23-12/11TTh 9:00a-11:05aADAMS JWaitlisted: 1
    9/23-12/11TTh12:00p-2:05pHEGEBERG LOpenings: 3
    9/24-12/12MWF 9:00a-10:25aSCHIVITZ BOpenings: 1
    9/24-12/12MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 13
    9/24-12/12MWF11:00a-12:25pSCHIVITZ BOpenings: 6
    9/24-12/12MWF 1:00p-2:25pHONEYCUTT TOpenings: 22
    9/23-12/12Online ADAMS JWaitlisted: 1
    9/23-12/12Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    1/8-3/26TTh12:00p-2:05pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/8-3/26TTh 6:00p-8:05pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/26Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    4/7-6/23TTh12:00p-2:05pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF 9:00a-10:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/7-6/23TTh 6:00p-8:05pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/7-6/23Online STAFFOpenings: 24
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 credits

    An overview of the factors affecting behavior including topics related to theories of learning, the senses, perceptions, nervous system, emotions, personality theory, motivation, abnormal behavior and therapy, and social psychology.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 85 or B grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 86 or B grade in ENGL 092 or C grade in AENGL 100.

    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/11TTh 9:00a-11:05aMUDD SOpenings: 24
    9/23-12/11TTh12:00p-2:05pMUDD SOpenings: 10
    9/24-12/12MWF 9:00a-10:25aMUDD SOpenings: 10
    9/23-12/12Online MUDD SOpenings: 5
    1/8-3/26TTh 9:00a-11:05aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 1:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/26Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    4/7-6/23TTh 9:00a-11:05aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF 1:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/7-6/23Online STAFFOpenings: 24
TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS90.5 credits

* Minimum requirement. List of other AAS General Education class options

Program Entry Information

This program typically starts in Spring and Fall Quarters on a space available basis.

Program Start

  • Admissions Information
  • To be eligible for admission to the program, applicants must meet college admission requirements.
  • To be eligible for the program ready list, all general education courses must be successfully completed with a 2.0 or above. General education courses/prerequisites (excluding DEN 100 and DEN 105) are offered every quarter.
  • Students are required to submit official transcripts (BTC can be unofficial), additional application materials, and the Application Completion Form for program ready list placement.
  • After acceptance to be on the Program ready list for the Dental Assisting Program, and prior to the beginning of the dental courses, students are required to: 1) Be 18 years of age; 2) Demonstrate satisfactory oral health by dental examination; 3) Demonstrate satisfactory health status by physical examination and current immunization status; 4) Provide evidence of negative test for tuberculosis from physician or health department; 5) Complete hepatitis B immunization series (students should note that the cost of this immunization is estimated to be approximately $225.00); 6) Possess and maintain a current CPR card. Minimum CPR required is HO 127-Healthcare Provider (6-hour).

Testing Requirements

These requirements are for the AAS degree and are lower than those for the AAS-T degree. Please see the AAS-T Entry Page for AAS-T requirements.

  • Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or a C grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or a C grade in ENGL 092.
  • Accuplacer Arithmetic score of 50 or a C grade in MATH 090 or ABE 050.

Pre-Program Course Requirements

  • BIO 105 Essentials of A & P (this MUST be no older than 5-years at the time you are eligible for placement on the Dental Assisting Program ready list).
  • CMST& 210 Interpersonal Communications.
  • AENGL 100 Applied English or ENGL& 101 English Composition I.
  • DEN 100 Introduction to Dental Assisting (this MUST be no older than 1-year at the time you are eligible for placement on the Dental Assisting Program ready list).
  • DEN 105 Head & Neck Anatomy (this MUST be no older than 1-year at the time you are eligible for placement on the Dental Assisting Program ready list).
  • HLTH 133 HIV/AIDS: Healthcare Professional.
  • HO 127 Healthcare Provider CPR.
  • AMATH 100 Applied Occupational Math (or higher).
  • PSYC& 100 General Psychology

Program Application/Forms

Program Outcomes

  • Apply academic, technical, and professional skills to effectively contribute to the dental health team
  • Apply cognitive retention of dental terminology, theory, and science
  • Expose and evaluate intraoral and extraoral radiographs implementing radiation safety and processing skills
  • Verify critical thinking, problem solving, and positive work ethics as they directly relate to the Dental Assistant profession
  • Validate the importance of National Certification and participation in professional activities and education opportunities.

Karen McGuinn - Instructor image

Karen McGuinn

360 752-8315

kmcguinn@btc.ctc.edu


Instructor Information

    • Degrees and Certifications

      Dental Assisting Certificate, Bellingham Vocational Technical Institute

      AAS-T, Professional Technical Education, Bellingham Technical College

      Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant

      Certified Dental Assistant

      Registered Dental Assistant, Washington State

      WA Professional Technical Certification



Alisa Wollens - Instructor image

Alisa Wollens

360 752-8408

awollens@btc.ctc.edu


Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Alisa has been working in the dental field for well over 20 years. She has worked as a dental assistant and a dental hygienist in many offices and brings a broad range of knowledge. She is a Certified Dental Assistant and holds Registered Dental Assistant and Registered Dental Hygienist Licenses in Washington and California. She has a Bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene from Loma Linda University. She is excited to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for dentistry with students.

    • Degrees and Certifications

      B.S., Dental Hygiene, Loma Linda University

      Certified Dental Assistant, Dental Assisting National Board

      WA Professional Technical Certification

      Registered Dental Hygienist, Washington State and California

      Registered Dental Assistant, Washington State and California



Dental Assisting Certificate

Choose BTC’s Dental Assisting program to train for a position as a dental assistant. Learn how to provide patient care, perform office duties and lab work, while working alongside dentists as they examine and treat their patients.

Graduates will find employment opportunities with dental, orthodontic, and periodontal offices, as well as hospitals, public health departments, or in clinics.

Program Facts

100% Average placement rate for program graduates

Average annual wage $38,624

Wage potential $45,427 annually

Employment and wage data sources

The Dental Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Gainful Employment

Program Costs, Financing, and Outcomes

Jobs & Employment

Employment opportunities for dental assistants in Washington State are expected to grow due to rapid employment growth and above average job turnover.

About 100% of BTC Dental Assisting students are employed within nine months of graduation. The average annual wage in this field is $38,624, with an earning potential of about $45,427 per year

Criminal convictions may restrict or prevent student participation with internships and employment in this industry.

Potential Positions

Most dental assistants are employed by private dental offices. Dental assistants may also be employed by orthodontists, periodontists, hospitals, dental schools, state and local public health departments, the military, or in clinics. Although most program graduates work as dental assistants, opportunities may also exist for employment as research assistants or sales representatives.

Courses

Filter courses by quarter 
Use this tool to see this program's course offerings for upcoming quarters

  • Quarter 1
  • DEN 110Dental Foundations5 credits

    This course provides the student with the foundation necessary to enter into the Bellingham Technical College Dental Clinic. The student will gain the knowledge and skills required to maintain a safe and disease transmission free dental environment. The student will understand federal and state regulations regarding chemical use and infection control in the dental office. This course will also introduce the basic concepts of radiography and build on those skills and theoretical knowledge. Students will also learn to correctly and safely evaluate need for x-rays, exposure, process and mount intraoral radiographs utilizing the bitewing technique.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AWaitlisted: 0
    4/7-6/23DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 112Chairside Assisting I7 credits

    This course provides the student with the knowledge and skills needed to operate and maintain typical equipment found in a dental operatory. The student will gain an understanding of the design, function, and maintenance of handpieces, dental instruments and the dental unit water/vacuum line. This course will also focus on the theory and delivery of basic dental assisting skills such as: dental ergonomics, principles of team positioning, instrument transfer and oral evacuation.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AWaitlisted: 0
    4/7-6/23DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 114Dental Sciences4 credits

    This course focuses on related biomedical sciences that are the foundation of the Dental Assistant curriculum. Course content includes basic oral embryology, histology and tooth morphology. Concepts of oral pathology and oral inspection will be introduced. The course covers the impact of blood borne pathogens and how they relate to the field of dentistry.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AWaitlisted: 0
    4/7-6/23DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 115Dental Clinic Practicum I6 credits

    This course provides a clinical introduction for the student. Students will be assigned to a variety of weekly clinical responsibilities. They will begin their duties with a mentor and eventually move to independent competencies. Students will gain hands-on experience in front office, clinical coordination, x-ray processing, patient intake, and sterilization. Toward the end of clinical practice phase I, they will begin assisting and documenting dental exams and dental hygiene appointments.


    Future Offerings
    9/25-12/12ThF 7:30a-3:00pWOLLENS AWaitlisted: 0
  • Quarter 2
  • DEN 120Patient Assessment8 credits

    This course provides the student with the level of knowledge and skills required for the dental assistant to accurately collect and assess patient data. The student will have the opportunity to learn and practice the skills associated with collecting a health history, obtaining vital signs, assisting with medical emergencies, and assisting the dentist in the diagnostic stages of dental treatment. Pharmacology and anesthesia will be presented as it relates to dentistry and oral health. This course also includes instruction on dental office administration, concentrating on specific job duties in the Bellingham Technical College Dental Clinic.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AOpenings: 20
  • DEN 122Chairside Assisting II6 credits

    Provides the student with appropriate skills required to perform routine dental procedures. Instruction will include the use and manipulation of dental instrument setups, restorative materials, isolation techniques and how to effectively transfer instruments when assisting in a dental procedure.


    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/12DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AOpenings: 20
  • DEN 124Radiography3 credits

    The student will learn to accurately and safely expose, process and mount full mouth periapicals, maxillary and mandibular occlusal films. Also including panoramic radiographs utilizing a variety of techniques. This course will provide the skills necessary to produce films with optimal diagnostic quality on a variety of patient situations including: pedodontics, edentulous and extra oral.


    Future Offerings
    9/23DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pWOLLENS AOpenings: 20
  • DEN 125Dental Clinic Practicum II4 credits

    Orients the student and identifies the clinic competencies that must be successfully demonstrated in order for the student to advance to DEN 135. This course provides the hands-on experience required for front office, clinic coordination, and assistive functions with the clinic dentist and dental hygienist.


    Future Offerings
    9/25-12/12ThF 7:30a-3:00pMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/7-3/26ThF 7:30a-3:00pWOLLENS AOpenings: 20
  • Quarter 3
  • DEN 130Preventative Dentistry3 credits

    This course provides the student with a working knowledge of preventative dentistry, good oral hygiene and nutrition. Students will learn how to promote preventative dentistry in the office and the procedures available to curb oral diseases including: dental caries and periodontal disease.


    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 132Dental Specialties1 credits

    Provides the knowledge and skills necessary to assist in dental specialties including: prosthodontics, oral surgery, pediatrics and orthodontics.


    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/27DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 134Laboratory Procedures2 credits

    Enables students to develop skills in the use and manipulation of dental materials and lab equipment. Taking, pouring, separating, trimming, and finishing study modules and preparing custom trays will be included in this course.

  • DEN 135Dental Clinic Practicum III4 credits

    This course is a continuation of DEN 125. It provides the hands-on experience required for front office, clinic coordination, and assistive functions with the clinic dentist and dental hygienist. The student must successfully demonstrate the required clinic competencies in order to be eligible to participate in the extramural experience.


    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • DEN 137Extramural Practicum8 credits

    Allows students to apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained in the Dental Assistant Program. Expected behaviors regarding office policies, record keeping, and evaluation procedures, as an employee and team member, are explored. Ethical and legal concerns are also addressed. Students are then placed in a variety of local dental offices where they apply skills related to basic chairside, oral hygiene and operative dentistry.


    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/26DAILY 8:00a-3:00pMCGUINN KOpenings: 20
  • Pre-Program
  • BIO 105Essentials of Anatomy Physiology5 credits

    The student will develop a basic knowledge of the structure and function of the various body systems. The course emphasizes the essential structure and function of the normal human body, which will serve as a foundation of general understanding for future study in health occupations. Integration of each system to other systems and the whole organism as well as application of key concepts to health and disease are emphasized.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension and Sentence Skills score of 71 or higher.

    Future Offerings
    9/24-12/8MW 3:15p-6:15pCARRERO RWaitlisted: 3
    1/7-3/23MW12:00p-3:00pCARRERO ROpenings: 32
    4/8-6/17MW12:00p-3:00pCARRERO ROpenings: 32
  • CMST& 210 *Interpersonal Communications5 credits

    Designed to introduce students to the application of basic interpersonal communication theory, with a focus on achieving success in the workplace. Topics explored include self-awareness, self-disclosure, conversation skills, relationship development and maintenance, assertiveness, teamwork and group dynamics, conflict management strategies, and diversity issues.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or a C grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or a C grade in ENGL 092.

    Future Offerings
    9/24-12/12MWF 1:00p-2:25pOEKERMAN CWaitlisted: 0
    9/24-12/12MWF11:00a-12:25pOEKERMAN CWaitlisted: 2
    9/23-12/11TTh 6:00p-8:05pOEKERMAN COpenings: 14
    9/24-12/12MWF 3:00p-4:25pNELSON NOpenings: 14
    9/23-12/12Online OEKERMAN CWaitlisted: 0
    9/23-12/12Online LIPPMAN LOpenings: 7
    1/7-3/25MWF 1:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/26Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    1/7-3/26Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    4/8-6/22MWF 1:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/7-6/23TTh12:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/7-6/23Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    4/7-6/23Online STAFFOpenings: 24
  • AENGL 100 *Applied English5 credits

    This applied English course focuses on the workplace communication skills needed to send, receive, and process oral and written information. Along with a review of writing fundamentals, learners will use principles of clear communication, professionalism, and cultural awareness in occupational contexts. Learners will sharpen their reading, writing, and presentation skills.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or a C grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or a C grade in ENGL 092.

    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/11TTh12:00p-2:05pMATHEWS ROpenings: 14
    9/24-12/12MWF 9:00a-10:25aKONGSHAUG COpenings: 1
    9/24-12/12MWF 3:00p-4:25pKONGSHAUG COpenings: 21
    9/24-12/12MWF11:00a-12:25pWISE JOpenings: 12
    9/24-12/12MWF 1:00p-2:25pBURNS JOpenings: 16
    9/23-12/12Online DONNELLY ROpenings: 5
    1/8-3/26TTh12:00p-2:05pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/25MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/25MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/25MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/25MWF 1:00p-2:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/8-3/26TTh 6:00p-8:05pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    1/7-3/26Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    4/7-6/23TTh12:00p-2:05pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    4/8-6/22MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 26
    4/8-6/22MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    4/8-6/22MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 26
    4/7-6/23Online STAFFOpenings: 24
  • DEN 100Introduction to Dental Assisting1 credits

    This course provides information relating to the role of the Dental Assistant within the dental team. The history of dental assisting, progress of dentistry, and concepts of dental health are included. In addition, college/program policies and strategies for successful learning are incorporated.


    Future Offerings
    9/25-11/6ARRMCGUINN KWaitlisted: 0
    1/8-3/27ARRSTAFFOpenings: 24
    4/7-5/26ARRSTAFFOpenings: 24
  • DEN 105Head and Neck Anatomy2 credits

    Introduction to structure of head and neck region. Emphasis on anatomical structures of the skeletal, muscular, nervous, cardiovascular, and digestive systems as pertains to the head and neck. Also includes an overview of microbiology and disease.


    Future Offerings
    11/11-12/12Online STAFFWaitlisted: 2
    2/24-3/26ARRSTAFFOpenings: 24
    5/26-6/23ARRSTAFFOpenings: 24
  • HLTH 133HIV/AIDS: For Healthcare Professional1 credits

    This workshop is designed for the professional needing seven hours of HIV/AIDS education for licensure or professional update. The program utilizes a multi-media approach and meets Washington State certification requirements.


    Future Offerings
    10/10F 8:30a-4:30pWESTER LOpenings: 24
    9/23-12/5Online WESTER LOpenings: 2
    2/6F 8:30a-4:30pWESTER LOpenings: 30
    1/7-2/12Online WESTER LOpenings: 50
    2/17-3/13Online WESTER LOpenings: 25
  • HO 127Healthcare Provider CPR0.5 credits

    This 6-hour basic life-support course is designed for healthcare providers and includes adult one- and two-rescuer CPR, pediatric one-rescuer CPR, and barrier devices. Successful written and mannequin skill evaluation and and attendance at all sessions is required to receive a card.


    Future Offerings
    9/13Sa 9:00a-2:00pREAD AMWaitlisted: 0
    10/18Sa 9:00a-2:00pREAD AMWaitlisted: 0
    9/17W 6:00p-9:00pKING JOpenings: 8
    11/3M 5:30p-8:30pKING JOpenings: 11
    1/24Sa 9:00a-2:00pSTAFFOpenings: 12
    2/28Sa 9:00a-2:00pSTAFFOpenings: 12
    2/17T12:00p-3:00pSTAFFOpenings: 8
    2/2M 6:00p-9:00pSTAFFOpenings: 8
    3/4-3/14W12:00p-3:00pSTAFFOpenings: 8
  • AMATH 100 *Applied Occupational Math5 credits

    This course covers fractions, decimals, percents, ratios and proportions, English and metric measurement systems, geometry, and algebra. The contents will include relevant technical applications and the use of a calculator. Text required.

    Prerequisite:
    Accuplacer Arithmetic score of 50 or a C grade in MATH 090 or ABE 050.

    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/11TTh 9:00a-11:05aHEGEBERG LOpenings: 26
    9/23-12/11TTh 9:00a-11:05aADAMS JWaitlisted: 1
    9/23-12/11TTh12:00p-2:05pHEGEBERG LOpenings: 3
    9/24-12/12MWF 9:00a-10:25aSCHIVITZ BOpenings: 1
    9/24-12/12MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 13
    9/24-12/12MWF11:00a-12:25pSCHIVITZ BOpenings: 6
    9/24-12/12MWF 1:00p-2:25pHONEYCUTT TOpenings: 22
    9/23-12/12Online ADAMS JWaitlisted: 1
    9/23-12/12Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    1/8-3/26TTh12:00p-2:05pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 9:00a-10:25aSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/25MWF11:00a-12:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/8-3/26TTh 6:00p-8:05pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    1/7-3/26Online STAFFOpenings: 24
    4/7-6/23TTh12:00p-2:05pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF 3:00p-4:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/8-6/22MWF 9:00a-10:25pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/7-6/23TTh 6:00p-8:05pSTAFFOpenings: 28
    4/7-6/23Online STAFFOpenings: 24
TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS85.5 credits

* Minimum requirement. List of other AAS General Education class options

Program Entry Information

This program typically starts in Spring and Fall Quarters on a space available basis.

Program Start

  • Admissions Information
  • To be eligible for admission to the program, applicants must meet college admission requirements.
  • To be eligible for the program ready list, all general education courses must be successfully completed with a 2.0 or above. General education courses/prerequisites (excluding DEN 100 and DEN 105) are offered every quarter.
  • Students are required to submit official transcripts (BTC can be unofficial), additional application materials, and the Application Completion Form for program ready list placement.
  • After acceptance to be on the Dental Assisting Program ready list for the program, and prior to the beginning of the dental courses, students are required to: 1) Be 18 years of age; 2) Demonstrate satisfactory oral health by dental examination; 3) Demonstrate satisfactory health status by physical examination and current immunization status; 4) Provide evidence of negative test for tuberculosis from physician or health department; 5) Complete hepatitis B immunization series (students should note that the cost of this immunization is estimated to be approximately $225.00); 6) Possess and maintain a current CPR card. Minimum CPR required is HO 127-Healthcare Provider (6-hour).

Testing Requirements

These requirements are for the Certificate and are lower than those for the AAS-T degree. Please see the AAS-T Entry Page for AAS-T requirements.

  • Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or a C grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or a C grade in ENGL 092.
  • Accuplacer Arithmetic score of 50 or a C grade in MATH 090 or ABE 050.

Pre-Program Course Requirements

  • BIO 105 Essentials of A & P (this MUST be no older than 5 years at the time you are eligible for placement on the Dental Assisting program ready list)
  • CMST& 210 Interpersonal Communications or PSYC& 100 General Psychology.
  • AENGL 100 Applied English or ENGL& 101 English Composition I.
  • DEN 100 Introduction to Dental Assisting (this MUST be no older than 1 year at the time you are eligible for placement on the Dental Assisting Program ready list).
  • DEN 105 Head & Neck Anatomy (this MUST be no older than 1 year at the time you are eligible for placement on the Dental Assisting Program ready list).
  • HLTH 133 HIV/AIDS: Healthcare Professional - 7 Hrs.
  • HO 127 Healthcare Provider CPR.
  • AMATH 100 Applied Occupational Math (or higher).

Program Application/Forms

Program Outcomes

  • Apply academic, technical, and professional skills to effectively contribute to the dental health team.
  • Apply cognitive retention of dental terminology, theory, and science.
  • Expose and evaluate intraoral and extraoral radiographs implementing radiation safety and processing skills.
  • Verify critical thinking, problem solving, and positive work ethics as they directly relate to the Dental Assistant profession.
  • Validate the importance of National Certification and participation in professional activities and education opportunities.

Karen McGuinn - Instructor image

Karen McGuinn

360 752-8315

kmcguinn@btc.ctc.edu


Instructor Information

    • Degrees and Certifications

      Dental Assisting Certificate, Bellingham Vocational Technical Institute

      AAS-T, Professional Technical Education, Bellingham Technical College

      Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant

      Certified Dental Assistant

      Registered Dental Assistant, Washington State

      WA Professional Technical Certification



Alisa Wollens - Instructor image

Alisa Wollens

360 752-8408

awollens@btc.ctc.edu


Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Alisa has been working in the dental field for well over 20 years. She has worked as a dental assistant and a dental hygienist in many offices and brings a broad range of knowledge. She is a Certified Dental Assistant and holds Registered Dental Assistant and Registered Dental Hygienist Licenses in Washington and California. She has a Bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene from Loma Linda University. She is excited to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for dentistry with students.

    • Degrees and Certifications

      B.S., Dental Hygiene, Loma Linda University

      Certified Dental Assistant, Dental Assisting National Board

      WA Professional Technical Certification

      Registered Dental Hygienist, Washington State and California

      Registered Dental Assistant, Washington State and California