The Dental Assisting Technology program at Meridian Community College is a one-year certificate program designed to prepare the student for employment and advancement in the dental assisting field. Upon successful completion of this program, the student will have performed a variety of patient care, office and laboratory duties.
The program includes lecture hours, lab hours, and supervised clinical experiences. Students will complete 300 hours in local dental offices. In the clinical experiences, the student will assist the dentist at chairside both in private offices, clinics, and state facilities as applicable.
Upon graduation from the program, the student will be able to apply for a Mississippi Radiology Permit which is necessary for legally using X-rays to make radiographs or capture digital images in Mississippi dental offices. Students are required to take two of the three components of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exams while in the DAT program. Student will take the Infection Control Exam (ICE) and the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam. Graduates from the program can then qualify to take the final component, the General Chairside (GC) exam. If all three components are passed within a five year period, the assistant will become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). This CDA certification usually brings a higher salary for the dental assistant.
In order for a student to progress in the Dental Assisting Technology (DAT) program, the student must earn a grade of "C" or better in each DAT course and keep an overall GPA of 2.0 or better.
If you are a "hands-on" person, enjoy people, like fast-paced work, like variety, and enjoy the thought of helping people; then Dental Assisting might be for you. Dental Assistants help a dentist work on patients in a dental office or clinic. They take dental x-rays, make study models, help with dental procedures, do coronal polishes, apply sealants, and maintain infection control of treatment rooms, instruments, and equipment. They calm patient's fears, maintain patient's dental records, make appointments, answer the telephone, and help with oral healthcare education. The median salary of experienced Mississippi DANB CDA's employed full time is $16/hr. Starting salaries for this area of the state are in the range of $10.50-12.50/hour for new student graduates.
If this seems like a profession or program of study you might be interested, then call MCC for more information. We can get you information on courses, admission policy, and answer other questions you may have. Dial 1-800-MCC-THE-1.
Admission requirements, curriculum, and other program information subject to change. See your program advisor/counselor for additional information.