Skip to main content MCC Crescent Shape Search RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram chevron pointing down

Program Overview

Campus(s): MCC-Penn Valley, Health Science Institute
Program Coordinator: Hema Udupa, 816.604.4237
Application deadline: Feb 15th

Dental assistants play an integral role in the flow and efficiency of dental care. Dental assistants not only help the dentist during dental procedures but they also prep the patient, sterilize and disinfect instruments, set up instrument trays, prepare materials during procedures and support office management.

Personal Qualities

Characteristics of a successful dental assistant include but are not limited to; take and follow direction under stressful situations, multitask with attention to detail and organization, work collaboratively as part of a team, stable temperament, responsible and caring.

Essential Functions

Manual dexterity, bilateral control & quick response to direction

Students can choose between a one year certificate and a 2 year associate of applied science degree (A.A.S). You will build your skill through extensive lab and hands-on training at community clinics, private practices and the UMKC School of Dentistry.

Students will be prepared to enter the workforce as a trained dental assistant and certified expanded-function dental assistant and will be eligible to take the national certifying examination given by the Dental Assisting National Board. Learn more about the job of the Expanded Function Dental Assistant and its requirements in the state of Missouri and Kansas.

Degree(s) and/or Certificate(s) Offered

Professional Certification/Licensure

Students will sit for the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) as part of the program.  The Infection Control (ICE) and Radiation Health Safety (RHS) examinations are taken at the end of the fall semester and the General Chairside (GC) examination is taken the end of the spring semester. Successful completion of this examination allows program graduates to use the professional credentials CDA, Certified Dental Assistant.

Program Accreditation

The program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation [and has been granted status of "approval without reporting requirements." The Commission is specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312.440.4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission's web address is

Program Accreditation Complaint Procedure

The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to a program's compliance with the accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for treatment received by patients or individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion, or dismissal of faculty, staff or students.

A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission's policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678 or by calling 800.621.8099 extension 4653.

CODA Third Party Comments

The Dental Assisting program continually strives to provide quality education through program evaluation and improvement. As part of this process, the Commission on Dental Accreditation will be visiting Metropolitan Community college-Penn Valley in May of 2020 to evaluate the program. The third-party comment request allows third-parties to make comments and recommendations about the program as they relate to the Commission's standards.

The Commission on Dental Accreditation requests that parties interested in making comments concerning the Metropolitan Community college-Penn Valley Dental Assisting program send comments no later than sixty (60) days prior to the program's site visit. All comments must relate to accreditation standards for the discipline and required accreditation policies. View additional information.

Program Admission

Additional steps are required for acceptance into this program beyond the standard MCC admissions application.  This is a three semester program that begins in June and accepts approximately 18 students per class. 


  1. Complete all required prerequisite courses
  2. Download the program Application/Admission Packet and follow the directions carefully.  Be sure to note all of the program requirements.
  3. Apply for financial aid.  The federal financial aid application (FAFSA) is also available online.

Program Acceptance

You will be contacted within two weeks of the application deadline to let you know if you were accepted into the program.  Students accepted into the program will work directly with the program coordinator to determine next steps.  A mandatory orientation will be held for the students accepted into the program prior to the start of the program in the month of April. Students not accepted into the program should contact the Student Advising Department or the Health Science Institute to determine next steps.