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Dental Assisting A.A.S.

  • A student in the UAA dental lab.

    Dental Assisting A.A.S.

    Prepare to become a well-rounded member of an oral healthcare team as a dental assistant. Connecting oral health with general health, dental assistants help dentists work more efficiently by applying their knowledge and skills in patient care, interpersonal communication and technology.

Explore the dental assisting associate degree program at the University of Alaska Anchorage

The University of Alaska Anchorage sets the standard for dental assistant schools across the country with its associate degree program.

Dental assisting scholarships and financial aid
Visit the UAA Office of Financial Aid for information on university, department and program scholarships such as the Dental Education Endowment, Dental Education Scholarship and American Dental Assistants Association scholarships.

Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam certification
Earn a dental assisting degree from UAA and qualify to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board examination to become a certified dental assistant.

Student advising
Faculty and staff advisors in the School of Allied Health will help you develop and follow through with academic plans to achieve educational, career and life goals. From admission and program requirements to transfer credits and placement testing through the UAA Testing Center, advisors help answer all of your questions to stay on track with earning your associate degree.

Advanced technology and equipment
UAA’s dental assisting program in the School of Allied Health houses a fully functional dental clinic, a materials lab classroom, a sterilization room, a darkroom, a radiography viewing room and a multimedia room. Gain first-hand work experience in everything from patient care and taking x-rays to appointment scheduling and four-handed dentistry.

Dental Assisting A.A.S.

Degree Type:

  • Associate

Program Length: Two years. Pre-majors must apply for admission to the full major.

Availability:Anchorage campus

Other program options: Undergraduate certificate in dental assisting

Did you know..

Employment of dental assistants in the U.S. is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What can you do with a dental assisting degree from UAA?

Dental assisting careers

UAA alumni who earn their associate degree in dental assisting work in a wide variety of settings such as these:

  • Private or group practices
  • General dentistry or specialty practices
  • Public health facilities
  • Federal and government facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Dental school clinics
  • Insurance companies
  • Vocational schools or community colleges and universities

By the numbers..

Percentage of UAA dental assisting alumni who successfully find jobs as dental assistants after graduation.
UAA Dental Assisting Yearly Assessment
Percentage of projected employment growth for dental assistants in the U.S. between 2018 to 2028 - much faster than the average for all other occupations.
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Dental assisting associate degree program highlights

With an emphasis on job skills, UAA’s Associate of Applied Science degree in dental assisting combines classroom learning with on-the-job training to prepare you for a successful career.
  • Work with licensed dentists and gain clinical experience through two or more internship opportunities. As a dental assisting major, you’ll complete service in the UAA Dental Clinic, helping provide dental services to the Anchorage campus and local community. In local area dental offices, you’ll spend 300 hours turning theory and methodology into practice.
  • Participate in two service learning projects. In the past, dental assisting majors have provided oral hygiene instruction to local elementary schools and participated in UAA Dental Days to join volunteers in providing free dental services to the Anchorage campus and local communities in UAA’s Dental Clinic.
  • Learn from expert faculty and staff who have published research and presented nationally on oral healthcare topics. Program instructors include board-certified dental assistants whose specialties include infection control, dental radiography and dental materials.

Amazing stories from our majors

The most exciting aspect of the program is our clinical days, where we have patients come in and we work on any concerns they might have — like exams, restorations and x-rays. It’s a different experience each day and with each patient. And our professors are wonderful — they truly care about our education and whether or not we’re doing it right. They want us to get better, and they want us to do our job right as dental assistants.

Alina Shen
AAS in dental assisting student
A teacher demonstrates an example for a student.

The University of Alaska Anchorage operates a fully functional, seven-operatory dental clinic on campus. Offering clinical experience to dental assisting majors, the UAA Dental Clinic also provides dental services to the Anchorage campus and local communities.

UAA Dental Clinic
Students practicing with a volunteer.

Volunteer each spring in the UAA Dental Clinic to provide free dental services for the Anchorage campus and local communities. What began as a one-day, free-sealant program has grown into a collaboration between UAA and community partners in restorative and hygiene care.

Alaska Cares: Dental Days at UAA
Students looking at information on a computer.

Connect with the program’s evolving network of community partners, including the United Way of Anchorage, Alaska Dental Action Coalition, Alaska State Dental Hygienists’ Association and Alaska Dental Society.

Community Partners

Dental assisting associate degree program curriculum

The University of Alaska Anchorage’s associate degree program in dental assisting combines general course requirements with major requirements to develop your interpersonal and technical skills, as well as general healthcare knowledge. Coursework includes topics in biology, psychology, nutrition and communication to prepare for general dentistry or specialty areas in dental healthcare such as maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics and pediatric dentistry.

How long is dental assistant school?
You can complete the 60-credit-hour requirement to earn a dental assistant degree in as little as two years.

Top classes for dental assisting majors

  • Experience your first clinical patient lab in Chairside Techniques I.
  • Learn how to take digital radiographs in Radiography Lab.
  • Explore orthodontics, oral surgery and more in Dental Specialties.