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SJVC’s Dental Assisting program trains students in all aspects of working with a dentist, including patient care, office, and laboratory duties.

At a Glance

  • Earn a certificate of completion in as few as 11 months

  • Earn certifications in Dental Radiation Safety, CPR, Infection Control, and Dental Law and Ethics

  • With the completion of coronal polish and pit and fissure sealants, students are eligible to take the Dental Board of California Examination for state licensure*

  • Conveniently offered at five campuses in CA

  • Affordable tuition varies, learn more now

About the Program

What Will I Learn

Our Dental Assisting students learn:

  • Dental anatomy and radiology
  • Dental software
  • Preventive dentistry
  • Dental practice management
  • Coronal polishing

Courses taken by our Dental Assisting students include:

Orientation to Dentistry

This course focuses on the study of the oral environment within dentistry. Nutrition as it relates to dental health and an introduction to standard infection control procedures will be covered in this course. The roles of the Dental Healthcare Professional (DHCP) will be introduced in a simulated laboratory setting.

Dental Anatomy and Patient Management

The emphasis of this course is on the basic study of the anatomy of the head and neck. This course also provides the theory as well as a hands-on approach to medical and dental emergencies. Emphasis is given to step-by-step procedures performed by the Dental Healthcare Professional (DHCP) and will be performed on typodonts in a laboratory setting, in a pre-clinical setting and clinical observation in an extramural facility. This course will also present principles and practices of infection control, OSHA regulations, law and ethics, practice management, and communication. 

Preventative Clinical Procedures

This course presents the principles of preventive dentistry specializing in coronal polish and pit and fissure sealants. Emphasis is placed on applicable oral anatomy, histology, physiology, and oral pathology pertaining to preventive procedures. Students will be required to perform coronal polish and place pit and fissure sealants on laboratory typodonts as well as clinical patients. This course will also apply principles and practices of infection control, OSHA regulations, California Dental Practice Act, practice management, and communication.

Career Opportunities

If you want to become a dental assistant in California, our Dental Assisting program prepares graduates for a career that offers many work environment options. As a dental assistant or dental office employee, you can expect to perform the following job duties:

  • Provide chair side assistance to the dentist
  • Take dental impressions
  • Coronal polish and fluoride treatments
  • Expose and process X-Rays
  • Practice infection control procedures
  • Apply pit and fissure sealants

The job market for dental assistants is strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations1. The national median annual wage for dental assistants was $38,660 in May 20182.

Program Availability

SJVC’s Dental Assisting program is available at the following campuses:

Cost & Financial Aid

Education is the most important investment you can make in your future. There is a financial plan available for everyone, including a broad range of financial assistance options. Visit SJVC’s Net Price Calculator to get personalized information on college costs and financial aid. Check out SJVC’s Academic Catalog to learn about program costs by campus and credential level. You also can talk to an Admissions Representative to discuss the costs of your chosen program, and schedule an appointment with an experienced financial aid officer.  Student loans, grants, and scholarships are available to those who qualify.

Accreditation & Approvals

The SJVC Dental Assisting program is approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Dental Board of California.

Institutional Accreditation

San Joaquin Valley College holds dual institutional accreditations.

San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501,(510)748-9001 and also the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at

State Approvals


SJVC is a private institution and is approved to operate as an accredited institution by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). Approval to operate means that SJVC has been found in compliance with the standards set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (as amended) and Title 5, Division 7.5, – Private Postsecondary Education of the California Code of Regulations. As a prospective student, you are encouraged to review this catalog prior to signing an enrollment agreement. You are also encouraged to review the School Performance Fact Sheet, which must be provided to you prior to signing an enrollment agreement.

A student or any member of the public may file a complaint about this institution with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education by calling (888) 370-7589 or by completing a complaint form, which can be obtained on the Bureau’s internet website (

View additional State Approvals for SJVC.

Check out our guide on becoming a Dental Assistant in California.

How to Become a Dental Assistant in California?

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* Required Field


*SJVC prepares students to take appropriate certification and licensure exams related to their individual majors. The College does not guarantee students will successfully pass these exams or be certified or licensed as a result of completing the program.

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Dental Assistants, on the Internet at (visited December 13, 2019).  Data reflects a national projected percentage change in employment from 2018-2028 and may not reflect local economic conditions.