Dental Assisting (with Certificate Option) (AAS-DAT)

Program Location:  Bay Minette Campus

Nursing and Allied Health Division

Length: Five Semesters (A.A.S. Degree); Three Semesters (Certificate)


The Dental Assisting Program prepares individuals to provide patient care, take dental radiographs (x-ray photographs), prepare patients and equipment for dental procedures, and discharge office administrative functions under the supervision of dentists and dental hygienists. The program includes instruction in medical record-keeping, general office duties, reception and patient intake, scheduling, equipment maintenance and sterilization, basic radiography, pre- and post-operative patient care and instruction, chairside assisting, taking tooth and mouth impressions, and supervised practice.  

Students are required to take the Dental Assisting National Board Infection Control Exam, the Radiation Health and Safety Exam, and General Chairside Exam.  

  1. Have unconditional admission to the College and be an active student in good standing (minimum, cumulative 2.0 GPA).   
  2. Eligibility for ENG 101, if not already completed.  
  3. Submit official transcripts from all colleges/schools attended, including high school, to the registrar or admissions office by the application deadline, July 15.  
  4. Submit a completed Dental Assisting Program application by stated deadline.  
  5. Meet essential eligibility criteria.                                 
  6. Submit required form for observation of a dental assistant completing duties at a dental office (see Coastal Alabama Dental Assisting Resources page).   

While not all core academic courses listed below are required prior to acceptance, it is strongly suggested they are completed prior to program admission to improve student success. Completion of the courses and the above criteria does not guarantee admission into the program. There is a class size limit of 24 students. If needed, prospective students are selected for program admission using a points system in which applicants are rank-ordered using the metrics below:   

  1. 3 points for an A, 2 points for a B, and 1 point for a C in MTH 116 or higher, ENG 101, and BIO 103. 
  2. 1 point for a C or higher in CIS 146, PSY 200, SPH 106 or 107, SOC 200, and a humanities/fine arts elective.   

Upon provisional acceptance into the Dental Assisting Program, students are required to provide the following: Drug screen, background check, physical exam documenting the ability to meet essential functions/eligibility criteria, record of immunizations, proof of medical insurance, and American Heart Association BLS CPR certification for the healthcare provider. Accepted students will receive a link to the online compliance platform, CastleBranch, to upload these items.  

Clinical agencies reserve the right to deny clinical clearance, which may deem a student ineligible for program participation.   

Dental Assisting testing/lab fees may be assessed for select courses.  

Note: Students desiring to obtain BLS CPR certification at Coastal may choose to enroll in the optional EMS 100 course. American Heart Association BLS CPR may be obtained through an alternate training agency, if preferred.  


All Dental Assisting courses must be passed with a minimum of “C” in order to progress in the program. A certificate or AAS in Dental Assisting will be awarded to students who successfully complete all required core academic and core Dental Assisting courses with a grade of “C” or higher. Students are responsible for meeting all progression and graduation requirements.  

A certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the DAT courses, ENG 101, MTH 116 (or higher-level Math), PSY 200, and SPH 106 or 107 for a total of 48 credit hours. Students may work as dental assistants after successful completion of the certificate. Additional requirements for the Associate of Applied Science Degree include the following: Fine Arts elective, CIS 146, BIO 103, and SOC 200.  

This is a career program designed for students to go directly into the labor market upon completion. Although some of the courses in this program will transfer to four-year institutions, this program is not designed to be a transfer program of study; therefore, it is not subject to the terms and conditions of Alabama Transfers state transfer and articulation reporting system.  


Coastal Alabama Community College’s Dental Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and has been grated accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements.” The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.  

Commission on Dental Accreditation
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL  60611

Semester One

MTH 100, 110, 112, 113, or a higher-level math may be substituted for MTH 116. The courses listed for this semester are required for the Dental Assisting Associate Degree and Dental Assisting Certificate.  

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Semester Three (Fall)

DAT 101 and DAT 102 procedures are taught to laboratory competence.  

EMS 100 is an optional course for DAT students to pursue CPR certification for the healthcare provider.

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Semester Four (Spring)

DAT 112 procedures are taught to clinical competence.  

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Complete Graduation Application

Complete the graduation application and begin the process of a review of your degree plan before your final semester.

Semester Five (Summer)

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