Expanded Duty Dental Assisting


About the Program

The Expanded Duty Dental Assisting program includes instruction in restorative dentistry and preventive oral care, including teaching patients oral self-care, applying sealants to the grooves of patients’ teeth, taking impressions of teeth, producing diagnostically acceptable dental radiographs (X-rays), polishing teeth and fillings, assisting the dentist, preparing the filling materials, scheduling patients, managing health information and monitoring nitrous oxide.

Employment opportunities in South Carolina include private practice positions such as chair-side dental assistants, treatment coordinators, OSHA compliance specialists, dental laboratory assistants, secretarial assistants and office managers. There are also opportunities in public health settings, hospital dental practices, prison dental clinics and insurance companies.

Related careers include dental product sales representative, infection control consultant for private dental offices, dental office business manager and dental assisting educators.

The Expanded Duty Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.

Commission on Dental Accreditation
American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 440-4653

Graduates are recognized as Expanded Duty Dental Assistants (EDDA) by the SC State Board of Dentistry. Graduates are eligible to be credentialed as Certified Dental Assistants (CDA) upon satisfactory completion of the three examinations administered by the Dental Assisting National Board.

Learning experiences for students in the Expanded Duty Dental Assisting Diploma Program are provided in classrooms and laboratories on the Airport Campus in the Academic Center. Student preclinical and clinical experience is provided in a state-of-the-art dental clinic on the third floor of the Academic Center. Additional required clinical externships are arranged through affiliations with local dentists and dental facilities.

Special Requirements

Students must receive a grade of “C” or better on all Expanded Duty Dental Assisting courses, math, and science courses. Math and science courses must be completed according to the timeframe established for Health Science Programs.  Students are required to pass a comprehensive examination in each clinical course to continue in the program the following semester. Additionally, they must pass a final comprehensive exit examination to graduate from the program.  Students may not repeat Expanded Duty Dental Assisting courses more than once, nor may they progress to the next semester until that course is passed.  Students may repeat only two Expanded Duty Dental Assisting courses.

Students are required to purchase and maintain a set of X-ray instruments, dental instruments, dento- forms, laboratory coats, standard uniforms (to include gloves and masks), shoes, name pin and safety glasses at an approximate cost of $2,000.

Students are encouraged to join the Student American Dental Assistants’ Association and to participate in its scheduled activities, including attendance at the annual meeting of the South Carolina Dental Assistants’ Association.  In addition, they are required to participate in scheduled activities, such as visits to elementary schools for dental health educational presentations, and to take three national examinations (ICE, RHS, GC).

Students will rotate through private dental offices and clinics in the MTC service area for practical experience in Expanded Duty Dental Assisting.  Students will be required to comply with regulations required by off-campus clinical sites, which might include finger printing, background checks and drug screenings.

In addition to the college’s placement test and the specific admissions requirements for the Health Sciences department, specific interview eligibility criteria for the Expanded Duty Dental Assisting program include:

Acceptable Eligibility Criteria

  • ACCUPLACER COMPANION (Valid through 9/4/2021) 83 reading, 66 arithmetic, 42 El. Algebra
  • ACCUPLACER NEXT-GEN 250 reading, arithmetic 237 QAS
  • TEAS V (September 2014-present) 52 Composite (reading 63, mathematics 57, science 39) and placement into ENG 101; or
  • SAT 980, EBRW 500 and placement into ENG 101; or
  • ​ACT 18 (minimum verbal 17) and placement into ENG 101; or
  • Completion of the Pre-Health Care Certificate with a “C” or higher in each course and a 2.5 GPA; or\
  • Associate degree or higher

Admission Criteria

  • Successful program interview
  • Acceptable criminal background check and drug screening results
  • High school diploma or equivalent

Essential Functions

Essential Functions Technical Standard examples of necessary activities (not all inclusive)
Critical Thinking Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment. Identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations; evaluate patient or instrument responses: synthesize data: draw sound conclusions.
Interpersonal Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds. Establish rapport with patients and colleagues. Use therapeutic communication (attending, clarifying, coaching, facilitating, and teaching. Function (consult, negotiate, share) as a part of a team. 
Communication Ability Communication abilities sufficient for effective interaction with others in spoken and written English.  Explain treatment procedures; initiate health teaching; document and interpret instructions. Listen attentively.
Physical Endurance Remain continuously on task for several hours while standing, sitting, moving, lifting and/or bending.
Must lift 30 lbs.
Manually resuscitate patients in emergency situations or stand/walk for extended periods of time.
Mobility Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces; full range of motion; manual and finger dexterity; and hand-eye coordination. Move around in work area and treatment areas.
Motor Skills Gross and fine motor skills sufficient to provide safe patient care and operate equipment. Use equipment and instruments with necessary dexterity.
Hearing Ability Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. Ability to hear alarms, emergency signals, auscultatory sounds and cries for help.
Visual Ability Normal or corrected visual ability sufficient for patient observation and assessment, ability to discriminate between subtle changes in density (black and grey) or a color at low light. Observe patient responses, secretions, and color. Read thermometer, chart, computer screen, digital printouts, labels and gauges.
Tactile Ability Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment. Perform palpation, functions of physical examination and/or those related to therapeutic intervention.
Olfactory Ability Olfactory senses (smell) sufficient for maintaining environmental and patient safety. Distinguish smells, which are contributory to assessing and/or maintaining the patient’s health status or environmental safety.
Professional Attitude and Demeanor Ability to present professional appearance and implement measures to maintain one’s own physical and mental health and emotional stability. Work under stressful conditions. Be exposed to communicable diseases and contaminated bodily fluids. React calmly in emergency situations. Demonstrate flexibility. Show concern for others.


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