Expanded Duty Dental Assisting


Become a dental team member in restorative and specialty dental practices by completing this academic diploma program. Once students complete the coursework, they're required to take the DANB exams as part of the program.

The Expanded Duty Dental Assisting program includes instruction in restorative dentistry and preventive oral care, including:

  • Procedures for infection control/sterilization processes.
  • Teaching patients oral self-care.
  • Preparing for many types of dental restorative and surgical procedures.
  • Instrument identification and functions.
  • 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 during patient treatment.
  • Preparing the filling materials.
  • Scheduling patients/office management.
  • Managing health information.
  • Monitoring nitrous oxide and oxygen delivery to patients.

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.

Applications and Notifications
  • Special admissions applications for students seeking entry into the Expanded Duty Dental Assisting Program are accepted on an annual basis from current Midlands Technical College Students. Applications are accepted annually from the 15th of January to the 15th of May.
  • After ensuring students meet all other admissions criteria, the highest ranking 20 students will be admitted into the program based solely on rank against all other applications received for the current entry year using the competitive point’s checklist. Should a student be deemed ineligible after initial acceptance or refuse acceptance into the program, additional applicants may be offered seats in the program based on their ranking.
  • Initial notifications, acceptance, or denial into the Expanded Duty Dental Assisting Program will be sent out no earlier than the 30th of May, each calendar year.
  • Secondary notifications will only be sent to those students that are offered a seat into the program based on availability if initial seats are not accepted or the student was deemed ineligible. 
Admission Criteria
  • Competitive, points-based admissions criteria – See Checklist.
  • Completion of all pre-requisite courses required – See pre-requisite courses.
  • Acceptable criminal background check and drug screening results
  • High school diploma or equivalent
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 School of Health Care 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 fingerprinting, background checks, and drug screenings.

How to Enroll

To pursue this degree, you must apply to MTC using our online application.

Apply Now


Print Plan

Sample Program Plan and Costs

On-Campus Traditional. Classes meet on campus.
Virtual 100% online. Meets with a live instructor and classmates on specific days, at specific times. Uses web conferencing software, like Zoom.
Hybrid Some classes on campus. Some classes online or virtual.
Online 100% online. Due dates for projects and assignments. Self-paced work on your time.
Semester Course ID Course Title Classroom Online Hybrid Virtual Credits
(13 Credit Hours)
COL-106 Skills for College Success

Skills for College Success

ID: COL-106

Credit Hours: 1

This course is designed to enhance the skills of entering freshmen to facilitate their ability to succeed in the college environment. The course topics include student/instructor expectations, time management, library/computer orientation, listening/note-taking, studying for success, learning styles/personality types, and diversity and differences on campus.

BIO-110 General Anatomy and Physiology

General Anatomy and Physiology

ID: BIO-110

Credit Hours: 3

This course is a general introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Emphasis is on the organ systems of the human and their interrelationships.

ENG-160 Technical Communications

Technical Communications

ID: ENG-160

Credit Hours: 3

This course is a study of various technical communications such as definitions, processes, instructions, descriptions, and technical reports.

MAT-155 Contemporary Mathematics

Contemporary Mathematics

ID: MAT-155

Credit Hours: 3

This course includes techniques and applications of the following topics: elementary number theory; algebra; geometry; measurement; graph sketching and interpretations; and descriptive statistics.

PSY-201 General Psychology

General Psychology

ID: PSY-201

Credit Hours: 3

This course includes the following topics and concepts in the science of behavior: scientific method, biological bases for behavior, perception, motivation, learning memory, development, personality, abnormal behavior, therapeutic techniques, and social psychology.

Fall Term
(14 Credit Hours)
DAT-113 Dental Materials

Dental Materials

ID: DAT-113

Credit Hours: 4

This course is a study of physical and chemical properties of matter and identification, characteristics, and manipulation of dental materials.

DAT-118 Dental Morphology

Dental Morphology

ID: DAT-118

Credit Hours: 2

This course emphasizes the development, eruption, and individual characteristics of each tooth and surrounding structures. This course also covers the embryology and histology of the head and neck.

DAT-123 Oral Medicine/Oral Biology

Oral Medicine/Oral Biology

ID: DAT-123

Credit Hours: 3

This course presents a basic study of oral pathology, pharmacology, nutrition, and common emergencies as related to the role of the dental assistant.

DAT-154 Clinical Procedures I

Clinical Procedures I

ID: DAT-154

Credit Hours: 4

This course includes preparation to assist a dentist efficiently in four-handed dentistry. Emphasis is on the names and functions of all dental instruments, the principles involved in their use, and the assistants' role in dental instrumentation.

DAT-115 Ethics and Professionalism

Ethics and Professionalism

ID: DAT-115

Credit Hours: 1

This course introduces a cursory history of dental assisting, professional associations, scope of service in dentistry, and ethical, legal and professional considerations. The state dental practice act is reviewed.

Spring Term
(15 Credit Hours)
DAT-121 Dental Health Education

Dental Health Education

ID: DAT-121

Credit Hours: 2

This course defines the responsibilities of the dental assistant in individual and community dental health education with emphasis on the etiology of dental disease, methods for prevention, and principles of nutrition in relationship to oral health and preventive dentistry.

DAT-122 Dental Office Management

Dental Office Management

ID: DAT-122

Credit Hours: 2

This course provides a study of the business aspect of a dental office. It includes exposure to dental practice management software.

DAT-127 Dental Radiography

Dental Radiography

ID: DAT-127

Credit Hours: 4

This course provides the fundamental background and theory for the safe and effective use of x-radiation in dentistry. It encompasses the history of x-rays, production and uses of radiation, radiographic film, exposure factors, interpretation of radiographs and radiation hygiene.

DAT-174 Office Rotations

Office Rotations

ID: DAT-174

Credit Hours: 4

This is an introductory course to a general office with emphasis placed on chairside assisting and office management.

DAT-183 Specialty Functions

Specialty Functions

ID: DAT-183

Credit Hours: 3

This course is an introduction to dental specialties, the refinement, the roles served by assistants in the dental specialties, and the expanded legal functions for qualified assistants.

Summer Term
(7 Credit Hours)
DAT-177 Dental Office Experience

Dental Office Experience

ID: DAT-177

Credit Hours: 7

This course consists of practice in the dental office or clinic with rotation of assignments to encompass experiences in office management and clinical experience in all areas of dentistry.

  Total Credit Hours 49
  Estimated Cost
Financial Aid
Not including fees and equipment


Chairside Dental Assistant

Dental assistants often spend much of their day working closely with patients and dentists. For example, dental assistants might take a patient’s medical history, blood pressure, and pulse before a procedure; explain what will be done, and talk to patients about oral care. They help dentists during a procedure by passing instruments and holding equipment such as suction hoses, matrix bands, and dental curing lights. Other tasks include preparing the treatment room and making sure that instruments and equipment are sterile. Dental assistants also may document the procedure that is done and schedule followup appointments.

Some dental assistants are specially trained to take X-rays of teeth and the surrounding areas. They place a protective apron over patients’ chest and lap, position the X-ray machine, place the X-ray sensor or film in patients’ mouths, and take the X-rays. Afterward, dental assistants ensure that the images are clear.

Assistants who perform lab tasks, such as taking impressions of a patient’s teeth, work under the direction of a dentist. They may prepare materials for dental impressions or temporary crowns.

Projected Job Growth


Average Annual Salary

According to EMSI data as of 2022

Where Can I Work?

  • Private Dental Practices
  • Corporate Dental Practices
  • Hospital Site Dental Clinics


Dental Practice Management

A dental practice manager is responsible for handling accounting and HR duties and keeping a dental office running smoothly. Duties can include:

  • office management
  • patient coordination
  • business management
    • practice administration
  • insurance and finance coordination

Projected Job Growth


Average Annual Salary

According to EMSI data as of 2022

Where Can I Work?

  • Private Dental Practices
  • Corporate Dental Practices
  • Hospital Site Dental Clinics


Dental Laboratory Technician

Dental laboratory technicians use traditional or digital impressions or molds of a patient’s teeth to create crowns, bridges, dentures, and other dental appliances. They work closely with dentists, but have limited contact with patients.

Dental laboratory technicians work with small hand tools, such as files and polishers. They work with many different materials, including wax, alloy, ceramic, plastic, and porcelain, to make prosthetic appliances. In some cases, technicians use computer programs or three-dimensional printers to create appliances or to get impressions sent from a dentist’s office.

Projected Job Growth


Average Annual Salary

According to EMSI data as of 2022

Where Can I Work?

  • Dental Laboratories


Dental Assisting Educator

Teaching dental assisting is a rewarding way to share your experience and help others. While some dental assisting educators are able to obtain jobs based on their dental assisting work experience, dental assisting programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) require that dental assistants who wish to work as educators hold DANB Certification and work toward and then earn a Bachelor’s Degree, to become a professional dental assisting educator.

Projected Job Growth


Average Annual Salary

According to EMSI data as of 2022

Where Can I Work?

  • Educational Institutions

What’s next after I complete this program?

Clinical Chairside Dental Assistant

Enter the workforce as an Expanded Duty Dental Assistant with a Diploma from MTC and Certification credentials from the Dental Assisting National Board.

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.

Associate Degree in Health Care

Students may earn an associate degree with additional specialty courses.

Enter the Dental Hygiene Program at MTC

Earn dual credentialing in the dental profession.

Go to Dental School and become a Dentist

Dental assistants prepare and assist with all dental procedures. Often times they decide to actually become a dentist upon graduation.

Want more information?

Academic programs count as academic credit for a certificate, diploma or degree and may transfer toward future academic endeavors at four-year colleges and universities.
Training programs can be completed in a matter of weeks or months, are focused on career training, and provide credentials and certificates needed in the specific fields of study. Coursework does not transfer.
Not sure: Check out these resources to explore what fits your goals.

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