Maryland students who want to study dental assisting have few choices. However, one of the state's community colleges offers a dental assisting certificate program that prepares students for licensing and certification. Students learn in classroom and laboratory environments as well as through an externship experience.
Hagerstown Community College
This community college, located in Hagerstown, offers a 35-credit hour dental assistant certificate program. Admission is open to individuals new to the field as well as to dental assistants seeking certification for expanded functions or as dental radiation technologists. Coursework covers topics in human biology, oral assisting, dental specialties and communication. The program also includes a 2-semester externship. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Maryland General Dental Assisting Expanded Function exam and the Radiation Health and Safety exam. Students interested in expanding their job duties to include orthodontic assisting can take an additional course in the summer to qualify them to sit for the Maryland Orthodontic Assisting Expanded Functions Exam.
While there are no educational or certification requirements for dental assistants who perform basic supportive tasks under supervision of a dentist, Maryland requires that dental assistants be licensed to perform expanded functions. 'Expanded functions' refers to providing assistance in a set of more sophisticated duties, which is outlined by the State Board of Dental Examiners, or assisting in orthodontic procedures.
The State Board of Dental Examiners certifies dental assistants in Maryland. To earn certification and be able to provide expanded or orthodontic assistance, an individual must complete a training program consisting of at least 35 credit hours of study approved by the Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners. He or she also must pass the Maryland General Duties Expanded Functions exam or the Maryland Orthodontic Assisting Expanded Functions exam administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Certified dental assistants can also become certified as dental radiation technologists by taking the Radiation Health and Safety exam, also administered by DANB.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Dental Assisting Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Hagerstown Community College||2-year, public; midsize suburb||Dental Assisting Certificate|| $4,260 for in-district
$6,360 for in-state
$8,160 for out-of-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator