Link to Kirkwood Community College

Can I take the Dental Assisting program part-time?
Yes. It takes two years to complete the program as a part-time student. Classes are offered during daytime hours. Since there are a limited number of spaces, contact program coordinator Pam Hanson (allied.health@kirkwood.edu) if you are interested in studying part-time.

Will my Dental Assisting classes transfer to a Dental Hygiene program?
Some of the classes may transfer; it depends on which Dental Hygiene program you select. Completion of the Dental Assisting program does not mean you only need to complete one more year in a Dental Hygiene program. Carefully check the requirements of the program you plan to enter.

Is the program easy because it is only one year?
No. The length of the program does not mean it is easy. It does mean that you are given a lot of information in a short period of time, which can sometimes make the program demanding.

Can dental assistants be trained on the job? If they are trained on the job, is there a salary difference?
Yes, it is legally possible for dental assistants to be trained on the job. However, many offices do not have the time or resources to accomplish this kind of training. As a rule, Dental Assisting graduates tend to receive a higher starting salary than someone who must be trained. No matter how a dental assistant is trained, it is always necessary to receive additional training in the office.

Are there legal requirements to work as a dental assistant in a dental office?
Yes. Students must be registered in the state of Iowa. For information on how to apply for this registration, call the Iowa Dental Board at (515) 281-5157.

Do dental assistants have variety in their job?
Yes, which is one of the many positive aspects of dental assisting. The duties vary based on the office in which you are employed.

Are there job openings in dental assisting?
Yes. There are currently many opportunities for employment.