Linn County Regional Center - Academy Plans of Study

Dental Career Academy

College Credit in High School
Find your passion.
Get a head start.
Experience college with rock star teachers.
Earn free college credit.

Make mouths beautiful! Explore the hands-on, state-of-the-art lab facilities preparing future dental technician, dental hygienists and dental assistants.

Foundational coursework jump-starts students in one of three dental-related career fields.

Career Focus
Exposure to the dental technology, dental hygiene and dental assisting fields.

Dental Technology
This program may be of interest to students with artistic and creative abilities. These qualities are a valuable asset for a dental technician. Several technologies are used to create beautiful teeth and fabulous smiles. This profession is a great marriage between art and science.

Dental Hygiene
If you are interested in the prevention and education aspect of dentistry, are friendly, self motivated and organized, you may want to consider this career. Dental hygienists provide patient services like cleaning teeth and detecting/treating mouth diseases.

Dental Assisting
A dental assistant helps the dentist at chairside, as well as performing independent functions like polishing teeth and taking x-rays. If you like helping people and working in a team environment, you might want to consider a career in this area.

The Kirkwood Dental Academy can lead students to college associate, bachelor's and graduate degrees. Examples of college majors include, but are not limited to: Dental Technology, Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting. If you’re planning to transfer to a four-year college or university after attending Kirkwood, specific transfer information can be found at

Iowa average salaries in dental careers
Dental Assistant: $35,690
Dental Hygiene: $65,750
Dental Technician: $35,020
More info can be found at:

College Credit Courses
Courses subject to change based on college curriculum.


DEN-110 | Dental Terminology | 2 college credits
Enlists a comprehensive study of dental terminology for dental program preparation, career entry or review. Explains the composition of dental terms by exploring prefix, root combination and suffix divisions. Discusses common dental procedures, practices and disease processes. Credits: 2, Hours: (2/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B

HSC-107 | Professionals in Health | 2 college credits                                                               
Presents skills and characteristics expected for professional preparation and employability. Provides an overview of the health industry as it relates to health and safety regulations. Credits: 2, Hours: (2/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B

HSC-210 | Health Skills I | 1 College Credit                                                                               
Introduces basic patient care skills: infection control techniques, measuring and recording vital signs, and body mechanics. Laboratory practice and skill achievement is required. Credits: 1, Hours: (0.5/1/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B

Cedar Rapids Main Campus Dental Lab spring courses: students must have transportation to main campus.


DEN-130 | Head and Neck Anatomy | 1.5 college credits
Utilizes a systems approach to the gross anatomy of the head and neck with emphasis on the maxilla, mandible, oral tissues, neuromuscular and circulatory function, supporting structures and the temporomandibular joint. Credits: 1.5, Hours: (1/1/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B

DEN-120 | Dental Anatomy | 3 college credits
Introduces students to basics of embryology, histology, terms and anatomy of the oral cavity including a detailed study of crown and root morphology of both primary and permanent dentition. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B

DEN-200 | Preventive Dentistry | 2 college credits
Provides an introduction to dental disease, its causes and methods for prevention. Focuses on dental caries and preliminary information on periodontal disease.Utilizes patient assessment techniques and provides oral health information. Credits: 2, Hours: (1.5/1/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: DEN-120, DEN-130; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: B

Need to Know

Students should be aware that SPRING classes are on the Cedar Rapids main campus. Transportation is not provided to main campus courses.

Students receive credit from their high school and college credit from Kirkwood. The high school district pays college tuition.

Textbooks are provided. Students are required to purchase a lab coat before scheduled job shadows (approximate cost is $25-$30). Students can check with their high school counselor for details.

The grade earned in this course is reflected on the student’s official college transcript. Students not planning to attend Kirkwood after high school graduation should plan to include this transcript as part of their application process to other colleges or universities.

As part of earning college credit for this academy, students must complete an online application to Kirkwood Community College, and must provide a social security number as part of the secure online college application process to create the official student record.

How to Get Started
Talk to your parents and your school counselor.

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