Dental Assisting


Dental Assistant ranked among the Best Health Care Support Jobs in America for 2019 by U.S. News & World Report.

A top growth career in the booming field of healthcare.

Dental assistants now play a key role in dental offices across the country. As the demand for dental services continues to grow, these professionals are being called on to handle a broader range of responsibilities.  You can prepare to join this growing career field by earning your associate degree or diploma in dental assisting, then study toward a dental hygiene degree while you work.  

A career as a dental assistant could be right for you if you:

  • Are very precise and detail oriented
  • Enjoy helping others
  • Have strong visual/spatial abilities
  • Have good dexterity
  • Have good communication and people skills
  • Work well as part of a team
  • Are interested in teeth and promoting oral health
Classes start July 8.
Learn more today!
Available at the Minneapolis campus only

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Go from Dental Assistant to Dental Hygienist

With Herzing University, you have a path to earn dental assisting and dental hygiene credentials in 4 years! Through our unique pathway, you can start your dental assisting career in as little as 24 months, then continue to study for a dental hygiene career while you work.

  • Begin building dental assisting job experience
  • Stand out in the job market with two industry-current qualifications
  • Finish your dental assisting program with a 3.0 GPA or better and you’ll become eligible for a scholarship opportunity

After four years, you could have relevant work experience plus two in-demand qualifications.


Dental Assisting Career Outlook

Dentists are expected to hire more assistants to perform routine tasks so that they may devote their own time to more complex procedures. In addition, numerous job openings will arise out of the need to replace assistants who transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave for other reasons.

Career Paths

Dental assistants work closely with, and under the supervision of, dentists. For many, this entry-level occupation provides basic dental assisting training and experience and serves as a steppingstone to more highly-skilled and higher paying jobs.

Some dental assistants become:

  • Chairside dental assistant
  • Dental front office staff
  • Dental office receptionist
  • Office managers
  • Dental assisting instructors
  • Dental product sales representatives
  • Insurance claims processors for dental insurance companies
  • Others go back to school to become dental hygienists

As a dental assistant, you will likely perform a variety of tasks including chairside assisting, patient education, taking radiographs, polishing teeth, taking impressions and much more. In addition, these professionals can also be involved in office-related tasks such as scheduling and confirming appointments, maintaining treatment records, handling patient payments and ordering supplies and other materials.

Dental Assisting Work Environment

Dental assistants work in a well-lit, clean environment either chair-side with a dentist or in an administrative role or lab setting.  Full-time and part-time positions offering day and/or evening hours are available, offering a diverse range of work settings from large corporations with multiple locations to smaller private practices. Dental assistants may also work in schools, hospital settings and the military.

Working alongside a dentist, the dental assistant's patient care work includes:

  • Handling instruments and operating dental equipment
  • Sterilizing instruments and equipment
  • Taking dental x-rays and processing the film
  • Removing sutures
  • Applying topical anesthetics to gums or cavity-preventive agents to teeth
  • Placing rubber dams on the teeth to isolate them for individual treatment
  • Siting chairside with the dentist to assist with procedures
  • Obtaining health and dental history information from patients
  • Producing diagnostic dental x-rays to aid in treatment planning
  • Applying current infection control techniques within the dental office
  • Performing expanded functions, such as polishing, applying sealants and others, with appropriate training in line with state mandates

In addition, these professionals can also be involved in office-related tasks such as scheduling and confirming appointments, maintaining treatment records, handling patient payments and ordering supplies and other materials.

There are a variety of settings in which a dental assistant can work. Those include, but are not limited to,  private practice, clinics, military positions, correctional facilities, nursing homes, schools, health departments and labs.  Herzing University provides its dental assistant program graduates with a wide range of skills that can be applied to a variety of settings.

Professional dental assistants demonstrate exceptional time management skills, multitasking abilities, are detailed oriented, and contribute to a positive team environment while focusing on patient care as a top priority.

Questions? Schedule a call with an advisor


Herzing University's dental assisting programs prepare graduates for a wide range of work they will be handling as professionals. This includes both hands-on patient care as well as the equally important tasks related to office scheduling, patient payments and treatment records.

Dental Assisting Programs

Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting6824
Diploma in Dental Assisting4716
*Average number of months for students to complete program


Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting (AASDA)

In addition to mastering the dental assisting duties as listed for the diploma, graduates of the dental assistant program also gain a well-rounded background with the degree-required general education courses. They are prepared to enter a bachelor’s degree program such as the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management.  

View Program Course Sheet for more information on Herzing's AASDA degree program.

Diploma in Dental Assisting

These diploma programs prepare graduates to successfully perform chairside assisting, laboratory procedures, administrative duties and other expanded functions. 

View Program Course Sheet

Ask about transferring your prior credits into a Herzing Dental Assisting program

To succeed in this growing career field, Minnesota requires candidates to graduate from an accredited dental assistant program.

  • Dental assisting graduates will be prepared to sit for the Minnesota Board of Dentistry Licensing Exam, Jurisprudence Exam, and the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA®) exam to become a Licensed Dental Assistant (LDA) in the State of Minnesota and earn the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA®) certification through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

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Jessica Stertzbach Herzing University Testimonial
Jessica StertzbachMinneapolis

I chose to attend Herzing University because of the dental assistant program. Working a full-time job and going to school at the same time was a challenge, but my teachers kept pushing me to keep going. I never took a break.