Dental Assisting

Dental Assisting

Get the Skills to Begin a Career as a Dental Assistant in as few as 10 Months

Porter and Chester Institute's Dental Assisting program in Connecticut and Massachusetts covers the administrative and chairside clinical functions of dental assistants. You can learn about topics such as oral anatomy, oral hygiene, oral diseases, dental radiography, charting and record keeping, infection control, nutrition, and chairside dental procedures. Instructors place emphasis on day-to-day clinical skills along with safety and practice management.

Dental Assisting Infographic

Fast Facts

Blended Program – Lecture online, labs on campus
Offered at: Bridgeport CT, Hamden CT, New London CT, Waterbury CT, Brockton MA, Chicopee MA and Worcester MA

  • Graduates earn a diploma
  • Program Length: 10 months

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Students may sit for the DANB Radiation Health and Safety exam and the Infection Control exam any time after completing the appropriate coursework—and the first time cost of the exams are covered as part of your education at PCI.

The final term is a 335-hour externship where you apply what you learned in the program at a dental office, clinic, or other dental facility during daytime hours.

How/When to Apply

We start new sessions on a regular basis.
Next Start Date: August 12, 2024

At Porter and Chester Institute, we're making it easier than ever for you to enroll using our automated application portal. Upload your documents and start the financial aid process without the hassle of drawn-out application processes. And our admissions staff is still available to help you every step of the way. Taking control of your career just got easier!

Apply Online Now


Is a Rewarding Dental Assisting Career Right for You?

Take the "PCI Dental Assisting Career Training Readiness Quiz"

The fun, online quiz takes 3 minutes to complete and you’ll get a personalized report. Identify your strengths and social style plus the training and positions you’re best suited for.
Get your Dental Assisting Career Training Readiness score now!

From Our Blog


At Porter and Chester Institute, you can get your diploma in Dental Assisting in as few as 10 months. This program is offered at multiple campuses throughout...

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As a Dental Assistant, you will play a very important role in helping both the dentist and the patient during a dental appointment. Your chairside assistance...

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How Can I Afford It?

Financial Aid is available to those who qualify. Our team of Educational Funding Specialists will work with you to determine what you’re eligible for and how to pay for school.

There are federal, institutional and private programs that can make your career training more affordable, as well as grant and scholarship opportunities that may be available to you.

Financial Aid

Will I Get A Job?

While employment is not guaranteed, our Career Service Advisors are dedicated to helping you find the right job for you! We'll help you with your job search, and also with resume and cover letter writing, and interviewing skills.

Career Services

Why PCI?

If you really like helping others and want to be part of a dental team, here's why you should get your Dental Assisting training at Porter and Chester Institute:

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Blended Learning Opportunities:
In an effort to create a more flexible learning environment, the program is offered in a Hybrid format, with lecture online and hands-on labs on campus. This “blended learning” delivery method allows you to learn information online, at your convenience, and then put those corresponding skills into practice on-campus in the lab. Students choose Days or Evenings for their lab schedule.

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Hands-on Training:
The Dental Assisting labs feature the same equipment and technology you find in dental office and clinics. You learn how to assist dentists in a dental operatory, take radiographs, mix dental materials, exercise proper infection control and sterilization, use model trimmers, take vital signs, and provide patient education. As part of the in-class training, you also work with Dentrix dental software. The lab environment uses mannequin heads to foster a real-life environment.

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Dental Assisting Externships:
The final term of the Dental Assisting program is an externship course where you complete 335 hours of an unpaid externship. Apply what you learn in the program to a dental office, clinic, or other facility settings.

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Prepare for Dental Assisting Certification Exams
The Dental Assisting program prepares you for certification exams from the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB.) You will have the background to take these optional exams any time after completing the corresponding coursework. Your tuition costs cover the cost of these exams.

You can apply these two exams toward the Certified Dental Assisting (CDA) exam. To earn your CDA, you will also need to pass the General Chairside Assisting exam. Please note that you will not be eligible to take this exam until you can document 3,500 hours of work in the field.

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Job Outlook:
Dental assistants play pivotal roles in dental offices and other settings. As such, there is often demand for skilled and trained professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 56,400 openings for dental assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade. This number is expected to grow by 8% through 2031, a rate that is faster than average.