Iowa Western Community College

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Campus Closed Friday 1/17/2020

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Dental Assistant

Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Fall Only
Program Length: 2 Semesters, 1 Summer
Award: Diploma
Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)

Program Capacity: Council Bl
Completed Online: Full-Time Only
Completed in the Evenings: Day
Pathway: Career Path
Career Cluster: Health and Sciences
Program Locations: Council Bluffs Campus

About the Program

Are you the type of person that likes fast paced, hands on experience with the opportunity to help the public?  The Dental Assisting Program at Iowa Western is just what you’re looking for!  Your hands on experience begins as soon as the first week of class, when you’ll be working with other students in the dental clinic at Iowa Western.  This program combines the dental field with direct patient care and a little bit of arts and crafts.

Iowa Western’s faculty has 26 years of combined experience in the dental field, including positions as a chair side Dental Assistant, Dental Laboratory Technician, and Dental Office Manager.  The small class size combined with a tight knit dental community allows for one-on-one interaction with the faculty as the students work their way through the program.  Before the student graduates, they will gain hands on experience as a chair side assistant in area dental schools and private dental offices.  Graduates have the opportunity to work in private dental practices, specialty dental practices, dental colleges, dental product sales, insurance claims departments, and public health institutions and clinics, and dental laboratories.

The Dental Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and the United States Department of Education. This accreditation ensures that the Dental Assisting program is up to date on the latest curriculum and techniques in the dental industry. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago 60611, or visit the webiste at


To learn more about the program or see what we’ve been up to, visit our program Facebook page at:

Career Information

The Dental Assistant program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of the ten-month diploma. Dental Assistants aid dentists by performing support duties for the treatment of patients during dental procedures. Duties range from assisting the dentist with procedures to educating patients to preparing and sterilizing dental instruments and performing administrative work. Most dental assistants work in private dental offices, although job opportunities for dental assistants also exist in dental schools, private and government hospitals, state and local public health departments, and corporate clinics. The employment opportunities for dental assistants are ever increasing with the need for dental care.

Career Coach

Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to perform select office and dental procedures.
  • Demonstrate appropriate professional behavior.
  • Demonstrate the ability to accurately capture diagnostic radiographic images.
  • Demonstrate communication of dental based principles to patients for practical use.

Average: $16.19
Entry Level: $13.93
Experienced: $18.48

* Salary information from EMSI Analyst Database.


* The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation”. The information provided here describes the graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information regarding gainful employment for the most recent academic year (as of July 1).