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Dental Assisting

Dental Assisting

About Us

Are you looking for a challenging and rewarding career that is flexible and in-demand? Our Dental Assisting program will prepare you to take on the increasing sophistication of dental treatment, innovations in technology, and expanded duties of the Dental Assistant. Graduates of the two-semester program qualify to take the Dental Board of California examination for state licensure as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) and the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

Transfer Opportunities

Registered Dental Assistants (RDAs) make great hygienists. If you’re interested in continuing your education to become a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH), you get more points in the application process if you have worked as an RDA. College of the Redwoods offers the pre-requisites that allow you to work in the field as you go to school.

Class Search

Application Procedures

In addition to applying for the College, students must also apply and be accepted into the Dental Assisting Program. Applications are open from February 1st – August 1st each year and the program begins each fall, requiring full-time students to be enrolled both fall and spring semesters.  The program fills up early and acceptance is “first come, first served”. Apply early!

For more information regarding course sequences and curriculum refer to the current Catalog under “Degrees and Certificates”.

Program Costs

Uniforms, textbooks, and a lab kit with dental specific supplies are required.  Students accepted in the Dental Assisting Program will pay registration fees, as well as an extra $2,200 for the required items.  Students should prepare for a total cost of $4,000 for the Dental Assisting Program.

Additionally, licensure and certification exam fees and travel to the exam sites are not included in this figure.  More information will be provided upon acceptance into the program. 

What to expect:

Dental Assistant students participate in a wide variety of hands-on activities, and begin providing actual patient care in October with licensed dentists at the Dental Health Center located on the Eureka campus. 

Additionally, during the spring semester students have the opportunity to participate in an internship in a private practice, specialty practices, or in a federal/state clinic. Students are expected to wear a uniform daily and develop specialized skills necessary to be an employable chairside assistant in a professional setting. 

All students will be trained for both front desk and back office, and for general dentistry periodontics, orthodontics, endodontics, and oral surgery.


Dental Health Center

The College of the Redwoods Dental Health Center provides reduced cost dental services performed by a licensed dentist and registered dental hygienist being assisted by students enrolled in the Dental Assisting Program.  Our services are available to the community; we do however give priority to students and staff of the College of the Redwoods.  We do not provide emergency care and appointments are required.

For additional information about the College of the Redwoods Dental Health Center please contact 476-4250.

Certifications and Standards

Our Dental Assisting Program is the only nationally accredited and state approved community college program north of Santa Rosa and Sacramento. Graduates of the two-semester program qualify to take the Dental Board of California examination for state licensure as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) and the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), which means upon successful completion, you’ll be qualified to work as a dental assistant anywhere!

Pass Rates

Currently, College of the Redwoods has a 90% pass rate for the exams administered through the Dental Board of California and 100% pass rate for exams administered through the Dental Assisting National Board.

Dental Board of California Registered Dental Assistant Exam Statistics

fast FACT

We provide employment opportunities to 100% of our graduates

California Employment Statistics

Dental Assistant


Median Wage with an Associate’s Degree

Projected Job Growth


Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Outlook 2018-2028

Employment opportunities include:

Assisting in the following types of dental practices:

  • General/Clinic
  • Periodontic
  • Orthodontic
  • Endodontic
  • Oral surgery
  • Prosthodontic
  • Pediatric
Hillary Reed

Hillary Reed

"Learning should be fun, engaging and hands-on, no matter the grade level. The Dental Assisting curriculum is an applied science where theory, content, and memorization are applied to practical hands-on skills in a laboratory setting."

Contact Us

General Questions Phone : 476-4135 Email :
Admissions Phone: 476-4200 Email:
Financial Aid Phone: 476-4182 Email:
Counseling Phone: 476-4150 Email:

Contact Information

 Hillary Reed, Dental Assisting Program Coordinator

 Jamie Sehon, Administrative Secretary

 Health Occupations Office, AT-100C
Dental Health Center/ Dental Assisting Program Office, AT-101

  2023 College of the Redwoods