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Dental Assistant

Program Requirements: 

A career as a dental assistant can be the most varied and comprehensive job in a dental office. Depending on each state’s regulations, dental assistants can perform a wide variety of procedures in the dental office including various laboratory, clinical and office duties. Dental assistants also work closely with dentists as they examine and treat patients.

Gateway Technical College’s Dental Assistant technical diploma features state-of-the-art equipment that helps you learn today's cutting-edge dental practices and procedures. The program in dental assisting is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation [and has been granted the accreditation status of "approval with reporting requirements"]. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

The program features small class sizes and industry-savvy instructors with more than 20 years of experience in the field of dentistry. Beyond classroom instruction, clinical hours are required for both the first and second semester which provides hands-on learning throughout the program.

Gainful Employment Information

What does a dental assistant do?

Dental assistants can perform a wide variety of procedures in the dental office including various laboratory, clinical and office duties. Dental assistants also work closely with dentists as they examine and treat patients

Graduates may find a wide variety of job opportunities available including; dental assistant, specialty dental assistant (Orthodontics, Prosthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, etc.), dental office manager, dental supply/sales representative and dental laboratory technician.

Learning by doing

Students are engaged in hands-on learning at Gateway’s newly remodeled Dental Assistant lab, with state-of-the-art dental equipment including; digital radiography, electronic dental health records, expanded materials and chair-side laboratories.

Beyond the classroom, Dental Assistant students complete clinical hours at facilities throughout Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Clinical hours are required for both the first and second semesters of the Dental Assistant program and give students the opportunity for on-the-job training and experience.

There are several additional hands-on learning opportunities for students that also provide service to the community. Students work with organizations including the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha, Kenosha Touched Twice and Aurora Health Care. These partnerships provide dental health and nutrition instruction to both children and adults in the community.

Job and salary outlook

The median salary for a dental assistant was $17.02 per hour or $36,260 annually in 2014 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment in the industry is expected to grow 36 percent through 2019. Population growth, greater retention of natural teeth by older adults and preventive dental care for younger generations are just a few of the contributing factors of industry growth.

Certification and Licensing

Upon successful completion of the Dental Assistant program, graduates are eligible to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Passing the certification signifies the dental assistant holds the highest level of proficiency in their occupation, which makes graduates more attractive to employers.


Additional Requirements

After Acceptance and Prior to Petitioning

  • Order Medical Document Manager ONLY (health forms/records and CPR). Upon completing your order, the required health forms and CPR requirement will be on your To-Do List. Prior to petitioning you will only be required to upload a copy of your valid CPR card. After being awarded a seat, you will be required to complete the remainder of the items in your To-Do List as soon as possible so that you can receive clearance to participate in clinicals. Please download, print, and upload the completed forms to your CertifiedProfile.​

Background and Health Information requirement questions?
Please contact the Admissions Office at



Heidi Gottfried

Donna Kempf

Program Administration

Mike O'Donnell, Dean