Program Description:

The Dental class is a one-year program, with the option of a second year advanced class, established to provide students, both men and women, with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required by the dental profession to work in a dental environment.

The program will teach students the skills necessary to work in a dental practice in various roles. Over 50% of the instruction in this program is devoted to hands-on experience in the on-site dental clinic. The remaining portion of the instruction will be devoted to building professionalism skills, traditional chairside dental assisting duties, dental x-rays, dental materials, terminology, safety issues, and career development. Students completing the dental program will have entry level skills in dental and will be encouraged to further their training at a post-secondary institution or dental environment.

The second year program will take the basic skills learned in the first year and narrow the focus on more complex, advanced skills associated with expanded function dental assistant. Students will prepare to take two sections of the Certified Dental Assisting National Board examination ( to be on task to obtain their CDA certificate. The prerequisite for the second year program is successful completion of the first year program and instructor recommendation.

Students enrolling in the Dental program will learn:

  • Professionalism Skills

    • Communication

    • Interpersonal relationship skills with patients, co-workers, and dentists

    • Student and group leadership

  • Chairside Dental Assisting Skills

    • Silver and tooth colored fillings

    • Tooth removal

    • Temporary fillings and temporary crowns (second year)

    • Impressions

    • Patient education in oral hygiene instruction

    • Coronal polishing

    • Fluoride treatment

    • Sealant application

  • Front office reception skills with EagleSoft dental software

  • Dental laboratory techniques

    • Models

    • Teeth whitening trays

  • Dental sterilization and disinfection procedures

  • Dental anatomy and terminology

  • Preventive dentistry and nutrition

  • Dental radiology, digital and traditional

Program Benefits:

  • High School credit equivalency (1.0 health and 1.0 lab science elective at the discretion of the sending school district)

  • Entry level clinical and reception skills

  • Advanced level clinical skills (2nd year)

  • Preparation for DANB Radiology and Infection Control Examinations

  • Career experience (internship and on-site clinic)

  • Professional connections, associations, and volunteer opportunities

  • Successful completion of the program, with a grade B or higher, may result in college credit

  • Competency certificate each year

Industry Certifications/Credits Available:  (*) Indicates a fee to test/apply

  • *Healthcare Provider CPR

  • Bloodborne Pathogens (7-Hrs HIV-Aids)

  • Health Information Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) training

  • *Registered Dental Assistant (RDA). The WA State Department of Health requires a valid social security number to get licensed in the state.

  • 21st Century Professionalism Certificate (Precision Exams)

  • * DANB (NELDA) National Entry-level Dental Assistant

  • WSDA HIV Certificate

  • Precision exams: Dental Sciences I, II, III

  • Precision exam: Financial Literacy (second year)

Dental I

  • Reading and writing proficiency at 10th grade level

  • Good attendance record is vital for succeeding in this class

  • Must provide proof of immunization records including Hepatitis, MMR, TB, and an updated Tetanus

  • The student must indicate a career interest in the dental field: registered dental assistant, dental hygienist, dental laboratory technician, dental receptionist, and/or dentist

  • Student must enjoy communicating and working with people

Dental II

  • Application process for the second year program requires successful completion of the first year program and teacher recommendation (Attendance/Attitude/Time Management)

  • Must be registered as an RDA in WA state

  • Must provide own health insurance to participate in internships

  • Must provide own transportation to internship site and provide current car insurance


  • Ability to pass a WA State police background check and valid social security number are required to register with the state.

  • Upon acceptance into the program, student and parent/guardian are required to attend the orientation at Cascadia Technical Academy.


  • Health (“C” or better), biology, chemistry, speech/communication, and English classes

  • Successful completion of reading and writing HSPE


  • Ability to pass a WA State police background check and valid social security number are required to register with the state.

  • Upon acceptance into the program, student and parent/guardian are required to attend the orientation at Cascadia Tech Academy.


  • Student membership in ADAA (American Dental Assistant Association) – $35

  • Student membership in HOSA (Future Health Professionals) – $20

Lab Time/Theory Time:
Approximately 50% of the time will be devoted to theory and 50% to lab/clinical, hands-on application.

1 – 4 hours per week

Textbook Reading Level:
Theory material 12th grade

Career Opportunities:   (*) Indicates more education is required

  • Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

  • Dental Hygiene Assistant

  • Dental Sterilization Technician

  • Lab Technician

  • Patient Care Coordinator

  • Patient Care Service Representative

  • Dental Sales Representative

  • Dental Education Specialist

  • Accounts Receivable Specialist

  • Office Manager

  • *Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)

  • *Anesthesia Assistant

  • *Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary (EFDA)

  • *Hygienist

  • *Dentist

Credit Equivalencies and College Credit:
Click here to learn more about credit equivalencies.
Click here to learn more about the articulation agreements and college credits available for each program.

Program Supply List / Student Costs:
CTA programs require that uniforms, supplies, and other program specific related items be purchased prior to the first day of school.  To access the list for Dental Year 1, please click here and for Dental year 2, please click here.

Note: It is recommended that all students attending Cascadia Technical Academy have medical insurance. Family medical insurance or student accident insurance is required for students participating in internships or clinicals.  Student accident insurance is available through the sending high school.

If you have concerns regarding these expenses, please see Melissa Downing. There are funds available for qualifying students. Ms. Downing can be reached at 360-604-1062 or at Ms. Downing is available during the school year when school is in session.