Dental Assisting

What is a dental assistant?

Certified Dental Assistants (CDAs) are important members of the dental health care team who work with dentists in the delivery of dental care to patients. CDAs utilize their knowledge and clinical skills to provide dental care for patients in every specialty of dentistry. CDAs use their interpersonal skills to motivate and educate patients on methods to prevent oral disease and to maintain sound oral health. CDAs have one of the most diverse and interesting positions in the dental office. A graduate of the IU Fort Wayne dental assisting program are prepared for:

  • Taking dental radiographs
  • Applying dental sealants
  • Placing fillings that restore tooth anatomy and funtion
  • Assisting in general and specialty practices such as orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, pediatrics and endodontics
  • Applying topical anesthetics and assist with anesthetic administration
  • Offering patient instructions concerning home care after dental procedures and oral healthcare
  • Taking impressions and bite registrations for prostheses

Dental assisting is a rewarding, fast-paced, and diverse career that focuses on the patient to stay healthy and keep smiling with confidence. The dental team benefits greatly from the additions of educated CDAs in their abilities to anticipate while working chairside, and confidently adapting with procedures and duties necessary to maintain office efficiency.

Wilhemina Leeuw, dental assisting program interim director

How do you become a CDA?

Students in the dental assisting program will complete three semesters of course work. In addition to course work, students will participate in over 300 hours of clinical experience focused in general dental practices and additional exposure to specialty dental practices. Upon successful completion of the dental assisting program, graduates are required to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) certification exam to become a certified dental assistant. After successful testing, graduates are also eligible for Indiana's state radiology license.

Learn more about the plan of study

Academic advising

As a dental assisting student at IU Fort Wayne, you'll work closely with your academic advisor to select and register for classes that apply toward your program. Your advisor will help you monitor your progress to ensure you are on the right track to a successful career in dental assisting.

Learn more about academic advising