University of Alaska, Anchorage – College of Health Dental Assisting Programs

The University of Alaska in Anchorage offers two dental assisting programs.  Both are CODA accredited and will qualify graduates to apply for the Certified Dental Assistant exams and credential through the DANB.  Since this is not a mandatory requirement in the state of Alaska, sitting for the DANB is completely optional, although it may help you to be more competitive in the job market.

The two programs they offer are an Undergraduate Certificate in Dental Assisting, and an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting.  Both programs require the same courses in Dental Assisting which are all classroom based.  The only coursework that may be able to be completed online are the general degree requirements for the AAS degree, which may be taken before or after the Undergraduate Certificate program as a part-time student if desired.

Undergraduate Certificate in Dental Assisting (34 credit hours)

Objectives:  This program will teach you the basics to be successful in dental assisting.

  • Demonstrate skills and knowledge necessary to be competent in the dental assisting field.
  • Demonstrate professional standards according to OSHA, ADA, OSAP,ADAA and radiation health and safety standards.
  • Demonstrate ethical behavior in a dental office setting.

Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting (60 credit hours)

Objectives: This program goes one step further with more in-depth study of biology, communications, and nutrition – all fields that are relevant to dental assisting – in addition to teaching everything needed to succeed in dental assisting.

  • Demonstrate skills and knowledge necessary to be competent in the dental assisting field.
  • Demonstrate professional standards according to OSHA, ADA, OSAP,ADAA and radiation health and safety standards.
  • Demonstrate ethical behavior in a dental office setting.
  • Demonstrate general knowledge in the fields of biology, communications and nutrition.

Courses in the Certificate Component of Each Program:

Fall Semester

  • Essentials of Dentistry (3)
  • Infection Control in Dentistry (3)
  • Dental Radiography (3)
  • Dental Radiography Lab (1)
  • Dental Office Administration (3)
  • Chairside Techniques I (4)

Spring Semester

  • Biomedical and Dental Sciences for Dental Assistants (3)
  • Materials in Dentistry (3)
  • Clinical Practicum I (1)
  • Chairside Techniques II (4)
  • Dental Specialties for Dental Auxiliaries (3)

Summer Session

  • Clinical Practicum II (3)

Estimated Annual Costs (according to US Department of Education’s College Navigator):

Estimated expenses for academic year 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 % change 2011-2012 to 2012-2013
Tuition and fees
In-state $4,910 $5,186 $5,396 $5,726 6.1%
Out-of-state $14,810 $15,776 $17,036 $18,176 6.7%
Books and supplies $1,154 $1,182 $1,217 $1,575 29.4%
Living arrangement
On Campus
Room and board $8,430 $9,080 $9,080 $9,580 5.5%
Other $2,110 $2,163 $2,224 $1,978 -11.1%
Off Campus
Room and board $10,371 $10,630 $10,929 $11,148 2.0%
Other $3,478 $3,565 $3,664 $3,121 -14.8%

Expenses beyond tuition include but are not limited to: activity fees, uniforms, lab fees, student organization membership, immunizations, cost of Basic Life Support (BLS) class, licensure fees, and student health insurance.

Immunizations and Basic Life Support (BLS) certification are required prior to clinical participation. Adult, infant and child CPR and AED certification and immunizations must be current throughout the program. Students must be free of tooth decay and active periodontal disease.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the dental assisting program at University of Alaska Anchorage is actually quite small, with just 5 awards for the Associate program, and 6 for the certificate program completed in a calendar year.  While this is expected to vary from year to year, students really receive individualized instruction from instructors with such a small group of students.

Link to Application