Dental Assisting Apprenticeship

The Dental Assisting Apprenticeship will provide classroom and clinical training to improve the skills of entry-level dental assistants. Emphasis in all phases of training will be put on preparation for the nationally-recognized DANB certification exam. Classes will be located in Room 220 of the Sullivan Health/Science Center, building #2 on our campus map.

View Curriculum Here

COST: Estimated cost of program is $2,500.

Dental Office sponsors may assist with payment. Additional materials required for the class will include: books, scrubs and typodont. Financial Aid is not available for this apprenticeship.



Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma or GED.

Program Details

Classroom instruction will be offered on Tuesday evenings from 6-9 p.m. and may require an occasional one Saturday per month. Students must complete 144 hours of combined classroom and clinical training and 2,000 hours of on-the-job experience as required by the apprenticeship standards. Classroom instruction will be offered on evenings and weekends. Students must also attend at least 80% of classes and clinicals and achieve an average score of 75% on tests in order to receive the Certificate of Completion granted by Southeast Tech.

The Dental Assistant Apprenticeship will allow you to complete the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) certification process. This includes the following:

  1. Completing Southeast Tech’s Dental Assistant Apprenticeship;
  2. Completing 3,500 documented hours in a dental office; and
  3. Passing three required DANB exams.

DANB is a nationally recognized certification organization for Dental Assistants. Upon successful completion of the Southeast Tech Dental Assisting program and DANB certification, students will be qualified to perform advanced dental assistant expanded functions and administer x-rays (pending submission of application forms, any registration/licensing fees and approval required by the South Dakota Board of Dentistry).

Participating dentists will be provided with a schedule of instruction and progress reports during the apprenticeship period.

Course Topics
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Oral Embryology and Histology
  • Tooth Morphology
  • OSHA: Disease transmission and infection control
  • HIPPA: Patient privacy policy and procedure
  • Pharmacology and Local Anesthesia
  • Monitoring and Administration of Nitrous Oxide
  • Dental Materials
  • Preventative Dentistry
  • CPR Certification
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Dental Instruments
  • Instrument Transfer and Oral Evacuation
  • Dental Radiography
  • Coronal Polishing
  • Rubber Dam Application
  • Removable Prosthodontics
  • Treatment Planning
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Endodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Oral Surgery
  • Implant Dentistry
  • Implementation of Four-Handed Dentistry
  • Dental equipment: Maintenance and Care

If you have questions, please contact Admissions by email, text - 605.367.5758 or by calling 605.367.6040.

Ready to Enroll and Change Your Life?
  1. Complete the online application for free. Select the Non-Degree Seeking option when the application asks “What type of student are you?”
  2. Send your high school transcript or GED to the Admissions Office.
  3. Complete the Dental Office Sponsor Form. Students are encouraged to seek a Dental Office Sponsor on their own. For convenience, Southeast Tech can provide a list of Dental Offices seeking Dental Assistant Apprentices. This list may evolve over time. If you have already identified a Dental Office Sponsor on your application, you do not need to complete this requirement.
    • If you are still needing a Dental Sponsor, please connect with an area Dental Office.
    • Submit the completed Sponsorship Form to Admissions.
  4. Once each step is completed, Admissions will evaluate the application, confirm the Dental Office Sponsor and make an enrollment decision.