Allied Dental Programs

Allied Dental Programs - IU Fort Wayne

Certified Dental Assisting

Division of Allied Dental Education

Neff Hall Room 150


Current professional and pre-students - beginning fall of 2018, the Certified Dental Assisting (CDA) Program transitioned from being an IPFW program to Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD), Indiana University Fort Wayne program. While we have always been an Indiana University program, now IUSD is our fiscal agent as of July 1, 2018.

The CDA Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, 211 E Chicago Ave # 780, Chicago, IL 60611-6983, 312-440-2500. The IUFW Program is part of the Indianapolis-based school and, therefore, is not listed as a separate entity.

For admission criteria to the Certified Dental Assisting (CDA) Program for the fall 2019, please contact the Division of Allied Dental Education at 260.481.6837 to schedule an appointment with an advisor.

The required education credits for the Certified Dental Assisting program have been embedded in the curriculum.

The student learning outcomes for the Certified Dental Assisting Program are:

  • Demonstrate the breadth and depth of knowledge in basic sciences, social sciences, and clinical practice to deliver comprehensive care to patients in the practice of dentistry.
  • Demonstrate and incorporate problem-solving skills in critical thinking, interpretation, reasoning, questioning, and decision-making.
  • Demonstrate competence in assessing, evaluating, planning, and treating oral conditions and diseases.
  • Demonstrate effective written, oral, and multimedia skills to communicate effectively in diverse settings.
  • Interpret, evaluate, and synthesize current scientific dental research and apply evidence-based reasoning skills.
  • Comprehend and demonstrate current technology in the practice of dentistry, as it is constantly changing.
  • Demonstrate the highest levels of ethical behavior, personal integrity, and professional ethics in the practice of dentistry and the patients that are under their care.
  • Assume a leadership and collaborative role in the advancement of the dental profession through local, regional, national, and international communities and professional organizations.
  • Demonstrate and apply the skills for life-long learning and professional development.

The Certified Dental Assisting Program curriculum includes didactic, laboratory, and clinical courses with at least one semester of prerequisite courses and four semesters of professional dental assisting courses. Students are designated as pre-dental assisting students prior to admission to the program. The professional curriculum is a structured, full-time program beginning each fall semester. The curriculum prepares students for a career as a dental health professional. A graduate may choose to specialize in any of the following areas of dentistry: general dentistry, restorative (expanded functions) in general or pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, assist in dental surgery at area hospitals, endodontics, public health dentistry, dental sales, dental insurance, dental research, business assisting or office management, or clinical supervision. Graduates are required to successfully pass the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB™) examinations to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) making them eligible to obtain a dental radiology license in the State of Indiana.

Application to the Program

Applicants must make an appointment with a CDA program advisor to discuss the program and receive current information regarding admission, prerequisite requirements, preferred admission courses, and future degree completion options. To make an appointment with an advisor, email the Division of Allied Dental Education secretary at or stop by the office, Neff Hall 150.

To apply to the Certified Dental Assisting Program, a student must:

  • Complete prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better (or equivalent courses at another accredited college or university) by end of summer I session for entry to the fall semester of that year. Prerequisite courses must be graded; pass/not pass options are not accepted. Applicants who served in the military must submit an official military transcript to receive transfer credit, if applicable.
  • Submit a current CDA program application, two general dental office observation forms, if not officially given exemption, and proof of Hepatitis B antibody titer results no later than March 1 for entry to the fall semester of that year. Admission to IUFW does not confer admission to this program. To be admitted to the certificate program, students must apply separately to IUFW and the Certified Dental Assisting Program. Applicants will receive a detailed packet during an official advising appointment that includes many details regarding the CDA program, application, and the general dental office observation forms.
  • Because space in the Certified Dental Assisting Program is limited to 20 students per year, admission is competitive. The number of eligible applicants each year may exceed the number of spaces available.

Class Selection Process

Acceptance into the Certified Dental Assisting Program is based on the following: 

  • Applicants must have a minimum prerequisite grade-point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale in the 15 hours of pre-dental assisting curriculum. The GPA is calculated on only the 15 hours of prerequisite courses. Applicants are ranked based on this GPA. A minimum GPA does not guarantee admission. The actual GPA necessary for admission varies with the GPA distribution of the applicant pool. All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better.
  • All transfer grades will be reviewed and evaluated in the admission process. Remedial or developmental courses cannot be used to fulfill the programs prerequisite requirements.
  • Number of Preferred Admissions courses successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Should a tie with applicants’ GPA occur, rank ordering will be based upon applicants’ cumulative GPA.
  • Applicants must submit the application, observation forms, and Hepatitis B antibody titer results by the deadline of March 1.
  • Students may apply to the program after March 1; however, they will be considered as an alternate. The program accepts 8-12 alternates each year.
  • Applicants must return the acceptance form by the deadline stated in the acceptance letter.
  • Applicants who are not accepted but qualify, may reapply for admission.

Students accepted to the CDA Program will receive detailed program information at the July orientation. Students are required to submit evidence they have completed the following before classes begin fall semester:

  1. A current physical examination (not earlier than the summer before the program begins).
  2. A list of immunizations, including currency with MMR, Tdap, and Varicella.
  3. Proof of current two-step TB testing results (not earlier than the summer before the program begins).
  4. Hepatitis B titer (blood test) result, proving immunity.
  5. Current CPR certification at the healthcare-provider level or professional level from a DANB-approved CPR provider
  6. Application to the Indiana State Department of Health for a Radiology Permit. (Students receive the permit application at the July orientation).
  7. A criminal background check. (Students will receive online instructions at July orientation).
  8. Reading of the official Program Manual. (Students receive the program manual at the July orientation).

Students in the professional dental programs must pass a drug-screening test, if requested.

Alternate Status - applicants can be considered an alternate if they:

  1. Are still taking prerequisite courses in summer I
  2. Apply after the March 1 application deadline
  3. Complete the two dental office observations after March 1
  4. Are late submitting their Hep B titer results after the March 1 deadline

Admission Policies

Reapplying. Students who have not been accepted, but are qualified may reapply for admission. Students who decline admission two times will no longer be considered.

Criteria for Dismissal from the Certified Dental Assisting Program

A student may be dismissed for failure to meet academic, ethical, or professional standards. The policy is explained after program entry.

Special Academic Regulations for Students


Class attendance is essential and mandatory because of the experiential learning process used in all dental assisting courses. Some evening hours are required for additional clinical experiences and professional association meetings. Reliable and punctual transportation to and from classes, clinics, and dental office assignments are the responsibility of the student.

Physicals and Immunizations

IUSD requires proof of immunizations and/or official proof of immunity for Hepatitis B, MMR, Varicella (chicken pox), current Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap) booster, and yearly TB test and influenza vaccination.

Before beginning clinical courses, students must submit evidence they have: (1) completed an annual physical examination; (2) obtained ALL required immunizations; (3) hold a current CPR certification at the professional healthcare-provider level from a DANB-approved CPR provider; (4) show proof of medical insurance coverage; and, 5) submit proof of a criminal background check.

Hair Color, Tattoos, Fingernails, and Head / Neck Piercings

The dental profession is conservative. Extreme hair colors, visible tattoos, and piercings are not acceptable in many healthcare settings. If a student plans to color their hair, it must be a naturally occurring color. If a student has visible tattoos, they must be covered by clothing or bandages at their own cost. Fingernails must be manicured, short (not beyond finger pad), and free of polish while in lab, clinic, or dental office settings. All head/neck piercings must be removed, including plugs, for any lab, clinic or dental setting.

Prerequisite Courses

  • Prerequisite and preferred admission courses must be completed by May 18 for full admission into the class that begins fall semester.
  • A minimum prerequisite GPA of 2.5 and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required for all applicants.
  • Prerequisite courses may be repeated only once, with the most recent grade used in the prerequisite GPA calculation.
  • To apply for the Certified Dental Assisting program, you must complete the following prerequisite courses by May 18 and receive a grade of C or better.

Applicants must complete the following prerequisite courses and receive a grade of C or better:

  • BIOL 12600 - Human Biology(Cr. 3.)
  • COM 11400 - Fundamentals of Speech Communication(Cr. 3.)
  • ENG W131 - Reading, Writing, and Inquiry I(Cr. 3.)
  • PSY 12000 - Elementary Psychology(Cr. 3.)
  • SOC S161 - Principles of Sociology(Cr. 3.)

One co-requisite course must be completed before graduation from the CDA program

  • FNN 30300 - Essentials of Nutrition(Cr. 3.)

Preferred Admission Courses

(with a grade of C or better)

  • DAST A122 - Introduction to Dentistry(Cr. 1.)
  • OLS 25200 - Human Relations in Organizations(Cr. 3.)
  • BIOL 20300 and BIOL 20400 – Human Anatomy & Physiology(Cr. 4 + 4)
  • RADX R185 – Medical Terminology (Cr. 3)
  • PHIL 111 Ethics or 312 Medical Ethics(Cr. 3)

Program: CDA with Bachelor of Science Dental Technology – Dental Clinician

Two Pathways – 1) Leadership/Sales and 2) Education

Division of Allied Dental Education

Neff Hall Room 150


IUFW offers this pathway for CDA graduates of a CODA-accredited program. This curriculum includes didactic, laboratory, and clinical courses that expand on current dental practice knowledge and dental technology. The program curriculum is structured to meet the working needs of the CDA. The curriculum expands on the career as a dental health professional. Depending on the track chosen, the student will receive more in-depth, evidence-based education in new dental technologies, practice management, human resources, advanced specialized dental topics, public health dentistry, dental research, educational methodology, clinical supervision, and/or dental education strategies.

Professional Program Requirements

After acceptance into the program, you must fulfill the requirements of IUFW and the Division of Allied Dental Education to receive the BSDT–Dental Clinician degree.

Course options include but are not limited to:

  • DAE E351 – Advanced Dental Materials Technology ( 3)
  • DHYG H401 – Clinical Supervision (3)
  • DHYG H402 – Practicum in Dental Sciences Education (3)
  • DHYG H405 – Dental Health Care Research (3)
  • DHYG H406 – Educational Methodology in Health Sciences (3)
  • GEC Core Courses in Communication, Arts & Humanities, Cultural Understanding, Life and Physical Science, Analytical Reasoning, Social Science
  • Concentration electives
  • Electives at the 300-400 level

Course Descriptions

  • DAST A212 Dental Therapeutics and Medical Emergencies (3 cr.)

    This course will review the systemic diseases and adverse reactions to dental treatment that can result in a medical emergency in the dental office and the armamentarium, medications and procedures for treating these emergencies. The course will present the basic medications commonly used by the physician and dentist to treat those systemic diseases and adverse reactions.Preparation for Course - P: BIOL 12600 (or equivalent)

  • DAST A221 Microbiology and Asepsis Technique (3 cr.)

    A study of microbial types, oral microbiology, blood borne diseases and infection control including procedures on instrument cleaning and sterilization, surface disinfection, use of protective barriers, waste management and hazardous materials management.

  • DAST A231 Dental Materials I (3 cr.)

    The physical and chemical properties of dental materials affecting their usage and clinical behavior. Study includes selection, characteristics, manipulation, and care of materials used in dentistry.

  • DAST A232 Dental Materials Lecture II (3 cr.)

    Lecture and laboratory courses designed to require student to utilize critical thinking and problem solving skills while incorporating mechanical, physical and chemical properties of dental materials in the clinical and laboratory setting. The role of the assistant in selection, manipulation and biological considerations of dental materials is stressed. Preparation for Course - P: DAST A231.

  • DAST A271 Clinical Science I (4 cr.)

    A theory and laboratory core course covering the roles of the assistant as a member of the dental health team; dental nomenclature; identification, utilization, and transfer of instruments and equipment; principles of chairside dental assisting skills; dental procedures and procedure set-ups and asepsis procedures. Lab and pre-clinical chairside experience are included to ensure skill competency.

  • DAST A272 Clinical Science II (4 cr.)

    Clinical chairside experience, including required extramural assignments in comprehensive dentistry settings; allows for refining of student skills. A seminar provides students opportunities to share experiences. Preparation for Course - P: DAST A271.

  • DAST A273 Advanced Clinical Practice (4 cr.)

    This course provides continued performance on clinical practice experiences with patients in extramural general and specialty dental offices. The students will utilize critical thinking skills and evidence-based decision making as they perform clinical treatment with their patients. Community dentistry projects are completed. Preparation for Course – P: DAST A272 (or equivalent) Program permission required.

  • DAST A282 Practice Management, Ethics, and Jurisprudence (2 cr.)

    Dental practice management in reception procedures; recall and appointment control; and clinical and financial records; purchasing and inventory control. Study of the legal and ethical aspects of dentistry.

  • DAST A301 Advanced Orthodontic Procedures (2 cr.)

    An advanced course in orthodontics for allied dental professionals. Tooth morphology, occlusion, instrumentation, intraoral procedures, appliances, cephalometric tracing, and panoramic and cephalometric radiographic techniques will be discussed. Laboratory experiences will be included. Preparation for Course – P: DAST A272

  • DHYG H214 Oral Anatomy, Embryology and Histology (3 cr.)

    A study of the morphology, structure, and function of deciduous and permanent teeth and surrounding tissues; also including osteology of maxilla and mandible, nerve and vascular supply of teeth, muscles of mastication; oral, head and neck tissues are reviewed according to embryological developments; review of nomenclature will apply to charting procedures.

  • DHYG H215 Pharmacology and Therapeutics - 1st Year (1 cr.)

    Actions and uses of drugs and theory of anesthetics; emphasis on drugs used in dentistry.

  • DHYG H217 Preventive Dentistry (3 cr.)

    Etiology and prevention of oral diseases. Prevention of dental diseases via the proper use of dental prevention products reviewed. The role of the dental assistant in the different procedures, with particular emphasis on plaque, plaque control, and fluorides. Clinical and laboratory experiences include sealant application, coronal polishing and fluoride application.

  • DHYG H242 Introduction to Dentistry (Specialties) (3 cr.)

    An overview of the field of advanced (specialty) fields of dentistry; an introduction to common dental procedures related to endodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, oral surgery, implant dentistry; dental instrumentation and tray set ups; four-handed chairside procedures in these areas are a focus.

  • DHYG H303 Radiology Clinic I (3 cr.)

    The principles of radiation production, theories and techniques of radiographic imaging, image manipulation and mounting, radiation safety and radiographic interpretation are studied in this didactic and preclinical course. Lab experience with dental manikins is included to ensure skill competency.

  • DHYG H304 Oral Pathology - 2nd Year (1 cr.)

    Developmental abnormalities and acquired disorders of teeth and surrounding structure.

  • DHYG H305 Radiology Clinic I (3 cr.)

    Clinical application of intra-oral and extra-oral radiographs.

  • DAST A300 Special Topics in Dental Education (1-4 cr.)

    An advanced course for dental education majors. Supervised reading or projects on approved topics in dentistry. Hours, subject matter, and evaluation to be determined by faculty. Preparation for Course - P: admission to certified dental assisting, dental hygiene, or dental technology program, and director’s permission.

  • DAST A401 Restorative Dentistry Clinical Practice (4-6 cr.)

    An advanced standing course preparing students in the knowledge and practice of clinical restorative dentistry. The course will provide students evidence-based decision making practices by applying the clinical application of contemporary interdisciplinary restorative dentistry; principles of dental auxiliary utilization and the manipulation and placement of dental materials used in delegated intraoral functions are taught; lecture, laboratory and pre-clinical course designed to teach concepts of dental materials and their use in intraoral techniques.

Academic Bulletins

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