Dental Assisting

Program Information

Location of Program:

Forrest County Campus

Program Start:

Fall Semester

Program Instructor Contact Information:

Veaunka Gulley

Brief Description of Program:

We believe that learning opens doors for the dental assistant; doors to increased pay, professional recognition, advanced career opportunities, and a matchless feeling of personal accomplishment. The Dental Assistant Program is a 12-month course of study, beginning in the Fall and ending in the Summer. There are two-degree options: Technical Degree or Associate of Applied Science. Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exam will be taken in 3 parts: Infection Control, Radiology, and General Chairside. Once all three exams are passed, and the course curriculum is completed with a “C” average, a student becomes a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

The American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) is conducting an accreditation site visit of the Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Programs at Pearl River Community College on November 29, 30 and December 1, 2023.  Third party comments from students, patients, and other parties of interest are solicited by CODA up until 60 days prior to the scheduled visit.

The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review comments that relate to a program’s compliance with the accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs.

Signed or unsigned comments will be accepted, names and/or signatures will be removed from comments prior to forwarding them to the program, and that comments must pertain only to the standards for the particular program or policies and procedures used in the Commission’s accreditation process.  A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission’s policy on third-party comments may be obtained by contacting the Commission by calling 1-312-440-4653 or by emailing 

What a student can expect from a career in this field:

If you are a "hands-on" person, enjoy people, like fast-paced work, like variety, and enjoy the thought of helping people; then Dental Assisting might be for you. Dental Assistants help a Dentist work on patients in a dental office or clinic. They take dental x-rays, make study models, help with dental procedures, do coronal polishes, apply sealants, and maintain infection control of dental operatory, instruments, and equipment. They calm patients' fears, maintain patients' dental records, make appointments, answer the telephone, and help with patient oral healthcare education.

Essential requirements of a person in this career field:

 In Mississippi, a dental assistant can be trained in the dental office, and certification is not required. However, in 43 other states, the CDA credential is required to have this healthcare career. We stress the importance of this credential and encourage all students to take the Dental Assisting National Board exams to achieve this goal. We want our students to be able to continue their healthcare careers in another state if they may have to move.

Possible careers in this program:

Dental Assisting as Clinical and Business, Dental Sales, Dental Office Management, Dental Insurance Records, Dental Lab Technician

Click here to view possible earnings of jobs in this career field

The Mississippi Labor Market gives you comprehensive tools to explore salaries and incomes for any industry across the state.

Mission of Program:

Our DA program goal is to instill Confidence, train to be Competent, see to Completion of the program as a Certified Dental Assistant and Encourage advanced education in the dental field.

Goals of Program:

    1. To provide a firm foundation in dental science, procedures, materials, instrumentation, and communication using the latest technology.
    2. To prepare students to complete the dental assisting program successfully. 
    3. To prepare students to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board examinations and receive certification.
    4. To encourage professional advancement and continuing education.  

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