Dental Programs

Central Carolina Community College's Dental Programs provide top-quality training for careers as a dental hygienist or dental assistant. These are well-paying careers for those who enjoy working closely with patients, helping them achieve and maintain good oral health.

Dental Assisting

Earning a Diploma in Dental Assisting takes less than one year. Dental assistants work with instruments and materials to assist the dentist during treatment procedures. An assistant may also prepare and sterilize instruments and equipment, take radiographs, or perform office-related functions.

Dental Hygiene

Students can earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene in only two years. Note: these are two separate programs, not two levels of the same program.

In North Carolina, a dental hygienist cleans teeth, applies fluoride treatments or sealants, and takes radiographs. Hygienists also educate patients on proper oral health care and nutrition.

The programs are accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation. Graduates are prepared to sit for national and state accreditation exams and clinicals to receive their licenses to practice.

Students train on state-of-the-art dental equipment. The Dental Programs have all-digital patient records, ADEC patient chairs, panoramic and regular x-ray machines, and a hands-free sterilization area. Dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dentists teach all the program specific courses and oversee all lab work.

Advanced students work with a variety of populations, both at the program center at the Keller Health Sciences Building, in Sanford, and in area dental practices. At the program site, they provide basic oral health care for under-served populations and other community members. As part of their training, they serve internships in the community with area dentists. This provides the opportunity to apply their training and become familiar with the different types of dental practices.

"The Dental Assisting diploma and Dental Hygiene degree programs begin in August of each academic year and both use a selective admissions process. Applicants are rated using a point-based consideration process in January and the top-18 applicants are admitted to their respective program. Prospective students must complete prerequisites and the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) prior to consideration.

Please contact us at (919) 718-7780 with any questions about our dental clinic.


The dental hygiene and dental assisting programs have been granted the Accreditation Status of Approval without Reporting Requirements by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. The next site visit scheduled for the programs will be in 2023. A copy of the Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting Accreditation Standards and CODA Policies and Procedures, including those for complaints, may be obtained by calling 1-800-621-8099. The Standards may also be found online at American Dental Association (ADA) or in writing at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

What Students Learn - Dental Assisting

Students successfully completing the Dental Assisting Program will be able to:

  • Perform chair-side procedures of four-handed dentistry
  • Sterilize and disinfect instruments and equipment and prepare tray setups for dental procedures
  • Instruct patients on postoperative and general oral health care
  • Maintain clinical and financial records, patient scheduling, and supply and inventory control
  • Expose dental radiographs
  • Place dental sealants
  • Perform coronal polishing
  • Create night guards, sports guards, and whitening trays

What Students Learn - Dental Hygiene

Students successfully completing the Dental Hygiene Program will be able to:

  • Assess, plan, implement and evaluate comprehensive dental hygiene care
  • Monitoring of patient's medical history including taking vitals
  • Removal of calculus, plaque and stain from teeth
  • Application of fluorides and sealants
  • Oral hygiene instruction
  • Dietary analysis and counseling
  • Exposure, processing and interpreting dental radiographs
  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Designing and implementing community dental health programs
  • Become involved in the American Dental Hygienists' Association and other state and local components