Dental Assisting, V.C.


Dental Assisting

Welcome to the Dental Assisting Program at Gulf Coast State College. These pages provide an overview of the program and a survey of program highlights. Thank you for visiting our site. We look forward to serving your educational needs.

The Dental Assisting program is a limited access program. A selective admissions policy and specific selection criteria are used select the most qualified applicants. The strength of the applicant pool varies year to year, with the best qualified applicants receiving first consideration. It is the applicant’s responsibility to inquire about these specific admission and selection criteria and to ensure that all required documents are received on campus prior to the published deadline.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed this program and other important information, please visit

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Laurie Womble, BHs, CDA
Dental Assisting Coordinator
850-769-1551, extension 5842

Visit my faculty page


Suzanne Deaton
Dental Assisting Faculty
850-769-1551 ext. 2819


Role of the Dental Assistant

The dental assistant is a multiskilled member of the dental health team, dedicated to assisting the dentist with all phases of dentistry. Dental Assistants may perform any of the following:

  • Seating patients in the treatment area
  • Passing requested instruments to the dentist during dental procedures
  • Sterilization and preparation of instruments
  • Taking impressions of teeth for study models
  • Polishing clinical crowns
  • Exposing and developing X-rays
  • Providing assistance in the office with tasks such as appointment scheduling, record keeping, telephone management, and billing
  • Ordering supplies
  • Serve as office manager or receptionist, greeting patients and introducing patients to the dental practice
  • Manage the business aspect of dentistry including bookkeeping, accounting, and money management
  • Manage patient records, filing, and recall systems
  • Assist the dentist directly at chair side with operative, oral surgery, orthodontic, and a wide range of other procedures
  • Provide oral hygiene instructions, preventive dentistry & dietary counseling
  • Perform the expanded functions legally authorized in the state of Florida
  • Take x-rays, impressions, and apply fluoride and sealants
  • Assist with patient management by working with a wide range of population groups
  • Perform laboratory functions such as pouring & trimming models, constructing custom trays and fabricating temporary crowns and bridges
  • Assist with implementation and documentation of current infection control standards


A full-time student can complete the Dental Assisting Program in as little as ten months. Coursework is delivered through a full- time traditional schedule (Monday-Friday), which includes classroom lectures, web courses, and clinical experiences, both on campus and in local dental offices. 



DEA 0020C
DEA 0800L
DEA 0134
DEA 0133
DES 1000
DES 1010
DES 1100C 
DES 1200
DES 1200L
DES 1320
Pre-Clinical Procedures
Clinical Practice I
Introductory Pharmacology/Dental Office Emergencies
Introduction to Microbiology- WEB COURSE 
Dental Anatomy
Head & Neck Anatomy
Dental Materials
Dental Radiology I
Dental Radiology I Lab
Basic Communications & Human Relations-WEB COURSE


DEA 0132
DEA 0801
DEA 0801L
DES 0501
DES 0844
DES 1201
DES 1201L 
DES 1404
DES 1832
DES 1832L
DEH 1400
Dental Nutrition- online
 Clinical Practice II
Clinic Practice II Lab
Dental Practice Management
Dental Health Education
Dental Radiology II
Dental Radiology II Lab
Introductory Anatomy & Physiology- WEB COURSE
Expanded Functions 
Expanded Functions Lab
Oral Pathology


DEA 0850L
Clinical Practice III

How do I apply to the Dental Assisting certificate program?

To apply to the Dental Assisting certificate program, you’ll need to complete two applications: the general admission application to Gulf Coast State College and a Dental Assisting application packet.  Please check the Dental Assisting Program web page for information regarding a career in Dental Assisting and the application packet for a complete list of admission requirements.

The application process is competitive. Please contact Laurie Womble, the Dental Assisting Coordinator, to find out how to increase your chances for admission into the program.

2022-2023 Catalog Requirements

Courses CH
+#=* DEA0020C, Pre-Clinical Procedures 6v
+#=* DEA0132, Dental Nutrition 1v
+#=*DEA0133, Introduction to Microbiology 1v
+#=* DEA0134, Introductory Pharmacology/Dental  Office Emergencies 2v
+#=*DEA0800L, Clinical Practice I 1.5v
+#=*DEA0801, Clinical Practice II 2v
+#=*DEA0801L, Clinical Practice II Lab 6v
+#=*DEA0850L, Clinical Practice III 6.5v
+#*DEH1400, Oral Pathology 2
+#=*DES0501, Dental Practice Management 1v
+#=*DES0844, Dental Health Education 1v
+#*DES1000, Dental Anatomy 2
+#*DES1010, Head and Neck Anatomy 2
+#*DES1100C, Dental Materials 3
+#*DES1200, Dental Radiology I 2
+#*DES1200L, Dental Radiology I Lab 1
+#*DES1201, Dental Radiology II 1
+#*DES1201L, Dental Radiology II Lab 1
+#*DES1320, Basic Comm. and Human Relations 1
+#*DES1404, Introductory Anatomy and Physiology 2
+#*DES1832, Expanded Functions 1
+#* DES1832L, Expanded Functions Lab 1

• General Education Core.

+ Prerequisites  and/or corequisites required.  See course descriptions.

# Applies only to A.S. degree and certificate programs.

= PSAV course.

* Minimum grade of "C" required.

Little girl getting a dental xray

GCSC Dental Clinic

Gulf Coast State College offers a state-of -the-art patient dental clinic at the Panama City Campus in the George C. Tapper Health Sciences Building which provides patient care opportunities to our community.  This high tech dental clinic allows for students in the dental programs to become highly skilled dental auxiliaries while working alongside licensed dentist, registered dental hygienists, and certified dental assistants.



The GCSC Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Programs are fully accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

The Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene programs offered by Gulf Coast State College were initiated in 1970 and 1996, respectively.  The most recent evaluation of both programs was in 2011; this was the Commission’s sixth site evaluation of the Dental Assisting Program and fourth site evaluation of the Dental Hygiene program.  At the time of the site visit, the accreditation status for the dental assisting and dental hygiene education programs was “approval without reporting requirements.” 

American Dental Association Commission on Accreditation

Students, faculty, constituent dental societies, state boards of dentistry, and other interested parties have the right to file a complaint with the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.   A complaint is defined by the Commission on Dental Accreditation as one alleging that a Commission-accredited education program, or a program which has an application for initial accreditation pending, may not be in substantial compliance with Commission standards or required accreditation procedures.

To file a complaint, write to the Commission at the address below.  A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission's policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL  60611-2678 or by calling 1.800.621.8099 Ext. 4653.


 Program Facebook Page


Laura Justice
Chair, Health Sciences