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University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF Tanana Valley Campus)

The Dental Assistant program at the UAF Tanana Valley Campus offers both a certificate and associates of applied science degree. The program consists of classroom instruction and clinical experience. A certificate of completion is awarded after fulfilling requirements of the program. An associate degree is available for students who wish to take the additional required classes.

The program prepares students to become skilled members of the dental health care team. The demand for dental assistants in Fairbanks is high, the opportunity widespread, and the working conditions are outstanding. The certificate takes approximately 40 hours per week at two to three semesters to complete while the associates degree takes approximately four semesters. The program is modular in format, which allows non-traditional as well as traditional students to complete the program. A non-traditional student could obtain the same credential in as many as 5 years.

Completing the 4-credit Dental Radiography course prepares the student to pass the Dental Assisting National Board's Radiation and Health Safety examination (RHS). Upon successful completion of this board a national competency will be issued.

Completing the 2-credit Dental Infection Control course prepares the student to pass the Dental Assisting National Board's Infection Control Examination (ICE). Upon successful completion of this board a national competency exam will be issued. In order to enhance employability, students are encouraged to complete the certificate or associate degree program. A faculty advisor should be consulted prior to entering the program.

Facilities and Instructors

The Dental Assistant program features a state-of-the art dental clinic/laboratory located at the Tanana Valley Campus Center at 604 Barnette Street. The clinic features the latest in dental technology so that students are learning on equipment being used by the industry today. Our faculty bring with them a wealth of industry experience, including adjunct instructors who are currently working in the field.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program may choose to pursue a clinical or administrative career in a wide variety of settings including: private practice, group practice, clinics, corporations, orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, prosthodontics, endodontics, pedodontics, public health, bush travel, education, insurance companies, armed forces, dental manufacturers, and consulting companies.

The opportunities are diverse, providing a variety of work settings enjoyable and engaging to each dental assistant's individuality. Dental assisting requires good interpersonal skills and excellent hand-eye coordination. Some duties include: exposing, processing, and mounting x-rays; making impressions and study casts of patients' teeth; assisting the doctor; the care and sterilization of instruments; taking patient health histories and vitals signs; discussing brushing and flossing techniques with patients; reviewing post-operative or home care instructions with patients; performing management duties, such as inventory and supply ordering, bookkeeping, billing, answering the telephone, and scheduling of patients.

The duties of dental assistants are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office making a career in dental assisting challenging and interesting.

Admission Requirements

To gain entry into the program, students must fill out a UAF Undergraduate Application for Admission, available from the admissions office at 1-800-478-1UAF or online through the Office of Admissions . Applications are available at the Tanana Valley Campus Center at 604 Barnette Street, or at the Office of Admissions in Signers Hall at the UAF campus.

There is a $40 non-refundable application fee. Students will be required to take an English/Mathematics placement test such as the COMPASS examination. The test is available at the Tanana Valley Campus Center and is free of charge. Contact the TVC Student Assistance Center at 455-2851 or email at for more information.

Students will work with an academic advisor to select classes. In addition, our Student Assistance Office offers counseling and assistance with financial aid, tutoring, college “survival” skills and more. At the Tanana Valley Campus, we are here to help guide students on the road to success!

School name:University of Alaska FairbanksUAF Tanana Valley Campus
Address:604 Barnette Street, Room 417B
Zip & city:99701 Alaska
Phone:(907) 455-2891

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UAF Tanana Valley Campus Dental School Location

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