Dental Assisting


The Dental Assisting program at Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Dickson prepares students to become members of the dental healthcare team.  Dental Assisting is a valuable health service that provides direct care to dental patients.  The course includes lecture, laboratory and clinical practice. Dental Assisting students study a wide array of subjects including Dental Radiology, Dental Anatomy, Dental Materials, Oral Pathology, Chair-side Assisting, Dental Specialties, and Dental Practice Management.  Students receive supervised experience performing procedures using study models, mannequins, and various simulation methods.  During the final phase of the program, students are supervised and trained in the clinical setting performing skills on dental patients in dental offices.  Upon graduation and registration with Tennessee Board of Dentistry, graduates may seek employment in General Practice dental offices or specialty offices such as Pediatric Dentistry, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Endodontics, Periodontics, and Practice Management.
Class Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 2:30 PM
Clinical Hours: Vary depending on clinical site availability




Information Detail
Time Commitment Full Time
Typical Program Length 8 Months
Clock Hours 864
Class Type Day
Credentials Certificate
Total Tuition/Fees $2,900.00
Textbook/Supplies Cost $1,455.87

Program Credentials

Option NameHoursCredentials
Dental Sterilization Technician432Certificate
Dental Assistant864Certificate

Class Schedule: Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 2:30 pm

Clinical Hours: Vary depending on clinical site availability

The next class will start in January 2025 on the Dickson Campus.

*All start dates are dependent on sufficient enrollment.

**Please note: if you are using the TN Promise Scholarship, you will want to make sure your application is “wait listed” for the fall term after you graduate high school. Applicants must have everything completed below to have their application “wait listed”.

To be considered for admission, please complete the following steps:

  • Online Application by clicking “Apply Now
  • Official High School Transcript or Equivalent
    • Official transcript must be mailed directly from your school system to TCAT Dickson, Attn: Sherry Bowman. Electronic submission of transcripts must be from or National Student Clearinghouse to be considered official. We DO NOT accept emailed transcripts.
    • Foreign Transcripts will require translation and evaluation from a credentialing service to verify equivalent to a US high school diploma. It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain appropriate credential verification.
  • Proof of Immunity to MMR and Varicella
    • Applicants must provide proof of two doses of each immunization or positive titer levels
  • HESI A2 Entrance Exam
    • A minimum score of 70 in both math and reading sections. HESI scores are valid for 2 years. Retesting may be allowed once per term and must be a minimum of 30 days after the prior test
    • If you test at a testing center other than TCAT Dickson or Clarksville, please have the testing facility email with your official scores.
    • Achieving the minimum scores on the HESI A2 exam does not guarantee admission. Admission to the Dental Assisting Program is highly competitive, and only a select number of students are enrolled in each class.

Dental Assisting applicants with a complete application are ranked based on scores on the entrance exam.

*Additional documentation will be required following acceptance into the program to meet clinical approval.

Information Sessions:

No additional information sessions are scheduled at this time.  Please contact Sherry Bowman in Student Services for information about applying to the program.

HESI A2 Testing Dates:

Dickson Campus 9am: TBA
Clarksville Campus 9:30am: TBA

HESI testing slots are limited. Call Sherry Bowman at 615-441-6220 to request a date.  The $47 exam fee must be paid to reserve a seat. The HESI test fee is nonrefundable. Please arrive early for the HESI exam. Testing begins promptly at the scheduled time. There will be no late admittance.

Applicants may utilize the HESI Admission Assessment Exam Review ISBN: 9780323582261 as a study guide. 

Click here to request official HESI scores from the Elsevier Website:

The local Adult Education/Workforce Essentials offices in Dickson and Clarksville/Montgomery County offer free assistance with preparation.

For additional information, please contact Stephanie Murphy, Director of Nursing and Health Careers, at 615-441-6220 or or Sherry Bowman, Health Careers Student Enrollment, at 615-441-6222 or


For more information on TCAT to Community College Articulation agreements, click the links below:

    Military Friendly Website


Campus Locations

Main Campus
740 Highway 46 South
Dickson, TN 37055


Eligible to apply for state Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)


Vanessa Pilkinton

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