Schools & Divisions

Dental Assisting Admission Procedures

Responsibilities of the Dental Assistant

The dental assistant performs many tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills. Although state regulations vary, responsibilities may include:

  • assisting the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures
  • taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays)
  • asking about the patient's medical & dental history and taking blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and temperature
  • serving as an infection control officer, developing infection control protocol, preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment
  • helping patients feel comfortable before, during, and after dental treatment
  • providing patients with instructions for oral health care following surgery or other dental treatment procedures, such as the placement of a restoration (filling)
  • teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene procedures to maintain oral health such as toothbrushing, flossing, and nutritional counseling
  • taking impressions of patients' teeth for study casts (models of teeth)
  • performing office management tasks that often require the use of a computer
  • communicating with patients and dental suppliers (e.g., scheduling appointments, answering the telephone, billing, and ordering supplies)
  • helping to provide direct patient care in all dental specialties, including orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics, and oral surgery

Dental Assisting Admissions Procedures

Candidates for admission to the program must be high school graduates with a 2.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), or HSE (High School Equivalency Exam) equivalent.  High school courses in biology, chemistry, and computers are strongly recommended.

Each candidate must submit the following materials to the Dental Education Advisor prior to July 1 for consideration for entry into the class beginning in the fall semester of that year. (Applications submitted beyond the July 1 deadline will be considered based upon class availability)

1. Applicants must first make application to IU Northwest if not previously admitted by an  Indiana University campus.  

2. Complete an online Dental Assisting Program Application. This application is available  at A separate application  must be submitted to each campus the student is interested in attending.

3. Submit online two IU Northwest Dental Education Recommendation Forms at

4. Submit official college and university transcripts, if applicable

In July, upon receipt of all application materials, applicants are required to attend the Dental Assisting Applicant Open House.  Applicants will be notified by e-mail concerning the date and time of the Open House. Class size for the dental assisting program is limited.  Therefore, each applicant is encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Dental Education Advisor of the dental assisting program and to apply early.  Please contact the Dental Education Department at (219) 980-6770 or for an advising appointment.

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