In response to a request from the Raleigh-Wake County Dental Society, the Dental Assisting Program at Wake Technical Community College enrolled its first class in August of 1989. Students commuted between three locations. The Southern Wake Campus on Fayetteville Road supplied classrooms and some labs; the Allied Health Campus (Health Sciences) provided general anatomy classes and Wake Memorial Hospital (Wake Medical Center) shared its dental operatories for pre-clinical instruction.
The first year presented many challenges, rewards and milestones. A very important achievement was recognition of Preliminary Provisional Approval by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Among other benefits, this allowed the first year graduates to “sit” for the Dental Assisting National Board and become Certified Dental Assistants. During the second year, following an on-site visit by an ADA Commission team, the program was granted Full Approval, which is a notable accomplishment.
As the program grew, close bonds to the Wake County Human Services – Dental Clinic were established. When their dental staff moved into a new building in 1991, they generously dedicated four treatment rooms for the sole use of the Wake Tech Dental Assisting program until the college could establish its own dental clinical facility.
In 1995, with the continuing support of the Raleigh-Wake County Dental Society and the Wake County Dental Assistants Society, the college built a state-of -the-art Dental Clinical Facility on the Perry Health Sciences Campus.
As graduates, our students look forward to a wide range of employment possibilities spanning from private practice, public health, dental school, and military installations to the insurance industry. Because training is provided in so many skill areas, graduates may be employed clinically, in the business office, or in the dental laboratory. Since 1989 the Wake Tech Dental Assisting Program has worked diligently to earn a reputation for excellence in teaching and professionalism. As a result, graduates are highly sought after for employment upon graduation. Students report they are well-prepared to immediately establish themselves as professionals and collectively achieve better than ninety-five percent pass rate on the national board.