Dental Assisting

Dental Assistants are an important part of the team within a dental office, providing support during examinations and procedures. Through the Dental Assisting program, interactive training focuses on dental concepts and practices, chairside assisting, radiography, office management and real-world internship experience.

Program Options

Dental Assisting offers a technical certificate and associate of applied science degree option.

The technical certificate is a one-year program. Graduates will have the knowledge and skills (chair side functions and management) necessary for entry-level employment in dental offices. Certificate courses also fulfill many of the requirements of the Dental Assisting AAS degree program.

The associate of applied science degree is a two-year program that contains technical and general education courses. These planned and supervised experiences—classroom, laboratory, clinical internship—help graduates develop the knowledge and skills needed to perform procedures with precision, safety and efficiency consistent with proven dental concepts and practices.


Students are required to complete a pre-enrollment interview with faculty to determine program acceptance

Students admitted to the FHTC Dental Programs are subject to contact with blood and/or body fluids. FHTC Dental Programs follow all OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen, Exposure Control Guidelines, and the Universal and Standard precautions throughout the pre-clinical, lab and clinical experiences.

Dental Assistants are an integral part of the dental team within the dental practice. There are nine specialties, as well as general practitioners, within the scope of the dental profession. Allied health care workers are in high demand and this field is expected to continue to grow. Those who complete the Dental Assisting Program can sit for the DANB (Dental Assisting National Board) Exam which is recognized across the nation.

Career opportunities include:

  • Dental Offices
  • Specialty Offices
  • Dental Labs
  • Dental Sales Representatives

Monica Graves, CDA, MBE: Dental Assisting Program Director, HHS Division Chair

Monica Graves

Monica graduated from Flint Hills Technical College, formerly known as Flint Hills Area Technical School, in 1975 as a Certified Dental Assistant. She worked in private dental practice until becoming an adjunct faculty member at FHTC in 1995. Monica began as the Dental Assisting Program Director in 1997 and continues to serve in that capacity. Monica graduated from Emporia State University in 1995 with a Bachelor’s Degree in 1995 and a Master’s Degree in Business Education in 1997. She is responsible for teaching Dental Materials, Dental Radiology, along with courses for Dental Assisting.

Barb Evans, LPN, A-EMT: EMS Director, Instructor/Coordinator

Barb, a 2004 graduate of the FHTC Practical Nursing program, has worked at Flint Hills Technical College since 1997. She has been an EMS volunteer for 25 years, FHTC Instructor/Coordinator for 20 years and also serves as the area Training Center Coordinator for the American Heart Association. Barb teaches First Aide CPR for the Dental Assisting program.

Deborah Ilk, CDA: Instructor

Deborah Illk

Deb graduated from Flint Hills Technical College, formerly known as Flint Hills Area Technical School, in 1979 as a Certified Dental Assistant. She worked in the oral surgery field as an assistant since 1979 and began teaching at FHTC in 2010. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree from Emporia State University in Interdisciplinary Studies. She is responsible for teaching Nutrition and Oral Health, assists with Dental Materials and Dental Radiography, as well as other Dental Assisting courses.

Brad Karr, PhD: Instructor

Brad Karr

Dr. Karr graduated from Kansas State University in 1989 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1994 with a PhD in Chemistry. He has taught General Science course since 1998 and began teaching at Flint Hills Technical College in 2000. He teaches Pharmacology and Oral Pathology for Dental Hygiene department.

Flint Hills Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of sex including pregnant and parenting students, sexual orientation, handicap, race, color, age, religion, marital status, or national or ethnic origin in educational programs, admissions policies, employment policies, financial aid or other College-administered programs. For questions or concerns regarding non-discrimination contact the Director of Human Resources at 620.343.4600.

Flint Hills Technical College 3301 West 18th Avenue Emporia, KS 66801 620.343.4600
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