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Dental Assisting Program

CCRI's Accredited Dental Assisting Program will provide educational opportunities to empower students to become competent dental assistants who both assist with and perform quality comprehensive care in an ethical, interdisciplinary, culturally sensitive manner. We promote lifelong learning and community service. We are committed to educating dental health professionals who can function as a member of the dental health team and are able to perform the roles of clinician, change agent, health promoter and educator. The program prepares graduates to meet the future oral health needs of a culturally diverse society within a changing healthcare system.

  • Goal #1: Prepare students for professional careers as Dental Assisting National Board, Certified Dental Assistants (DANB CDA®), in accordance with the program competencies, DANB’s Code of Professional Ethics and Rhode Island State Law and Rules and Regulations.
  • Goal #2: Provide the public and the dental community with competent, caring dental assistants, prepared to assist with and perform expanded functions and comprehensive care in a variety of clinical settings and to be active members of the dental health team.
  • Goal #3: Educate and train students with the academic knowledge and skill competence, to successfully complete the DANB Certified Dental Assistant Examination and to become lifelong learners in the dental field.

The program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements”. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission’s web address is:

Faculty & Staff

Name Campus Office E-mail
Kerri H. Friel
Program Director
Flanagan 2375 [email protected]
Audra Lavoie
Assistant Professor
Flanagan 2371 [email protected] 
Sarah Luther
Assistant Professor
Flanagan 2375 [email protected] 
Janice Schmitz
Associate Professor
Flanagan 2376 [email protected]
Aubrie Viera
Assistant Professor
Flanagan 2376 [email protected]
Name Campus Office Phone Number E-mail
 Joanna Popolla
Flanagan 1161 401-333-7330 [email protected] 
Karen Souza
Department Secretary
Flanagan (near 2375) 401-333-7438 [email protected]

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Areas of Study

Dental Assistant Program

CCRI's Dental Assisting Program prepares students to become DANB Certified Dental Assistants. Dental assisting is among the top 25 fastest-growing occupations in the United States. As a dental assistant, you will not only enjoy increased opportunities in a growing field, you will also enhance the efficiency of a dental care team. (More from DANB)

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Dental Hygienist Program

If you like helping people, enjoy working with your hands as well as your mind, and are interested in helping to prevent disease while assisting patients to maintain their health, a career as a dental hygienist may be for you. Dental hygienists are important members of the dental health care team who work with dentists in the delivery of dental care to patients. Hygienists use their knowledge and clinical skills to provide dental hygiene care for patients. They use their interpersonal skills to motivate and instruct patients on methods to prevent oral disease and to maintain oral health. (More from RIDA)

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