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North Central Michigan College Offering Fast-Track Dental Assistant Program

North Central Michigan College is trying to help with the labor shortage.

They started fast-track programs to get people placed in jobs.

There is a nationwide shortage of dental professionals, and Northern Michigan is no exception.


The college’s fast-track dental assistant program hopes to fill those openings.

“There’s not a dental hygiene program north of Big Rapids here, so this is a good foot in the door to continue in the dental field,” said Christy Lyons, Dean of Corporate and Community Education at North Central Michigan College. “We think that by offering that, they’ll stay here and maybe pursue options within the dental field.”

Rico Breznau, a dental hygienist herself, will be teaching the nine-week course.

“It’ll be a very intense short program, and they’ll learn a little bit about everything with dentistry and dental specialties especially, they’ll be trained on how to take dental X-rays,” explained Rico Breznau, an instructor at North Central Michigan College. “They’ll be learning how to identify different dental instruments, number of teeth and how many teeth there are baby teeth as opposed to adult teeth, how to treat a patient, HIPAA and privacy laws, dental ethics, and how to take impressions and pour for models of teeth.”


All the classes will be held at the Dental Clinics North, Gaylord location.

“It’s very centrally located. We have students from about a 45-minute radius around Gaylord, So Cheboygan, Petoskey, Vanderbilt, all over,” said Lyons.

Breznau hopes students will fall in love with the profession just like she did.

“Dental assistants help us in every aspect of what we do. Without dental assistants, we couldn’t do our jobs,” said Breznau.


There is a waiting list for the first cohort starting in April.

Students can start applying for the September session. You can apply here.

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