Local Anesthesia Certification Program FAQ

How do I prepare for taking the course and are there any prerequisites?

  1. Students must be a registered licensed dental hygienist in good standing, with a valid/current CPR certification (copies are required).
  2. Students must sign a MCC MOU, consent form, complete a medical history/dental forms. Copies of your RDH license and CPR Cert are also required.
  3. Students must complete an intensive on-line pre-study prior to clinical and successfully pass 3 quizzes with a 75 or above prior to the three day clinical training. A high speed internet access and a valid e-mail address are required for the online pre-study. The study is self paced and takes approx 40-50 hours to complete.
  4. If students are medically unable to sit as a patient during clinical (such as medical condition or pregnancy), they must bring a patient to sit for them (with prior approval from MCC and the lead instructor).MCC must be notified 4 weeks in advance. Subs must complete/sumit a medical history and consent form 4 weeks prior to clinical. Subs must be 18 years of age or older. For questions on the patient sub please call 781-280-3570 or email wrighte@middlesex.mass.edu

What does a typical day look like?
7:30 a.m. Check In and Light Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Clinical instruction
12:00 p.m. Lunch Break
1:00 p.m. Clinical instruction
6:00 p.m. Adjourn

Where is the clinical training held?
Course location: Middlesex Community College, Dental Clinic, 44 Middle Street, Talbot Building, Lowell, MA 01852.

Directions can be found on MCC's website: https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/transportation/default.aspx or
978-656-3200 / 978-656-3201

How do I access the online pre-course work?
A valid e-mail address and access to a high speed internet connection are required. Once you register and submit all required forms, please e-mail wrighte@middlesex.mass.edu to obtain your user ID,password, and log-on instructions. MCC uses the Blackboard interface to support all of our online courses. The Blackboard link is on the MCC home page https://mymcc.middlesex.edu/

Is there a textbook requirement:
Yes. Textbook Requirement: Handbook of Local Anesthesia,  7th edition by Stanley Malamed. Note:  The 6th edition may also be used.

Who are the Faculty ?
Debra November-Rider, RDH, MSDH is the course director and lead instructor in the didactic and clinical components of this course. Debra has taught local anesthesia to dental hygienists since 1997 and was the previous course director and instructor for pain management and local anesthesia lab at the Forsyth Dental Hygiene Program at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She is a member of the American Dental Hygiene Association and the Massachusetts Dental Hygiene Association. Debra also presents annually at the Yankee Dental Congress on local anesthesia for dentists and dental hygienists. Debra earned a B.S. from Northeastern University, a Certificate in Dental Hygiene from Forsyth School for Dental Hygienists and her Master's degree in dental hygiene at University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Dr. Mary Terkoski, DDS has been the supervising dentist and a clinical instructor for this course as well as the Middlesex Community College Dental Hygiene program since 2005. She earned a B.S. from Georgetown University and a D.D.S. from the University of Maryland Dental School/Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. Dr. Terkoski is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.

Additional experienced dental hygiene faculty will provide clinical instruction. Student to instructor ratio is 4:1. All clinical sessions are held under the supervision of licensed dentist.

Do I have to sit as a patient and receive injections during the course?
Yes, all students must sit as a patient. Practicing injection techniques on a live patient is an integral part of this course. The clinical portion of this course is over 3 days (21 clinical hours) where students give and receive 30 injections. If you are unable to sit as a patient you must provide a substitute to receive injections for you during the course. All substitutes must be over 18 years of age, have prior approval from MCC and must submit a medical history form and signed consent forms at least 3 weeks prior to clinical.

Is the CDCA (formerly NERB) exam included in the course?
The computerized CDCA exam is not included in the course. Our course will prepare you for the exam. Please visit the CDCA for

Attire during clinical?
Scrubs are not necessary but lab appropriate attire is, including a lab coat and safety glasses. Closed toed shoes are also required and participants mus have long sleeves/pants. Participants should bring their lab coat and safety glasses.

Where can I find a copy of the regulations?
Please visit the following sites:

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry

The Massachusetts Dental Hygiene Association

Can I get my anestheisa permit if I take this course if I am from other state?
The regulations in other states such as NH /Maine are similar but that does not mean that taking this course in Mass. will qualify you to get licensed. Please contact your state dental board for more information. Our course consists of 21 hours of clinical and an online pre-study that takes approx 4050 hours to complete.

Can I show up on the scheduled start date for the course and enroll for this course on the first day of class?
No. Each course has an enrollment deadline that must be adhered to. A user name and password will be distributed to each registered student for access to the online precourse work. All students must complete the online course and quizzes prior to attending the on campus/clinical portion of the course along with the required forms. This is a safety issue for all participants.

Last Modified: 6/26/24