16825 Smokey Point Blvd
Arlington, Washington





Many dental assisting schools in Seattle are taught by other dental assistants and most, if not all, chairside assisting is taught on mannequins only. Dental assisting students enlisted in programs other than SPIDA are usually expected to do an externship in another dental office to gain experience. Many times, this ends up being only observation and maybe some sterilization; but doesn't give much additional experience….. At SPIDA, we encourage our dental assisting students, in addition to working with past students, to come into our dental office during normal business hours to observe, and work hands-on with Dr. Hussey on patients. As soon as our in-house dental assistants have taught all the skills leading up to assisting, the student then assists the Dr. at the chair on actual patients. Many of our students feel so comfortable in their skills, that they apply and secure jobs even before graduation.



Smokey Point Institute of Dental Assisting in Washington (SPIDA) was founded in 2004 by Dr. George and Helen Hussey, along with their daughter, Lindsey. We had heard from many students who told us they had gone to dental assisting school but were unable to get a job because of little or no hands-on experience assisting a dentist, and because of their discouragement, they gave up on it as a career. This gave us the idea to start a dental assisting program in our Dental Office that would train the students while working with the Dentist at the chair on actual patients. We knew this dental assisting training would help the students feel comfortable in doing working interviews and thereby be able to get a job and start the new career that they were so excited about. Our working dental assistants work as instructors to pass on their knowledge and skills prior to assisting the Doctor at the dental chair on actual patients. We now have on our staff, another Doctor and a Restorative Hygienist, which gives students more available dental assisting hours.

We had our inaugural class in 2004 (from which all of the students got jobs). We added five more weeks making the school schedule 15 weeks. We also added a 2 and 1/2 hour evening class for lecture and quizzes, so that the whole day on Saturday could be devoted to hands-on clinical training. Since 2005 we have held two classes per year, with an average of 10 – 12 students per class. Our school has been filled by mostly word of mouth, and we have a very good reputation in the community for the quality of our Institute. We have enjoyed a very high employment rate, and it is such a reward to see students get their jobs and love their profession. We have many doctors now who ask for our students; and with the high number of previous students working in the field, we have a great networking system for job referrals for new graduates.

Dr. George and Helen have been married for 52 years and have 3 children, 5 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Dr. Hussey graduated from the University of Washington and practiced in Lynnwood for 25 years. He sold his Lynnwood practice in 1995 and started a full time practice in Smokey Point. 

He is an associate professor at the UW Dental School, where he has instructed and mentored dental students as they learn to do dentistry on patients in the clinic. He is passionate about dentistry and loves imparting his knowledge and vast experience to his students. He is a member of the American Dental Association and the Snohomish Dental Society. He was awarded his Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 1990, and was past president of the Washington Academy of General Dentistry as well. He has taken all the continuums of the Pankey Institute, which is a higher learning institute for Dentists.  

George and Helen have been to many practice management and clinical courses over the span of the 46 years in practice, and developed all the systems in their own practice to make it one of the premier dental practices in Snohomish County. Dr. Hussey has enjoyed a good reputation among the dental community of general dentists as well as specialty practices. Helen has worked in the practice for most of the 46 years of practice and has a good knowledge of both clinical dentistry and practice management. Because Helen wants each student to be successful, not only as a dental assistant, but also in every area of their life; she presents a motivational segment each week, including goal setting and how to attain your goals. Each student is given a copy of the book, “ The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield , from which much of the motivational segment is taken. Helen also gives an in depth lecture on job hunting, interviewing and what to expect as you enter the job market, and will make sure you have your resume done and have received your state registration. A networking of available jobs can be seen on our alumni Facebook page.  


Our team of instructors is experienced dental assistants presently working in Dr. Hussey’s office. Helen Hussey is the administrator and has been with Dr. Hussey for all of his practicing career. She is proficient in front desk activities, office management and accounts payable. She has attended many post graduate courses in practice management and developed all systems for the practice.


Lindsey Wilkins has been working in Dr. Hussey’s office for 18 years with her experience coming from on the job training. She has attended many continuing education courses in dental assisting, and Invisalign orthodontics. She too, shares a sincere desire for our students to receive an excellent education.



Leisha Nobach 

Leisha Nobach is a graduate of our institute. She has been working for Dr. Hussey now for 11 years. She too has attended many post graduate courses in clinical assisting. She is excited to help our students feel the confidence that she felt upon actually entering into her new career.




Carin Lawrence 

Carin Lawrence worked as a dental assistant in Olympia for many years and brings a different perspective to the training. She has been a dental assistant for 40 years; and working in Dr. Hussey’s office for 3 years.





Janelle is our restorative hygienist and is new to our office this year. She will be a very welcome addition to our school. She is a former dental assistant with a hygiene degree, and is in love with her profession. 


In our goal to deliver the highest standard of learning and keep our student/instructor ratio low, we are only able to accept up to 16 students per class.

We look forward to working with each student and sharing with you to create a great learning educational training experience! 





16825 Smokey Point Blvd
Arlington, Washington

Phone: 360.653.5197



Smokey Point Institute of Dental Assisting

16825 Smokey Point Blvd
Arlington, Washington
Phone: 360.653.5197

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