Dental Assisting Institute Mission Statement

We have served Florida's Tampa Bay area since 2000. The areas covered by our services include the entire State of Florida.

Our mission is to certify all dental assistants in the State of Florida to perform all radiographic and expanded functions as allowed by state law in a professional manner that makes learning fun and affordable. To continue to provide a mutually beneficial professional career relationship and fill a need in the local dental community for quality dental assistants.


Phone: 727-547-4899 or  Email:

 Erika Vahterainen - Clinical Instructor

Erika has been a valuable member of Dental Assisting Institute's teaching staff  since 2010. She is  DANB certified and brings over 20 years clinical  experience in the areas of general , oral surgery, periodontic and endodontic dentistry.   

Debbie Lyons  Clinical Instuctor


Debbie began her  dental career in 1992 in Florida. She has a long dental assisting career in general practice as well as all phases of specialty practice.  Debbie also brings front office experience to her teaching perspective and is  eager to share her experiences with the next generation of dental professionals.

Pat Squires - Clinical Instructor

Pat is one of the newest members of our experienced teaching staff. She graduated from the Louisville College of Medical and Dental careers in 1981.  She has worked as a dental assistant in a variety of clinical settings in Kentucky, Indiana, Texas before making Florida her home.  She offers an enthusiastic and fun learning experience for all her students.

Rebecca Shorter- Kliethermes - HR and Career Consultant


Rebecca began her career as a dental assistant in 2001 graduating from PTEC. After years practicing in the dental field, she went to St Petersburg College obtaining her Bachelor Degree in Health Service Administration. Her latest acheivement is a Human Resource Management Certificate from Duke University. Rebecca brings a wealth of experience in dental from chairside assisting, office administration, curriculum writing, career counseling and HR management.   Previous to joining our team, Rebecca worked as a Lead Instructor and Program Supervisor for 8 years. She is passionate about helping students acheive their goals and pursue a career as dental assistant.

Kim Maeder - Clinical Instructor


Kim is originally from St. Petersburg Florida. Graduated from PTEC Dental Assisting program in 1996. She has over 20 years of Dental Front desk and assisting experience.  Kim offers her students the opportunity to learn from her vast dental experience.

Becky Bedillion - CPR Instuctor, Assistant Director

Becky has been working with the dental community since 1997. She has been a BLS Healthcare Provider instructor with American Heart Association since 2000. As an assistant director and  instructor for Dental Assisting Institute, Rebecca has taught Resume Building Skills, OSHA and certifies all student in CPR. Rebecca also ensures all students meet program guidelines to receive State of Florida certifications.