You can create dielectric material and assign it to object, but it is not the correct way. You cannot handle special attributes like photons. Because of this we have to use Maya default material. In this post I'm going to show you how to do it.
First create a Maya default material. In here I use blinn material. Then create dielectric material and dielectric_material_photon. You can find those in mental ray section on Hypershade. Then go to output connection of the blinn material(blinn1SG). Now you have to make connections between dielectric, dielectric photon and blinn1SG. To do this expand the mental ray section. Drag and drop dielectric material to Material Shader while holding middle mouse button. After that drag and drop dielectric photon to Photon Shader of the blinn material.
Now the connections has been made. You can control photon attributes. If you want to add bump map, color map etc you have to use layered shader.