What Dental Assistants do

Dental assistants have many tasks, ranging from patient care and taking x rays to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments. Their duties vary by state and by the dentists’ offices where they work.

Job Outlook

Employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 25 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health and general health will likely continue to increase the demand for preventive dental services. Dentists will continue to hire more dental assistants to complete routine tasks, allowing the dentist to see more patients in their practice and to spend their time on more complex procedures. As dental practices grow, more dental assistants will be needed.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018 Edition, Dental Assistants, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm .

Dental Assistance Program Details and Data:

PROGRAM TITLE: DENTAL ASSISTANT
Credential Issued: Diploma
Program Completion Time Months:11 Weeks: 45
Program Delivery: Campus Online Correspondence Other If Other, Give a Short Description
  X       Externship

 

ENTRANCE/ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:
Admission of students will require evidence of a high-school diploma or GED or its equivalent.

Objective:

The professional objective of the program is to prepare students at an entry-to-industry level of competence for gainful employment in the dental field where they will work with dentists to perform a wide variety of patient care, office and laboratory duties.

Dental Assistant Program Description:

Dental Assisting is a comprehensive 11-months diploma program. Information is delivered in theory and supplemented with practical hands-on experience as well as 80 hours of externship.

The program is designed to provide students with knowledge on chair side procedures, patient care and clinical and administrative routines of a dental practice.

Introduction to Dental Assisting: Students will learn general anatomy with emphasis on head and neck. The professional and legal aspects of dental assisting as well as OSHA regulations, sterilization and infection control. Students learn dental charting and patient’s records with emphasis on pharmacology and anesthesiology. Also, they will be introduced to the administrative procedures in dental office.

Dental Chairside Assisting: This area of the program focuses on acquiring skills with dental instruments, dental terminology, restoratives materials such as cements, amalgams and composites restorations, as well as, on assisting with endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics and oral surgery.

Dental X-Ray: This course will prepare the student to expose, develop and mount X-rays.

Dental Laboratory: This area of the program will expose the students to the use of laboratory materials to make temporary crowns and bridges, alginate impressions, procedures for pouring and trimming models, making customs and bleaching trays.

Dental Externship: This part of the program is designed to provide a patient-based learning environment by participating in a 120 hours externship in a dental office. Students will learn a wide range of expanded duties.

PROGRAM BREAKDOWN BY COURSE

COURSE

NUMBER

COURSE TITLE

CLOCK

HOURS

CREDIT

HOURS

Services

(If Applicable)

DAP 100 Introduction to Dental Assistant 120    
DAP200 Dental Chairside Assisting 160    
DAP300 Dental X-Ray 100    
DAP400 Dental Materials and Laboratory Techniques 120    
DAP500 Specialized Dentistry 120    
DAP600 Administrative Procedures 80    
DAP700 Dental Externship 120    
DAP800 Preparation for Employment 80