Dental Assisting – Associate in Science Degree, Certificate of Achievement

Top Code: 1240.10

The Dental Assisting curriculum prepares the student to take on significant responsibility as a member of the dental health care team. Employment positions are available in dental offices, hospitals, clinics, dental schools and professional sales. Dental Assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dentist in delivery of quality oral health care. A career in dental assisting offers many challenges and a variety of procedures. Specific tasks may be performed such as: assisting with and providing direct patient care, taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays), sterilizing instruments, taking impressions, and performing office management tasks. Dental assisting offers a variety, flexibility, excellent working conditions and personal satisfaction. Students successfully completing the program will receive the following certificates for courses approved by the Dental Board of California: Radiation Safety, Pit and Fissure Sealant, Coronal Polish, Ultrasonic Scaling for Removal of Orthodontic Cement, Dental Practice Act and Infection Control. Participation of all off-campus assigned sites are required for program completion. Students must provide their own transportation to off-campus sites. Some off-campus sites require homeland security screening and verification of legal status. A selected uniform, malpractice insurance, and instrument kit rental are required for the program participation.

The dental assisting  program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association and approved as a Registered Dental Assisting Program by the Dental Board of California. Upon successful completion of the program and meeting board exam eligibility requirements, the student can take the following exams: Dental Assisting National Board examination to obtain a certificate as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) and the California Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) examinations to obtain a license as a Registered Dental Assistant. Upon completion of the advanced Orthodontic assistant class, the student qualifies to take the California Orthodontic Assistant Exam (OA).

Fingerprinting is mandatory with the RDA examination. A social security number or a TIN is required to take the RDA exam.

The program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “Approval without reporting requirements”.  The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at:

211 East Chicago Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60611
http://www.ada.org/100.aspx
(312) 440–4653

Dental Board of California
http://www.dbc.ca.gov/

A Certificate of Achievement is awarded upon completion of all required courses with a grade of C or better.

Requirements for Admission into the Dental Assisting Program are:

  1. Graduation from an accredited high school or equivalent with a 2.0 grade point average. Satisfactory completion of College level courses.
  2. Grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 for all college work.
  3. Two sets of high school and college transcripts.
  4. Completed application of admission to the program.
  5. Current CPR/Basic Life Support (BLS) card, which must be maintained while in the program. CPR training can be obtained from the American Heart Association, or the American Red Cross, Health Care Provider course.
  6. After acceptance into the program, submit a completed health data form evidencing good health including required immunizations/chest x-ray or Mantoux test.

The Application Process

Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Students interested in the part-time Dental Assisting Program or additional program information should consult with the program director.

Recommended Preparation

Eligibility for ENGL 100 READING AND WRITING SKILLS or equivalent.

Additional Courses Required for the Associate in Science Degree

Consult with a Counselor to determine which classes qualify to receive credit in the general education categories of Natural Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, Humanities, Language and Rationality, American Institutions, Health Education, and Physical Activity for the Associate in Science degree.

Program Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate technical skills and abilities, safety and infection control procedures as outlined by the California Dental Practice Act.
  2. Exhibit professional growth, behavior, knowledge and development; foster empathy and concern; and work toward a commitment of excellence at all times.
  3. Exhibit communication and conflict skills and strategies that are effective with individuals and groups who are diverse in age, gender, or culture.

Requirements for the Certificate of Achievement

DA 140ORAL RADIOLOGY4
DA 135REGISTERED DENTAL ASSISTANT TECHNIQUES3
DA 110INTRODUCTION TO DENTAL ESSENTIALS3.5
DA 100DENTAL MATERIALS3
DA 111APPLIED HUMAN BEHAVIOR2
DA 108INFECTION CONTROL IN DENTISTRY2
DA 123ACHAIRSIDE TECHNIQUES4.5
DA 123BADVANCED CHAIRSIDE TECHNIQUES4
DA 124DENTAL OFFICE ADMINISTRATION3
DA 127CLINICAL EXPERIENCE II5
DA 125CLINICAL EXPERIENCE I2
Total Units36

Recommended Electives

DA 200ADENTAL ASSISTING LAB1
DA 200BDENTAL ASSISTING TECHNICAL SKILLS ENHANCEMENT LAB1
DA 142ADVANCED ORAL RADIOLOGY TECHNIQUES0.5
DA 149ORTHODONTIC ASSISTANT2.5
DA 150CLINICAL EXPERIENCE IN A SPECIALTY PRACTICE0.5
DA 160COMPREHENSIVE DENTAL ASSISTING EXAM REVIEW0.5

Visit the Program Mapper for a suggested sequence of courses.

General Education Requirements for the Associate in Science Degree