Dental assistants work with dentists during examination and treatment of patients. They prepare patients for various procedures, pass and retrieve instruments and materials, operate the high-volume evacuation system, and implement OSHA-recommended infection control procedures. In addition, dental assistants take impressions for study models; fabricate individualized trays; take, process, and mount dental radiographs; and prepare impression and restorative materials. Dental assistants are often responsible for providing follow-up oral health care information to the patients.
To qualify for certification, one must have graduated from an accredited program or have worked full-time as a dental assistant for two years as certified by one's dentist employer.
Aptitudes and interests that would help one succeed in this program include an interest in health care and helping people. Ability to work as a team-member, personableness, compassion, manual dexterity, and the ability to follow instructions and work neatly are equally important.
The Dental Assisting Program
The Dental Assisting program not accredited; it is a one-semester, daytime only curriculum designed to prepare students for entry level employment in private dental offices, hospital outpatient clinics, state and federal agencies, insurance companies and dental supply houses.
Students receive intensive instruction in basic dental operatory and laboratory skills and dental terminology. Students spend the first twelve weeks of the semester on-campus doing course work, then spend the last four weeks working full-time and learning to apply the course work in affiliated dental offices and community agencies.