The Dental Assistant Program prepares graduates to work with dentists as they examine and treat patients. Dental Assistants with documented skills also may carry out a variety of laboratory, clinical and office duties. Some dental assistants manage the office and are responsible for patient scheduling and bookkeeping functions. Graduates receive a technical diploma and are eligible to write the certification examination of the Dental Assisting National Board. Most dental assistants work in general or specialized dental offices, either for individual dentists or for groups of dentists. Some dental assistants may choose to work for insurance companies, dental laboratories, or dental supply companies. The dental assistant also may find employment with federal agencies such as the Veteran’s Administration, United States Public Health Services, the Armed Forces, or a state, county or city health facility.
Following education as a dental assistant, some individuals may pursue additional education as a dental hygienist. Training as an assistant can be very useful in preparing individuals for this additional education.
All Dental Assistant students should be aware that the field they are entering does have some special occupational hazards, including potential radiation exposure and contact with infectious disease, including AIDS and Hepatitis. Students will receive instruction in radiation safety and standard precautions regarding the use of protective equipment to reduce the risk of blood and body fluid exposures.
Upon completion of this program, you will be able to:
- Perform a variety of advanced supportive dental procedures
- Manage infection and hazard control
- Produce diagnostic intraoral and extraoral radiographs on a variety of patients
- Perform advanced dental laboratory procedures
- Demonstrate professional behaviors, ethics, and appearance
- Perform dental office business procedures
Accreditation Standards for Dental Assisting Education Programs: Commission on Dental Accreditation; American Dental Association; 211 E. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611. (312) 440-4653; www.ada.org