The Dental Assisting Program will prepare students to be integral members of the oral health team through classroom learning and experiences in a variety of clinical dentistry settings. In order to successfully complete the dental assisting program, the dental assisting graduate must be able to:

Demonstrate understanding of the principle structures and functions of the human body; disease concepts and therapeutics and dietary considerations of the dental patient:

  1. Oral histology & embryology
  2. Oral pathology
  3. Pharmacology
  4. Dental materials
  5. Oral anatomy
  6. Dental radiology
  7. Anatomy and physiology
  8. Microbiology
  9. Nutrition

Perform routine chairside dental assisting functions in any dental practice, including specialty:

  1. Chart existing conditions and treatment needed
  2. Record services rendered in the patient's chart
  3. Review the patient's medical history prior to treatment
  4. Manage infection and hazard control protocol consistent with published professional guidelines
  5. Maintain asepsis during patient treatment
  6. Assist during the administration of local anesthetic
  7. Demonstrate competency in the execution of four-handed dentistry, including: maintaining the operating field, instrument transfer, procedure sequence, and anticipating the operator’s needs.
  8. Manipulate a variety of dental materials for restorative procedures
  9. Provide post-op instructions to patients
    10. Take preliminary alginate impressions for study models
    11. Remove sutures
    Perform basic laboratory procedures:
    1. Clean/polish removable appliances
    2. Pour/trim study models
    3. Sterilize instruments and prepare tray set-ups
    4. Maintain inventory control
    5. Assist in the management of medical emergencies
    6. Provide oral health instructions to patients
    7. Prepare laboratory cases/prescriptions for transport 
    8. Clean and maintain operatory/laboratory equipment
    9. Utilize personal protective equipment appropriately

Perform dental radiology procedures:

  1. Comply with accepted radiation safety precautions for operator and patient
  2. Properly utilize digital radiography procedures and software for intraoral imaging
  3. Properly utilize digital radiography procedures and software for extraoral imaging
  4. Safely expose, process, and evaluate diagnostic quality, conventional, intraoral radiographs
  5. Safely expose, process, and evaluate diagnostic quality, conventional extraoral radiographs
  6. Maintain darkroom and/or automatic processing equipment
  7. Mount, label and file patient radiographs
  8. Properly utilize digital radiography procedures and programs

Perform additional functions that may be performed under the direct supervision of a dentist: 

  1. Place topical anesthetic
  2. Apply cavity varnish
  3. Place and remove matrix bands and celluloid strips
  4. Recement temporary crowns
  5. Fabricate provisional restorations
  6. Perform specific orthodontic assisting duties such as: prepare tooth sites and surfaces with a rubber cup and pumice for banding or bonding of orthodontic brackets, place wires, pins and elastic ligatures to tie in orthodontic arch wires that have been fitted and approved by the dentist, and perform preliminary selection and fitting of orthodontic bands
  7. Remove gingival retraction cord
  8. Place and remove rubber dam

Perform basic dental office management procedures:

  1. Utilize a computer for electronic patient record systems, word processing and related dental applications
  2. Utilize filing systems for patient records
  3. Set patient appointments, within appropriate timeframes
  4. Properly and effectively maintain a recall system
  5. Properly and effectively maintain office finances such as accounts payable and receivable
  6. Be familiar with current CDT coding
  7. Process insurance claims
  8. Prepare routine office correspondence

Exhibit professional, positive interpersonal relationships among faculty; students, patients and staff:

  1. Demonstrate professional behaviors at all times and under all circumstances
  2. Effectively communicate with patients and co-workers
  3. Utilize appropriate grammar/speech in both written and verbal communications
  4. Be self-motivated and able to work independently, as well as part of a team  
  5. Establish rapport with patients
  6. Be cognizant of and be appropriately responsive to patients' individual needs
  7. Maintain HIPPA and confidentiality policies