Our 12 Week Program
Week 1 – Orientation to the Dental Profession
A general overview of the dental profession is given including a discussion of the professional
associations, dental specialties, and the role of the dental assistant in the general dental office. Dental
ethics is reviewed and emphasizing the dental assistant’s obligation to observe established ethical
principles and the law.
Week 2 – Initial Clinical Orientation
This course is designed to give the student basic skills in the initial reception, seating, and examination
of the patient. Demonstrations are given using basic instruments. Students are taught how to take
digital dental x-rays and how to sterilize instruments.
Week 3 – Anatomy, Morphology and Physiology (AMP)
This course is designed to provide the students with an understanding and knowledge of oral anatomy
as well as function. The individual characteristics of oral anatomy such as the head and neck, oral cavity,
tooth anatomy, morphology, tooth numbering systems, occlusion, oral pathology are studied as well as
the human dentition and supporting structures.
Week 4 – Instrumentation
This course is designed to provide the students with instruction on instrument tray systems, and on the
parts of dental hand instruments, categories and uses, functions of dental burs, abrasives, dental hand
pieces, and rotary instruments. This course will also provide instruction in the types of restorative
materials and cements used in general dentistry, the standards and organizations responsible for those
standards, the role of the dental assistant in the chair side restorative procedures, and the properties of
Week 5 – System Training for Dental Charting, Dentrix, and Office Management
This course will discuss overall aspects of dental office management, including patient reception,
marketing, telephone techniques, business office systems, patient scheduling, records managements,
accounts receivable, management of patients’ accounts, accounts payable, inventory control, and recall
systems management. This course will also provide instruction in the importance of accurate charting
and interpretation for diagnosis, consultation, and financial and billing purposes.
Weeks 6 & 7 – Radiation Health and Safety
This course covers the history of radiography with particular attention given to the potential hazards of
radiation. State and OSHA safety laws are discussed along with procedures for effecting proper
protection. The students learn about the different types of dental x-ray units, x-ray film, and the
procedure for exposing a bitewing film. Film development and mounting are discussed and practiced.
Students are given a demonstration of panoramic radiology and gain and understanding of this special
procedure. Students will also be instructed in how to expose and process diagnostically acceptable intra-
oral and extra-oral dental films, using both the paralleling and bisecting techniques, common production
errors, processing techniques, mounting procedures, identification of radiographic landmarks, the
procedures and state policies required for dental offices to ensure quality radiographs, and the use of
imaging systems for dental purposes.
Week 8 – Infection Control
In this course, instruction will include information about the helpful and harmful microorganisms
affecting humans. Instruction will also address methods and instruments used to study microorganisms.
The importance of prevention of oral disease and treatment of periodontal disease as well as infection
control standards, including requirements of the OSHA Blood borne Pathogens Standard, hazardous
materials handling, labeling, inventory, housekeeping, laundry, and disposal of hazardous materials will
Week 9 & 10 – Dental Materials
This course is designed to provide the students with a basic understanding of the dental filling materials
commonly used in the dental office. The students will become proficient in the manipulation of filling
materials through practices simulation conditions of chair side role-playing. This course is designed to
provide the student with the basic knowledge as it related to dental impression materials, waxes, and
gypsum products. Students will see demonstrations regarding the use of impression materials and
practice mixing these materials until experience is gained.
Week 11 – Advanced Clinical Procedures
Instruction will address office design and working environment, and how to perform fourhanded dental
procedures. Instruction will also address the requirement for special needs patients, instrument grasps
and transfer. The scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry and
periodontics will be covered. Students will also receive instruction on how to identify the equipment
used and procedures of oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and
periodontics. This course will provide instruction in a variety of expanded dental functions, many of
which are specifically listed as allowable under individual state dental practice acts. Aspects addressed in
the section include preparation, application, and removal of a dental dam; placement, application, and
removal of a dental matrix and wedge; rationale and procedure for coronal polish; preparation,
manipulation, and placement of dental cavity liners, cavity varnish and cements, suture removal and
postoperative patient care following oral surgical procedures; placement and removal of gingival
retraction devices; preparation and application of enamel sealant material, benefits and types of dental
bleaching materials, application techniques, and patient education instructions.
Week 12 – Dental Office Emergencies
Instruction will include how to prepare for and deal with common medical and dental emergencies, and
will be familiar with the necessary contents of an office emergency kit. Instruction will also address
procedures for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), treating patients with syncope,
anaphylaxis, asthma attacks, heart conditions, cerebrovascular accident, and common dental
emergencies. Students must pass the CPR exam and practicum to pass this course.
Upon successful completion of all other courses in the Dental Assisting Program, students will be eligible
to participate in a 40-hour clinical externship. The clinical externship will enable students to work in the
clinic applying the principles and practices learned in the classroom. Externs will work under the direct
supervision of dentists and qualified personnel at participating sites. Students must successfully
complete their externship to fulfill the necessary requirements for graduation.
We reserve the right to change and improve the curriculum, as we stay current on industry standard
Dental Assisting National Board, DANB, Radiation Health and Safety (RHS®), and Infection Control Exam (ICE®), Nation Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA®) are registered trademarks of and belonging to Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB). This program is not reviewed or endorsed by DANB, nor is it affiliated in any way with DANB.
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