Dental Assisting Diploma

Dental Hygiene
Program Code: D45240

Dental Assisting Diploma

The Dental Assisting curriculum prepares individuals to assist the dentist in the delivery of dental treatment and to function as integral members of the dental team while performing chairside and related office and laboratory procedures.

Course work includes instruction in general studies, biomedical sciences, dental sciences, clinical sciences, and clinical practice.  A combination of lecture, laboratory, and clinical experiences provide students with knowledge in infection/hazard control, radiography, dental materials, preventive dentistry, and clinical procedures.

Graduates may be eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board Examination to become Certified Dental Assistants.  As a Dental Assistant II, defined by the Dental Laws of North Carolina, graduates work in dental offices and other related areas.

This program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)
211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, 1 (800) 621-8099, Ext. 2705.

Specific Program Requirements:

  1. General college admission requirements.
  2. This program has a selective admission process. See Selective Allied Health Program Criteria on the Selective and Limited Programs page of the A-B Tech website.
  3. Acceptable report of medical examination by the first day of class.
  4. Completion of required immunizations by the first day of class, including the first two doses of Hepatitis B vaccine.
  5. Students applying to the Dental Assisting program are encouraged to have successfully completed all General Education requirements prior to program admission due to the rigorous nature of the Dental Assisting curriculum.

The Diploma is designed for direct entry into the respective field.  Individuals wishing to pursue educational opportunities beyond the Diploma should refer to the “Transfer of Credit to Other Institutions” page on the website.


Dental Assisting Program Goals

Patient Care
To prepare students through didactic, laboratory, and clinical experiences to provide dental assisting services in a variety of dental settings while upholding professional standards.

Teaching
To provide foundational knowledge through a strong curriculum that prepares students to assume responsibility for ethical dental care and helps develop the skills necessary to adapt to a rapidly changing healthcare environment.

Service
To promote commitment to the profession through DANB certification, membership with professional organizations, continuing education, and community service.

Specific Requirements

Courses requiring a grade of “C” or better: ACA, BIO,  DEN

See advisor for electives.

Courses in this program

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides instruction in procedures for the clinical dental assistant as specified by the North Carolina Dental Practice Act. Emphasis is placed on orientation to the profession, infection control techniques, instruments, related expanded functions, and diagnostic, operative, and specialty procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in clinical dental assisting procedures.

This course is a study of oral pathology, pharmacology, and dental office emergencies. Topics include oral pathological conditions, dental therapeutics, and management of emergency situations. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize abnormal oral conditions, identify classifications, describe actions and effects of commonly prescribed drugs, and respond to medical emergencies. This is a diploma-level course.

This course introduces the infection and hazard control procedures necessary for the safe practice of dentistry. Topics include microbiology, practical infection control, sterilization and monitoring, chemical disinfectants, aseptic technique, infectious diseases, OSHA standards, and applicable North Carolina laws. Upon completion, students should be able to understand infectious diseases, disease transmission, infection control procedures, biohazard management, OSHA standards, and applicable North Carolina laws.

This course provides a comprehensive view of the principles and procedures of radiology as they apply to dentistry. Topics include techniques in exposing, processing, and evaluating radiographs, as well as radiation safety, quality assurance, and legal issues. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the production of diagnostically acceptable radiographs using appropriate safety precautions.

This course provides an orientation to the campus resources and academic skills necessary to achieve educational objectives. Emphasis is placed on an exploration of facilities and services, study skills, library skills, self-assessment, wellness, goal-setting, and critical thinking. Upon completion, students should be able to manage their learning experiences to successfully meet educational goals.

This course provides a basic introduction to the structures of the head, neck, and oral cavity. Topics include tooth morphology, head and neck anatomy, histology, and embryology. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of normal structures and development and how they relate to the practice of dental assisting.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides instruction in identification, properties, evaluation of quality, principles, and procedures related to manipulation and storage of operative and specialty dental materials. Emphasis is placed on the understanding and safe application of materials used in the dental office and laboratory. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the laboratory and clinical application of routinely used dental materials.

This course covers the study of preventative dentistry to prepare dental assisting students for the role of a dental health educator. Topics include the etiology of dental diseases, preventative procedures, and patient education theory and practice. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in inpatient counseling and oral health instruction in private practice or public health settings. This is a diploma-level course.

This course provides a study of principles and procedures related to the management of the dental practice. Emphasis is placed on maintaining clinical and financial records, patient scheduling, and supply and inventory control. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate fundamental skills in dental practice management. This is a diploma-level course.

This course is designed to provide experience assisting in a clinical setting. Emphasis is placed on the application of principles and procedures of four-handed dentistry and laboratory and clinical support functions. Upon completion, students should be able to utilize classroom theory, laboratory, and clinical skills in a dental setting. This is a diploma-level course.

This course introduces the practices and principles of interpersonal communication in both dyadic and group settings. Emphasis is placed on the communication process, perception, listening, self-disclosure, speech apprehension, ethics, nonverbal communication, conflict, power, and dysfunctional communication relationships. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate interpersonal communication skills, apply basic principles of group discussion, and manage conflict in interpersonal communication situations.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides a basic survey of human biology. Emphasis is placed on the basic structure and function of body systems and the medical terminology used to describe normal and pathological states. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of normal anatomy and physiology and the appropriate use of medical terminology.

This course is designed to increase the level of proficiency in assisting in a clinical setting. Emphasis is placed on the application of principles and procedures of four-handed dentistry and laboratory and clinical support functions. Upon completion, students should be able to combine theoretical and ethical principles necessary to perform entry-level skills including functions delegable to a DA II. This is a diploma-level course.

This course provides an overview of the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include history, methodology, biopsychology, sensation, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, abnormal behavior, personality theory, social psychology, and other relevant topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the science of psychology. This is a Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC) course that satisfies Social/Behavioral Sciences.

Total Credit Hours Required:
46

Curriculum is based on the 2020-21 catalog.

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