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Course Descriptions

Entry Level Dental Assistant Program

72 clock hours

NOTE: All courses provide an overview of and introduction to the topics taught.  The objective of each course is to provide vocabulary used in the dental office, demonstrate tasks performed, and allow students to practice these skills.  Each session is 4 hours in length.
Dental Assistant Course Outline Lecture
Total Clock Hours
101. Role of the Dental Assistant, The Dental Office, the History of Dentistry, Head and Tooth Anatomy 1/3 4
The student is introduced to the role of the dental assistant as part of the dental team and is oriented to the physical set-up of a dental office. The session includes introduction to the anatomy of teeth and their surrounding structures and the names of individual teeth. The student is given an overview of selected anatomical structures of and in the human skull as they relate to clinical dentistry.
102. Dental Treatment Specialists and Insurance, Tooth Terminology, and Patient Charts 1/3 4
The component dental treatment disciplines and the types of patient dental insurance are defined and discussed. The student learns the descriptive terminology of tooth surfaces and the 6 classifications of cavities and the use of and need for patient charts and charting.
103. Basic Instruments, Equipment, and Office Familiarization 1/3 4
This session includes demonstration and student handling of most commonly used hand instruments and their variations. Included are: hand pieces, burs, excavators, mirrors and explorers, carvers and files, and operative dentistry instruments. Students are introduced to dental office rooms and equipment, treatment rooms, sterilization and supply areas, laboratory, darkroom, reception, and other rooms including central vac and compressor.
104. Study Models, Impressions, Pouring, Trimming, and Wax Bites 1/3 4
The instructor demonstrates study models, impressions, pouring, trimming, and wax bites. Students complete hands-on tasks and take upper and lower impressions and wax bites on each other. These procedures are completed in the operatory. Students then mix plaster/stone, pour, trim and mount their own models. Students keep the final product.
105. Amalgam, Composites, Tub, and Tray Systems  1/3 4
The session begins with a definition and discussion of operative dentistry, and examples of the 6 cavity preparations. Amalgams are presented including components, uses, instruments used in procedure, procedures and responsibilities of dental assistant, and amalgams with pins. A presentation of composites is given including components, uses, instruments used in procedure, procedures and responsibilities of dental assistant, and composites with pins. Esthetic veneers are presented. Students also learn about tub and tray systems including amalgam tub materials and tray instruments, and composite tub materials and tray materials.
106. Radiology Theory, Safety, and Practice 1/3 4
The session begins with a presentation on radiation including what it is and what safety is involved. Students learn about radiology, purpose of x-rays, the dental assistant’s responsibility, x-rays as a diagnostic tool, exposure, precautions, and how to take x-rays, techniques, components of the x-ray machine, x-ray terms and types of radiation, patient and dental assistant safety, and state regulatory requirements. Each student takes a full set of x-rays using sterile film holders and employing all safety precautions.
107. Darkroom, Mounting, and Panorex 1/3 4
Students learn about x-ray film, parts of the x-ray film pack, film speed, film types, diagnostic uses, and storage. Darkroom techniques and developing films are included in this session including automatic and manual methods, chemicals used, time and temperature standards, and errors and how to avoid them. Students learn mounting x-rays, identification of individual films, and placement of x-ray mount cards. The reasons and shortcomings for use of panorex as diagnostic tool is discussed.
108. OSHA, HIV, Infection Control, Sterilization, Cements, Liners, and Waxes 1/3 4
In this session students learn the definition and implementation of sterilization methods and guidelines; patient medical history; infection control; prevention of contamination; the use of protective eyewear, masks, and gloves, and, barriers to infection, with specific attention to HIV, its methods of transmission and prevention in the treatment of the HIV infected patient. In addition, verification of infection, disinfection, care of treatment room, handling and disposal of hazardous waste, handling soiled instruments, hand pieces, burs and water and air syringes are presented. The who, what, and why of OSHA is discussed. Students learn the purpose and types of cements. The session also covers the types and uses of cavity liners and varnishes. Types and uses of waxes are also presented. Students will handle and mix the associated cements, cavity liners, varnishes and handle and manipulate the various waxes.
109. Four-handed Dentistry, Isolation, and Rubber Dam 1/3 4
Four-handed dentistry is presented including operating zones, suction/evacuation, saliva ejectors, retractors, air and water syringes, exchanging of instruments (assistant to dentist and dentist to assistant), and bur replacement. Isolation techniques are presented and include use and placement of cotton rolls and gauze. The definition and reason for use of rubber dams is presented along with associated equipment and how to place and remove. Students role-play by rotating through each position acting as the dentist, assistant, and patient and performing the procedures taught.
110. Review of Subject Matter to Date and Mid Term Exam 4/0 4
111. Crown and Bridge, Inlays, Impression Materials, and Temporaries. 1/3 4
Porcelain/metal crowns, gold crowns, and inlays on articulators and on models are used for “touch and feel” demonstrations. Students learn about indications for use of crowns and bridges and component parts. Bridges and crowns are presented including types, role of laboratory, protocol and role of dental assistants in each step. Use of impression materials used for fixed restorative procedures are presented. Students will handle and mix all associated materials.
112. Anesthesia, Hand Piece Maintenance, Endodontics, Orthodontics, and Pediatric Dentistry. 1/3 4
This session starts with a presentation of general, local, and topical sedation anesthesia. Delivery of local anesthesia and use of syringes cartridges, and needles is demonstrated. Students learn and practice how to individually load syringes, practice passing syringe, unload, recap and dispose of needle and cartridge. Students learn the role of assistant in pre- and post-administration of anesthesia to patient. Hand pieces are presented including types of hand pieces, sterilization, and maintenance procedures for high- and low-speed hand pieces. Includes cleaning and lubrication. Definitions and indications of endodontics are presented. Included are a review of treatment procedures, instruments, and the role and responsibilities of the dental assistant. Students learn the definition of orthodontics and the limited role in general dental practices. Pediatric dentistry (pedodontics) is presented including definition, applicability and limitations in a general dental practice, and treatments for different pediatric procedures.
113. Oral Surgery, Removable Prosthodontics, and Periodontics 1/3 4
Students gain an overview of dental specialty areas of oral surgery and periodontics. Included are instruments and materials used, procedures, and treatments. Students see and handle a variety of extraction forceps. Students load a scalpel blade and needle onto a needle holder and practice cleanup procedures for surgical equipment and disposal of surgical debris. Periodontal instruments are exhibited and defined as to their uses. Prosthodontics is explained, and instruments, materials, and treatment procedures are demonstrated. Students see lab models depicting the various stages of partial and full denture fabrication and demonstration of taking a full denture impression with custom tray.
114. Processing Radiographs and Extraoral Radiography 1/3 4
Review of intraoral radiography as it relates to the techniques associated with taking films, mounting films, and radiographic exposure errors. The student is exposed to the types and uses of extraoral radiography and digital radiography. Review of techniques and protocols for radiation safety for the patient and the operator is emphasized for all of the above.
115. CPR, Basic Life Support, and Heimlich Maneuver 0/4 4
Students learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Heimlich, and Basic Life Support skills in a 4-hour training session that will result in being certified in CPR. Certification is for both child and adult CPR.
116. Final Exam   4/0 4
117. Office Management, Patient Scheduling and Seating, Review Role of Dental Assistant 4/0 4
This session focuses on a review of the role of the dental assistant relating to clinical dentistry. The student also learns the techniques of telephone answering, the protocol of patient scheduling, and how to make a patient comfortable.
118. People and Dentistry, Employment Skills, and Job Interview Techniques 4/0 4
Students learn how to deal with the people in the dental office. Includes understanding patient attitudes, reassuring the patient, personal appearance, dress codes, personal attitudes, and dental office do’s and don’ts. Job interview techniques are presented including describing the type of job the dental assistant is seeking and what they offer the employer, locating employment opportunities, constructing a resume, interviewing skills, how to answer questions, and salary negotiation. Students practice a mock job interview from the telephone response to a one-on-one interview    


Dental Assistant Training Schools
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Locust Grove, VA 22508
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