Dental Assisting

Program Level: Degrees, Certificates
Department: Allied Health and Kinesiology
Institute: Health & Biosciences
College: SAC

 

What is the Dental Assisting program?

The Dental Assisting Program is a 12 month, Fall-entry only, full-time day program with limited enrollment (24 students). The program seeks to provide each student with the essential knowledge and skills necessary to become a vital part of the dental health care team and to meet the requirements of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) and Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) examining entity.

The mission of the program is to provide for and support competency-based learning for a multicultural community. As one of the accredited Dental Assisting Programs in Texas, the program is committed to excellence in helping to meet the diverse needs of both traditional and nontraditional students. The program seeks to provide each student with the essential knowledge and skills necessary to become a functional dental team member and meet the requirements of the national examining entity.

What will I learn?

Students will obtain knowledge in specific areas of dentistry to include:

  • assisting the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures
  • taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays)
  • asking about the patient's medical history and taking blood pressure and pulse
  • serving as an infection control officer, developing infection control protocol and preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment
  • helping patients feel comfortable before, during and after dental treatment
  • providing patients with instructions for oral care following surgery or other dental treatment procedures, such as the placement of a restoration (filling)
  • teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health;
  • (e.g., tooth brushing, flossing and nutritional counseling)
  • taking impressions of patients' teeth for study casts (models of teeth)
  • performing office management tasks that often require the use of a personal computer
  • communicating with patients and suppliers (e.g., scheduling appointments, answering the telephone, billing and ordering supplies)
  • helping to provide direct patient care in all dental specialties, including orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and oral surgery 

 

What can I do with this course of study?

The Associate of Applied Science Degree and/or the level 1 certificate in dental assisting along with the Registered Dental Assistant certificate (upon successful completion of the RDA course and a passing score of 70 or above) will allow the student to pursue employment as a dental assistant in a dental office to include general dentistry or a specialty in dentistry. Students graduating from the Dental Assisting program will have the necessary certificates needed to be part of a successful dental team.

What's special about program?

As one of eight Dental Assisting Programs in Texas accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), the program is committed to excellence in helping to meet the diverse needs of both traditional and nontraditional students.

the program is committed to excellence in helping to meet the diverse needs of both traditional and nontraditional students.
  • The program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission's web address is: www.ada.org/en/coda.

    Commission on Dental Accreditation Posting Form for Third Party Comments 

    Policy on Third Party Comments 

    Dental Assisting Program Graduate Survey 

    Dental Assisting Student Employment Policy 

    Although not recommended we understand that it is sometimes necessary for students to work therefore:

    It is highly recommended that DNTA students work no more than twenty (20) hours per week while enrolled in the dental assisting program.

    Scholastic standards must be maintained and course requirements must be met during periods of employment.

    The performance of the student when working for remuneration is the legal responsibility of the employing agency and the individual student.

    Dental Offices: A Guide to Compliance with OSHA Standards 

Contact Us

Carmen Santiago
Dental Assisting Program Coordinator
csantiago3@alamo.edu

Location: 
Nursing & Allied Health (NAHC-134)
Phone:
210-486-1502