PURPOSE: (l) To prepare students to perform the following services under supervision of a dentist: chair side assistance, including preparation of impression and restorative materials; exposing and processing intra oral or extra oral dental radiographs; laboratory and office management procedures; dental health education; recognition of emergencies; and patient care as authorized by the Virginia Board of Dentistry. (2) To qualify students for the Dental Assisting National Board Certification Examination.
OCCUPATIONAL OBJECTIVES: This program is designed to provide essential technological and practical knowledge required for a dental assistant to perform efficiently in a dental office. Training experiences in nearby dental clinics and private dental offices are provided.
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: General college curricular admission.
ADDITIONAL ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must complete placement testing and submit their official high school transcript, GED, or certificate of completion of home schooling and college (if applicable) transcripts to Central Admissions and Records.
PROGRAM NOTES: This program accepts new students in the spring and fall semesters of each year. Students admitted to Dental Assisting will be approved for entry into major/clinical courses (DNA 100 and higher) when they have satisfied the following requirements:
- All applicants will need to complete the general education prerequisites (SDV 101, ENG 111, HLT 105, ITE 152, and PSY 230) before receiving approval to enroll in the DNA courses (DNA 100 or higher). General education courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.
- College students transferring in all general education course requirements need to contact the program head for information.
- The Dental Assisting Certificate program has two program starts during the year, one in the spring semester and one in the fall semester. Students wishing to enter the Dental Assisting Certificate program must have the prerequisite courses completed prior to the semester they plan to enroll.
- After completing the prerequisite courses (SDV 101, ENG 111, HLT 105, ITE 152 and PSY 230), students will need to interview with the program head to be eligible to enter the Dental Assisting Certificate. Enrollment in the Dental Assisting program is limited, so contact with the program head is imperative. Students enrolling in a fall semester should have the interview completed by the end of June. Students enrolling in a spring semester should have the interview completed by the end of September.
- A completed Student Health Form must be submitted prior to registering for the first semester of courses. This form will be obtained during the interview with the program head.
Any student whose final grade falls below “C” in any course must obtain permission from the program head to continue the major in Dental Assisting. Students are responsible for transportation to and from facilities used for clinical experiences unless otherwise determined by the program head. DNA courses are sequential.
FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS: Due to the increase in enrollment in the program, the number of DNA courses a student can enroll into may not meet the full-time status for financial aid. In addition to the regular college tuition and fees, the Dental Assisting program requires the following:
|Uniforms, Lab Coat, Safety Glasses, Name Tag, Physical Exam, Immunizations, and Hepatitis B Vaccine Series
|The following expenses are optional:
|Student Membership in the ADAA
|$45.00* (will increase each year after expiration of student membership)
|DANB Certification Exam
|*Costs listed are approximate.
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONAL SKILLS REQUIREMENTS: Students entering the Dental Assisting program must possess the physical ability to do the following: 1) aid in lifting and moving supplies and patients; 2) hear verbal communication and equipment sounds; 3) discern shades of color; 4) interact effectively with instructors, patients, and clinical and extern personnel; and 5) demonstrate manual dexterity to manipulate materials. These essential functions are all validated on the Student Health Form and include the following:
- Sufficient eyesight to observe small objects inside and outside the mouth; to read procedures manuals, records, and computers; and to manipulate materials.
- Sufficient hearing to communicate with instructors, patients, and dental staff and to monitor and operate equipment.
- Satisfactory speaking, reading, and writing skills to effectively understand and communicate in English in a timely manner.
- Sufficient gross and fine motor skills and coordination to exhibit excellent eye-hand skills and dexterity to manipulate materials, equipment, and instruments and to have coordination in lifting, stooping, walking, and bending.
- Satisfactory physical strength and endurance to be sitting or on feet for extended periods of time; to move heavy equipment and supplies; and to walk, bend, and reach.
- Satisfactory intellectual, emotional, and psychological health and functioning to ensure instructor, patient, and dental staff safety and to exercise independent judgment and discretion to perform assigned tasks.
- Sufficient time management skills to effectively attend to multiple priorities and operate in a fast-paced setting.
- Satisfactory critical thinking skills and comprehension of detailed instructions to effectively operate in a dental setting. Clinical facilities used by the program may mandate additional requirements for students that include, but may not be limited to, dress, body jewelry and tattoo codes, and conformance with professional standards. Students will be informed prior to clinical rotations of any additional requirements.
BACKGROUND CHECKS: Background checks are required of all students prior to entering any clinical rotations. Details concerning cost and vendor use will be provided to students during the interview appointment. Students who are aware of any potential problems in their backgrounds must discuss these with the program head. Continuation within and graduation from the program may be affected.
PROGRESSION THROUGH THE PROGRAM: The college offers this program in affiliation with the health care agencies and practitioners in the communities the college serves. The college relies on its community affiliates to provide clinical education opportunities for its students, expert clinical preceptors, and course instructors for many courses. The often-rapid changes in health care law, standards of practice, technology, and content of credentialing examinations increasingly necessitate sudden changes in the program’s course content, policies, procedures, and course scheduling. As a result, the college cannot guarantee every student continuous and uninterrupted clinical and course instruction as outlined in the printed catalog curriculum for this program. Circumstances beyond the control of the college may necessitate the postponement of course offerings or changes in the sequencing and/or location of scheduled courses or clinical assignments. Additionally, the college may have to change the instructor for courses after instruction has started.
COMPUTER COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT: Students in this program will meet the college’s computer competency requirement by successfully completing ITE 152. Students can also meet this requirement by passing the college’s computer competency exam, administered in the testing centers on each campus, in which case they will receive college credit for ITE 152. Those students not passing the computer competency exam may retake the exam only once.
PROGRAM ACCREDITATION: The program in Dental Assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval with reporting requirements.” 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 website address is www.ada.org/coda.