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Certified Dental Assistant

Keeping America Smiling

This program is available through North-West College.

An aging Baby Boomer generation with individuals keeping more of their original teeth than earlier generations brings with it the need to maintain and treat those teeth - which means an increase in the demand for dental care.

Dental Assistants work with dentists and other oral health professionals to carry out a number of routine responsibilities in the dental office, freeing up dentists to see more patients and use their time to tackle complex procedures. The demand for well-trained Dental Assistants is greater than ever as more dental offices open to meet the growing need for preventive dental services.

Find out how North-West College can equip you with the skills to become a Dental Assistant and start working alongside dentists, dental hygienists, and other oral health care professionals in a dental office, clinic, or other dental health facility.

You may also check out other courses and training programs available at Glendale Career College here. Our campuses are located in Glendale and San Diego — near Burbank, Pasadena, Hollywood, Los Angeles, and beyond.

Certified Dental Assistant
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Job Growth Outlook:

Employment of Dental Assistants is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2012 to 2022—much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research tying oral health to overall health and wellness will continue to drive demand for preventive dental services. Dentists will continue to employ additional Dental Assistants to carry out routine responsibilities, freeing the dentist to see additional patients in their practice and use their time to tackle complex procedures. As dental practices continue to grow, so, too, will the need for Dental Assistants.

Dental Assistants

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Dental Assistants
18%
Other health care support occupations
19%
Total, all occupations
7%
Number of Jobs, 2014 :
318,800
Employment Change, 2014-24:
58,600
Job Growth Outlook:(Much faster than average)
18%

Dental Assistant Overview

The Dental Assistants program is available through North-West College.

Dental Assistants complete a number of crucial responsibilities, including everything from caring for patients and taking x-rays to maintaining dental records and scheduling appointments. Specific tasks can vary by state and from one dentist office to another.

Dental Assistants often carry out a number of vital tasks, including:

  • Assisting with appointment scheduling.
  • Getting patients and the room ready for treatments and procedures.
  • Disinfecting and readying dental instruments.
  • Helping dentists throughout dental procedures.
  • Offering instructions to patients on good oral hygiene.
  • Processing x-rays and finishing lab tasks under the direction of a dentist.
  • Maintaining dental records for patients.
  • Coordinating with patients on billing and payment.
  • Completing other chairside tasks.

The Dental Assistant program at North-West College is a career-based, practical training program designed to equip you with the skills needed to begin working in a dental office. This hands-on program focuses on training you with the knowledge you need to succeed as a Dental Assistant.

North-West College holds accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

*North-West College is not able to guarantee employment.

Train at a campus near you!

The Dental Assistant program can be taken at these campuses:

Dental Assistant Careers

Work Environment

The Dental Assistant program at North-West College offers the knowledge and skills necessary to start a career working in a number of dental and oral health care facilities.

Program graduates often find employment at:

  • Dentists’ offices
  • Dental clinics
  • Dental laboratories
  • And other health care related facilities

Quick Facts about Dental Assistants*

  • Employment of Dental Assistants is expected to increase by 18 percent nationally from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • Ongoing research tying oral health to overall health and wellness will continue to drive demand for preventive dental services.
  • Dentists are projected to employ additional Dental Assistants to carry out routine responsibilities, freeing the dentist to see additional patients and to use their time on more complex procedures.
  • Most Dental Assistants are employed in dentists’ offices; however, career opportunities may be available in other places, such as public health organizations, dental clinics, with the government, in prisons, and in branches of military.
  • The majority of Dental Assistants work full time, but many offices and clinics also offer part-time positions. Some specialty dental offices hold evening hours as well.

*Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm For more information, including median wages and the job outlook for Dental Assistants in California, see the California Occupational Guide published by the State of California Employment Development Department. For the most up to date national information, visit U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dental Assistant Course Material

The Dental Assistant program will educate you on the skills you need to work in most dental offices, including scheduling patient appointments, processing and maintaining records, billing insurance, assisting with dental tasks chairside, taking x-rays and dental images, coronal polishing, and more. The program is split into eight class course modules along with a 180-hour clinical externship where students will have the opportunity to put into practice the skills they learn in the classroom in real health care setting.

Program courses include:

  • Seminar for Success – This is an orientation course for Career Students designed to set them up for success. It includes a review of basic math, language, vocabulary, and writing skills. It also offers students an introduction to core career classes, covers the availability of community resources, along with outlining, summarizing, managing credit, and other life skills.
  • Secretarial/Computers – This course dives into the professional ethics related Dental Assisting, along with Patient Psychology, Dental Terminology, Oral Anatomy & Physiology, and Oral Histology. Students are also introduced to the Office Environment, Secretarial Skills, Telephone Techniques, Scheduling Appointments, and Communication Skills. Curriculum delves into Payroll Information, Budgeting, Banking, and Office Management as well. Students will learn how to build rapport with patients and with fellow employees, and discuss courtesy and respect. Lastly, students will have the opportunity to gain an introduction to computers, Word, Excel, a dental office management program, processing insurance claim forms, and creating professional quality résumés.
  • Oral Hygiene – This course dives into topics such as coronal polishing, applying topical fluoride, educating patients in nutrition, controlling plaque, maintaining oral hygiene, applying non-aerosol and non-caustic topical agents, and applying and removing periodontal dressings.
  • Specialties – This course covers the techniques used in dental specialties including, placing orthodontic separators, applying and taking off ligatures and arch wires, understanding how to correctly size orthodontic bands, and looking for any loose bands. Students will also study how to take intra-oral measurements for orthodontic procedures, and discover how to seat adjusted retainers and headgear, including providing the right instructions. Course material will also contain applying and removing post-extraction dressings, how to remove sutures, the right way to check pulp vitality, how to get endodontic cultures, how to dry canals previously opened by the supervising dentist, and how to help administer Nitrous Oxide.
  • X-Ray – This course covers all things x-ray-related including, x-ray safety techniques, the parts of the x-ray machine, x-ray exposure and processing techniques, how to use BAI and XCP instruments, how to properly evaluate the diagnostic quality of x-rays, how to mount full mouth and bitewing x-rays, the different kinds of dental x-ray films, and how to properly store and take care of exposed x-ray film.
  • Dental Materials – Students will cover how to get impression materials ready, how to fill impression trays and syringes, how to capture impressions for diagnostic and opposing models, how to use Hydrocolloid Conditioner, how to pour tooth and mouth structure models using vibrating machines, techniques for trimming and polishing models, the right way to correctly size stainless steel crowns, along with how to make an acrylic temporary crown.
  • Chairside – In this course, students have the chance to learn about chairside assisting for four-handed dentistry. They will cover how to use and care for the dental unit, operatory equipment, and dental instruments. They will also study how to set up trays for instruments, along with oral pathology. Students receive training in basic OSHA rules and regulations, and discuss the different ways to sterilize and disinfect dental instruments and the dental work area. In addition, the course covers how to place and remove rubber dams, matrices, and bases and liners on sound dentin. They will also go over how to remove extra cement supragingivally, along with getting materials ready for restorative dentistry, amalgam, acrylic, resin, and different cements, and medical office emergencies.
  • Career Seminar – This offers students the chance to take an Internship Workshop, along with a Career Readiness Workshop. It also includes New Student Orientation and CPR Certification.
  • Clinical Internship – This internship course gives students the opportunity to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply them in a real life dental setting.

Graduates of the Dental Assistant program from the West Covina, Pomona, and Glendale campuses will receive certificate of completion for x-rays and a certificate of completion for coronal polishing.

Dental Assistant Course Activities

Dental assistants carry out a number of important responsibilities, including everything from taking care of patients and capturing x-rays to maintaining records and assisting with appointment scheduling for patients. The tasks they take on can vary by state and may also depend on the dentist office where they work. Graduates of the Dental Assistant program often find entry-level opportunities in dental offices, clinics, and other oral health care facilities.

Dental Assistants often take on these vital tasks:

  • Assisting with appointment scheduling.
  • Getting patients and the room ready for treatments and procedures.
  • Disinfecting and readying dental instruments.
  • Helping dentists throughout dental procedures.
  • Offering instructions to patients on good oral hygiene.
  • Processing x-rays and finishing lab tasks under the direction of a dentist.
  • Maintaining dental records for patients.
  • Coordinating with patients on billing and payment.
  • Completing other chairside tasks.

Other Courses and Training Programs at Glendale Career College (with Campuses in Glendale and San Diego - near Burbank, Pasadena, Hollywood, Los Angeles, and beyond):

Check out other programs and courses available at Glendale Career College here.

The Dental Assistant program is available at the following campuses:

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