Curriculum

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

DA101 Introduction to the Dental Profession 2 lecture hrs.

Students learn the importance of the historic struggles in, and contributions to, dentistry that advanced the profession into what it is today. Students learn that organized dentistry was formed with the intent to promote the sharing of information concerned with excellence in dentistry and that to provide excellence in dentistry, additional dental team members would become recognized and add contributing roles. Students will be able to identify and define those who contribute to the dental profession. Students learn the role for the dental assistant includes making dental treatment comfortable for patients of any culture by understanding the patients’ psychological backgrounds and their paradigms of dentistry. Students appreciate that appropriate communication is key to successful interaction with the patient and that a dental assistant must employ skills in listening and verbal and nonverbal communication and know how to overcome defense mechanisms to meet patients’ needs.

DA102 Oral Health and Nutrition 2 lecture hrs.

Students learn to be effective in preventive dentistry and that as dental assistants, they must first care for their teeth properly and practice good nutrition. Students will become knowledgeable about the oral disease process and will learn how to educate the public in the prevention of oral disease. Students will learn how to aid patients in maintaining their teeth and gums.

DA103 Infection Control 1 lecture hrs. 1 lab hrs.

Students are trained to maintain a safe workplace. Students learn how compliance with all regulations must be accomplished to ensure that the process of infection control will be adequate.

DA104 Management of Hazardous Materials 1 lecture hrs. 1 lab hrs.

The dental assistant students must understand and learn the right way to handle hazardous materials in compliance with all standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, including the hazard communication standard that is required by the employer to provide a safe work environment for all employees.

Module 2, DA105 Head and Neck Anatomy 1 lecture hrs. 1 lab hrs.

As a vital team member, the dental assistant student will recognize factors that may influence the general physical health of the patient. The understanding of landmarks of the oral cavity, as well as being able to describe head and neck anatomy as it relates to location of structure and function, will enable the dental assistant student to recognize the abnormal and realize that for this reason, accuracy is especially important when completing the patient’s dental chart.

Module 2, DA106 Histology 1 lecture hrs. 1 lab hrs.

It is vital for the entire dental team to be able to communicate the structure and function of the oral cavity. Therefore, it is important for the dental assistant student to understand the structure and function of tissue, and the oral cavity that surrounds the teeth.

DA107 Tooth Morphology 2 lecture hrs. 2 lab hrs.

By understanding tooth morphology, it will better prepare the dental assistant to record accurately for the dentist or hygienist and will make a vital contribution to those individuals to make a more accurate diagnosis. Therefore, the dental assistant student will learn to be able to identify each tooth form from its anatomical form.

DA108 Preparation for Patient Care 1 lecture hrs. 1 lab hrs.

Students learn that the health condition of a dental patient must be private, confidential, and updated at each visit and to treat a patient effectively, the patient’s chart should include personal history, medical information, dental history, clinical observation, clinical evaluation, and vital signs.

DA109 Dental Charting 1 lecture hrs. 1 lab hrs.

Students will learn how to document the present dental conditions of the patient and the dental services to be rendered. This serves as a legal record of the patient. The students are taught and asked to prepare a dental chart using appropriate symbols and abbreviations. The dental assisting student will also learn the importance of accurate charting and interpretation for financial and billing purposes, diagnosis, and consultation.

DA110 Restorative Materials, Dental Dams & Wedges 2 lecture hrs. 2 lab hrs.

Students will learn the use of bonding agents to be used between the tooth structures and the restoration. They are taught to prepare bonding agents using various instruments. In addition to the actual demonstration, a clinical video of amalgam restoration and composite resin restoration is shown to the students during this session. The dental assistant students learn to appreciate the purpose and application of the Dental Dam and Wedges while studying their expanded functions, such as dental dam; matrix and wedge; coronal polish; placing cavity liners, cavity varnish, and cement bases; suture removal; gingival retraction; placing enamel sealants; and bleaching techniques, as well as specific advanced tasks that require increased skill and responsibility.

DA111 Introduction to Dental Radiography & Equipment 4 lecture hrs. 4 lab hrs.

Students will learn basic x-ray techniques. They will also learn how to take full mouth series of x-rays. Students will be asked to take x-rays, developing and mounting radiographs. Dental assistant students are trained in aseptic techniques, radiation hygiene, and maintenance of quality assurance and safety and obtain a proper understanding of exposure and processing techniques. They learn the physics and biological effects of ionizing radiation and comprehend the ALARA principle, and the use of the lead apron with cervical collar for the patient’s safety each time an x-ray is taken. The dental assistant students learn to label and store patient x-rays properly to prevent loss and thus the need for retaken x-rays.

DA112 Chairside Instruments and Tray Systems 2 lecture hrs. 2 lab hrs.

Students will learn the different components of the dental operatory and dental chair. They will be taught how to operate the dental chair and the various associated instruments The basic instruments used in general dental procedures include common cutting and non-cutting instruments. Instruments are generally categorized as hand instruments and rotary instruments. Each procedure has special instruments to accomplish the specific task.

DA113 Instrument Transfer & Operating Field 2 lecture hrs. 2 lab hrs.

Students learn that it is the dental assistant students’ responsibility to keep the instruments sterilized, organized, and in working condition. Dental assistant students learn proficiency in handling and transferring instruments and learn to manage the operating field for the procedures.

Midterm Exam 4 lecture hrs.

DA114 Cosmetic Dentistry and Teeth Whitening 4 lab hrs.

In this course, the dental assisting student will learn about Cosmetic Dentistry, how a patient selects a cosmetic dentist, oral photography, soft tissues in cosmetic dentistry and how teeth are whitened.

DA115 Emergency Management 1 lecture hrs. 1 lab hrs.

Students learn that the even though the number of emergencies is not high in a dental office, the dental assistant must always observe the patient and prepare to deal with emergencies. Emergencies may also happen to the dentist and to other dental auxiliaries. When an emergency arises, the dental team must react automatically. Any hesitation at such a time may cost a life. It is best if a routine is established so everyone can ensure everything is taken care of. The assistant has a vital role in the prevention of emergencies and emergency care. Patient observation helps in prevention evaluation.

DA116 Liners, Bases & Cements 1 lecture hrs. 1 lab hrs.

Students will cover expanded functions, such as coronal polish; placing cavity liners, cavity varnish, and cement bases; suture removal; gingival retraction; placing enamel sealants; and bleaching techniques and that specific advanced tasks require increased skill and responsibility.

DA117 Lab Materials & Techniques 2 lecture hrs. 2 lab hrs.

Students will learn that Alginate Impressions are taken in order to capture an accurate three-dimensional duplication of a patient’s teeth and/or surrounding tissues. Students are taught how to get alginate impressions. Students also learn to take impressions using silicon and gypsum. Performed by the dental assistant prior to seating a patient in the operatory. A standard routine must be established according to the dentist and the appropriate regulatory agencies. Students are taught to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines in effective infection control. Topics include the various procedures required to be accomplished following dental treatment. Students are asked to demonstrate the correct routine for breaking down and cleanup of operatories following dental treatment.

DA118 Microbiology 4 lecture hrs. 4 lab hrs.

To safeguard against microorganism exposure in a dental office, one needs to understand how these pathogens pass from an infected person to a susceptible person. Therefore, students learn about pathogenic microorganisms, along with the diseases they cause and how the body can defend against them.

DA119 Pharmacology 3 lecture hrs.

The students study drugs, their properties, how they react to each other, and the actions of the drugs within the body.

DA120 Anesthesia and Sedation 1 lecture hrs. 2 lab hrs.

Students will learn the proper use of anesthesia in the dental practice. Students are taught how to load syringes, proper passing techniques and safe recapping techniques because most procedures require some form of anesthesia, the dentist may select one or a combination of methods to control pain, depending on the patient and the procedure to be completed. The dental assistant is responsible for preparing, safely transferring, and caring for the anesthetic syringe and accessories. During this time, the students learn to be aware of the various topical solutions, application sites, how to apply the topical anesthetic, and possible patient reactions. In addition, the students learn to follow the dentist’s directions for the administration of sedation and monitoring requirements.

DA121 Ethics and Jurisprudence 2 lecture hrs.

Students will learn the ethics governing dentistry and the various governmental agencies entrusted with the regulation of the dental profession to ensure and protect the public from incompetent and unethical practices. Topics include procedures and credentialing.

Student Course Evaluation, Final Exam 4 lecture hrs. 4 lab hrs.

DA122 Dental Specialties, Fixed & Removable Prosthodontics 2 lecture hrs. 4 lab hrs.

Students will learn endodontics (root canal) procedures and the various materials and instruments use. Students are taught to place the rubber dam on the typodont. Students learn that that endodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the pulp and periapical tissues. Students learn and practice procedures that include diagnosis, root canal treatment, and periapical surgery. The endodontist is assisted by dental assistants, who perform traditional assisting responsibilities in addition to expanded duties specific to endodontics as allowed by state dental practice acts.

DA123 Employment Strategies 2 lecture hrs.

This course designed to assist students in securing employment. Students are taught the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and finding employment that will best suit individual needs and that allows for the best possible situation for the dental assistant, employer, and the patients. Students are shown how to make sure that expectations of the job are identified and then how to meet and exceed those expectations by planning in advance. National certification for dental assistants is discussed and although not mandatory in every state, it assures the patients and the dentist that the assistant has the basic knowledge and background to perform as a professional on the dental team.

DANB RHS Exam – Upon completion of the course, students will be prepared to take the DANB administered test to aquire their “Certification in the Expanded Function of Dental Radiography.” For information on this and other National and State certifications go to the Dental Assisting National Board website, www.DANB.org.