Dental Assistant

Contact Hours:
800
Semester Credits:
26
Instructional Weeks – Full Time:
32
Average Time to Complete – Full Time:
8 Months

Diploma Program

Program Overview

The Dental Assistant is a valuable member of the dental healthcare team and performs many services on behalf of the dentist. The Dental Assistant’s responsibilities may include preparing patients for procedures, maintaining treatment records, exposing and processing dental x-rays, reviewing oral hygiene and postoperative care instructions, performing laboratory work, and managing such essential functions as maintaining inventory, infection control, and OSHA compliance.

Program Purpose

Upon completion of the Dental Assistant program, the student will possess the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to perform efficiently in a professional capacity. This program includes courses covering business administration skills, laboratory procedures, patient psychology, and communication needed to function successfully in an entry-level position. Students will also be eligible to take the written Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam of the Dental Assisting National Board prior to entering externship for x-ray certification. Registration and certification requirements for taking and passing these examinations are not controlled by Concorde, but by outside agencies, and are subject to change by the agency without notice. Therefore, Concorde cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take these exams, at all or at any specific time, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.

Skills Proficiency

Students must be able to perform certain skills in order to work as a Dental Assistant. These skills are learned in the clinical (lab) portion of the program. The lab portion of the program involves the practical application of theory. All lab activities and competencies are demonstrated first by the instructor; then students practice the skill on typodonts and/or patients as appropriate before being evaluated and graded by the instructor. Hands-on instruction, using the actual dental instruments and equipment, allows for facilitation of transferring theory to practical experience. Students will perform certain procedures on each other as well as on typodonts. All students must take and pass clinical competency skills before being released to externship.

Classroom Size

Classes are limited in size to a ratio of 16 students per instructor in a laboratory session.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the program, the student will be eligible to:

  • Perform chairside dental assisting techniques allowed under the rules of the Oregon Board of Dentistry.
  • Utilize proper sterilization techniques and infection control procedures as required by OSHA.
  • Advise patients on dental care as directed by the dentist.
  • Perform administrative front office duties.
  • Utilize principles of dental radiology to position, expose, process, and mount dental radiographs after certification.
  • Respond to medical emergencies, including basic life support.