Dental Assistant Certificate Program

Dental Assistant Certificate Program

Classes Start July 8th

Students enrolled in the Dental Assistant Certificate Program at CHCP can build their foundational knowledge and gain hands-on experience in the practical skills they’ll need to pursue an exciting career in dental assisting.

The responsibilities of a dental assistant are wide-ranging – rooted in compassionate patient care, administrative expertise, and technical skills. At CHCP, our Dental Assistant Certificate Program is designed to not only help prepare students to take the certification test to become a state-registered dental assistant, but to also provide valuable experience that can be leveraged as an entry-level dental assistant.

Spanning 36 weeks and available in both day and night tracks, our flexible blended learning program takes a multifaceted approach to dental education. Throughout their time in the program, students will learn everything from professionalism in the workplace to equipment utilization and tooth morphology, guided by instructors at every step.

On-Campus Flexible Learning

CHCP students in the Dental Assistant Certificate Program can take advantage of the “best of both worlds” blended-learning educational structure, which offers added flexibility and accommodates various learning styles. Through blended learning, students can take online dental assistant classes focused on theory and then apply their clinical skills in person.

Taking Your Education Further

Credits earned during the CHCP Dental Assistant Certificate Program may be transferred into our Health and Medical Administrative Services AAS Degree, providing additional value to students who wish to broaden their education or explore more types of medical assisting careers. With a focus on degree completion, this program empowers students to aim for management positions and pursue their careers confidently.

Dental Assistant Programs in Texas | Our Locations

The Dental Assistant Certificate Program is available at every CHCP campus location, except for San Antonio North. These campuses reside within the dynamic atmosphere of major Texas metropolitan areas, each with its unique atmosphere and growing healthcare sector. Our on-campus dental assisting programs in Texas offer a blend of learning methods, providing students with immersive clinical training alongside skilled dental practitioners.

Dental Assistant Programs Dallas and Fort Worth

Dallas Campus Fort Worth Campus

Dental Assistant Programs Austin

Austin Campus

Dental Assistant Programs San Antonio & McAllen

McAllen Campus San Antonio - South Campus

Dental Assistant Skills and Course Modules

Dental assistant schools aim to shape students into competent, entry-level dental assistants. At CHCP, we take a comprehensive approach to your dental assistant training. Our dental assistant classes cover a broad range of necessary skills, including a mix of administrative and procedural duties, professional communication, and compassionate chairside manners to ensure a holistic education. 

Students in the dental assistant program can learn the affective (behavior), cognitive (knowledge), and psychomotor (skills) necessary to pursue dental assisting. Specific dental assistant course topics at CHCP include equipment utilization, tooth morphology, radiology, and other clinical aspects of dental office work. 

Toward the end of your dental assistant training, you will also have the opportunity to learn about special populations, pedodontics, orthodontics, restorative dental care, periodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics, and oral surgery. For more information about individual courses, you can explore the module breakdown below or get in touch with an academic advisor.

MODULE IMODULE IIMODULE IIIMODULE IVMODULE VMODULE VIMODULE VIIMODULE VIII

Master Student / Study Skills

MSS 130

Students will become familiar with basic study and learning skills to include learning styles, goal setting, memorization techniques, reading comprehension, note taking, test taking, critical thinking, effective communication diversity, and technology. Prerequisite: None

Lecture8hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours8hr.
Credits0.5 

HIPAA / OSHA / Infection Control

HIP 130

Students will learn about the Health Information Portability and Privacy Act (HIPAA). This course will identify rights for individuals and the processes that health care providers must implement to support individual rights. Students must demonstrate knowledge of the rules for the use and disclosure of information. Students will learn about transmission of disease, hand washing techniques and gloving. This course will ensure that students are aware of biohazards and airborne pathogens, including infection control procedures and laboratory safety. Students must demonstrate infection control procedures and laboratory safety. Prerequisite: None

Lecture10hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours10hr.
Credits0.5 

Overview of Anatomy, Physiology and Medical Terminology

OAPT 130

Students will learn and Identify basic structures, functions and dysfunctions of the body, as well as medical terminology, abbreviations and symbols that are necessary tools for building a medical vocabulary. This course covers general treatment of the sensory, skeletal and muscular, nervous, endocrine, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, urinary, reproductive, and integumentary systems. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits3 

Introduction to Dental Assisting

DA 110

Students will be able to describe the history of dentistry, and discuss the dental health team, assistant responsibilities, office management, inventories, and employment, as well as types of dental practices. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs and infection control procedures. Research Assignment #1 – Career Services Project. Prerequisite: Module 1

Lecture10hr.
Laboratory8hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours18hr.
Credits0.5 

Tooth Morphology and Dental Charting

DA 111

Students will be able to outline the types of teeth, dental arches, and surfaces of the tooth. Students will identify anatomic features of the teeth, occlusion and malocclusion, primary dentition, as well as permanent dentition and tooth numbering systems. Students will also be able to identify inflammation, healing, oral lesions, jaw disturbances, dental pulp disease, and periodontal and oral soft tissue diseases. Distinguishing between conditions of the tongue, bruxism, temporomandibular disorders, neurological involvement, and oral cancers are covered. Students will apply the tooth surfaces and conditions and related acronyms into charting of existing conditions and restorative measures. Related terminology, documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture18hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits2 

Preventative Dentistry/Nutrition

DA 112

Students will summarize rules of team members in prevention of decay in relationship to nutrition, including dietary evaluations and oral manifestations of nutritional deficiencies. Students will be able to gauge the appropriate use of fluorides in detail, as well as plaque control and patient education. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture15hr.
Laboratory15hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits1.5 

Anatomy and Physiology (Head and Neck)

DA 113

Students will be able to identify and explain head, neck, muscular, and skeletal anatomy and physiology of the skull. Students will be able to describe oral embryology, tooth life cycle, and oral histology. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture20hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours20hr.
Credits1 

Overview of Radiology

DA 114

Students will be able to identify the properties of radiation physics and X-ray properties, including health and safety, as well as infection control. Course includes intraoral dental X-ray and image characteristics as well as basic principles of radiography, with lecture geared toward the State Registration Examination. Students will be taught to produce a full mouth radiography survey, with troubleshooting and error processing techniques reviewed until mastered. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Research Assignment #2 – Career Services Project. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture16hr.
Laboratory60hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours76hr.
Credits3 

Office Procedures

DA 115

Students will identify key terms for office procedure; explain the function of dental business office both front and back areas. The student will also know effective reception room techniques, be able to control the appointment book, explain the function of dental insurance as well as describe the components of an insurance claim form and the importance of supplies and inventory control. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Research Assignment #3 – Career Services Project. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture18hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits2 

Disease Transmission/Infectious Diseases and Prevention

DA 116

Students will be skillful in the responsibility for insuring that the dental office is in compliance with a wide variety of federal, state, and local regulations concerning handling of hazardous chemicals, employee safety, and waste management. Students will learn the roles and responsibilities of the various agencies and how they affect the dental office. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture18hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits2 

Dental Materials

DA 117

Students will be taught identification, properties and proper uses of dental materials. Emphasis is placed on mixing materials, taking impressions, pouring and trimming study models, fabricating custom trays and temporary crowns. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Research Assignment #4 – Career Services Project. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture18hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits2 

Dental Skills and Procedures

DA 118

The student will become acquainted with the preparation for patient treatment, concepts of team dentistry, instrument exchange, and working as an operator in expanded functions also, opportunity to learn about oral, evacuation systems, rinsing the oral cavity, isolation of teeth, placing and removing the dental dam, as well as dental assistant morning/evening routines, Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture18hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits2 

DA 119

Treatment Areas and Instruments/Accessories

Students will have the opportunity to learn about the different elements of the dental office, including the design of the dental treatment office, the clinical equipment most commonly found in the dental office, and the basic functions of the dental unit. Students will be shown how to identify hand instruments and instrument classification and sequencing. The students will become acquainted with dental hand pieces, hand piece maintenance, rotary cutting instruments and dental burs. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs and infection control procedures. Research Assignment #5 – Career Services Project. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture18hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits2 

Restorative/Prosthodontics and Oral Surgery

DA 120

Students will learn direct restorations using amalgam/composites and indirect restorations using gold noble metals alloys and ceramic castings. They will understand the procedures of an oral surgery, which results in extractions, and the possible complications resulting from surgery, including the need to replace with the use of dentures, partials or dental implants. Prerequisite: Module 1

Lecture18hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits2 

Special Populations/Pedodontics/ Orthodontics/Periodontics/Endodontics

DA 121

Students will have the opportunity to understand the special needs of the medically and physically compromised patient as well as the specialty of pediatric dentistry including the stages of childhood and behavioral management. The students will be taught about the disturbances and classifications of malocclusions pertaining to the movement of the dentition in orthodontics. Students will also learn direct restorations using amalgam/composites and indirect restorations using gold noble metals alloys and ceramic castings. The student will learn procedural steps in assisting with a dental prophylaxis; gingivectomy, gingivoplasty and the preparation placement and removal of periodontal dressings. Students will enter detailed discussion of endodontic and practice involved endodontic diagnosis and treatment, as well as anesthesia used for pain control and canal cleaning/shaping and filing. The students will understand the procedures of an oral surgery which results in extractions (loss of teeth) and the need to replace them with the use of dentures, partials or dental implants. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Prerequisite: Module 1

Lecture18hr.
Laboratory30hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits2 

Ethics/Law and Texas Jurisprudence

DA 122

Students will be able to relate ethical and legal aspects of dentistry, responsibilities of the dentist, patients and the dental teams are addressed. Students will complete a summarization of the State Dental Practice Act & Board of Dental Examiners responsibilities, discuss clinical record ownership, and understand purpose and appropriate uses. Student will be able to discuss the State Regulations and Codes of law as they pertain to the dental assistant and in preparation for the State Registration examination. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Prerequisite: Module 1

Lecture18hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours18hr.
Credits1 

Medical Emergencies and CPR

DA 123

Students will institute protocols for managing medical emergencies, a review of emergency supplies and use of oxygen. Students will also review procedure for life threatening emergencies, including convulsions, chest pain, hemorrhage, diabetes, and CPR. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Prerequisite: Module 1

Lecture15hr.
Laboratory15hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits1.5 

Customer Service/Professionalism and Career Preparation

CSP 201

This course will teach the student about professionalism, including work-place behaviors that result in positive business relationships. Students will learn goal-setting, stress-management, time-management, professional dress, etiquette, diversity in the work place relationships, excellent customer service, communication at work, conflict management, job search skills, building resumes, and interview techniques. Prerequisite: Modules I-VII

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory18hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits2.5 

Dental Assistant Cert Prep

DCP 300

This course will provide a review of dental assisting courses taught throughout the program, as well as provide preparation for the Dental Assistant Registry Certification. Prerequisite: Modules I-VII

Lecture15hr.
Laboratory15hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits1.5 

Dental Assistant Externship

DX 301

Students will integrate practice of all dental assistant responsibilities carried out in a dental office, hospital, group practice setting under the supervision of a dentist or supervising dental assistant. Use of related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Prerequisite: All Previous Courses

Lecture0hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship180hr.
Total Hours180hr.
Credits4 

Dental Assistant Certification and Course Outcomes

After completing CHCP’s Dental Assistant Program, you'll be eligible to take a test to earn your dental assistant certification. It’s important to note that, by law, Texas dental assistants must be registered with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) before taking X-rays at a dental office. To learn more about necessary dental assistant certificates, visit the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.

Upon passing the dental assistant certification exam, you’ll be able to apply for entry-level dental assistant positions in a variety of dental settings. With additional training and certifications, dental assistants can advance their careers and pursue positions such as registered dental assistant (RDA), expanded function dental assistant (EFDA), or dental hygienist. You can learn more about the types of dental assisting careers, including how to become a registered dental assistant in Texas, with our overview guide.

When you’re ready to graduate, CHCP career services can help with resume writing, interviewing tips, and job search assistance. Visit our Career Services page to learn more.

The Dental Assistant Role

Dental Assistants are valuable members of the dental team who help elevate the care of patients by ensuring their safety and comfort. In general, dental assistants can work at private dentist offices, group dental practices, outpatient dental surgery centers, hospitals, educational institutes, and public health facilities. 

The Dental Assistant Program at CHCP provides training in the technical and professional skills needed for a career in dental assisting, including but not limited to the following:

  • Oral hygiene techniques
  • Emergencies in the dental office
  • Taking and recording blood pressure
  • Cleaning hazardous spills
  • Obtaining and recording patient history
  • Preparing and recalculating instruments
  • Exposing radiographic images
  • Recording dental exams
  • Medical and dental terminology
  • Dental charting
  • Office administrative procedures
  • Professionalism with other dental associates
  • Compassionate patient care
  • Tooth morphology

Looking for more information about dental assistant job duties, salaries, and certification requirements? Visit our Dental Assistant Career Guide for an in-depth overview of this exciting healthcare role.

Learn More

How to Become a Dental Assistant | Admission Criteria

Excited to embark on your educational journey? To kickstart your enrollment in the Dental Assistant Certificate Program at CHCP, simply complete our application form. Tell us a bit about your preferred program, where you'd like to study, and your contact details. Then, one of our CHCP advisors will reach out to walk you through the rest of the process. Prerequisites to the program include the following: 

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • A Scholastic Level Exam score of at least 10 (score of 13 for the online program)
  • Proficiency in reading and writing English

Our support team is here to offer guidance at every turn, whether it's tailored application assistance or post-graduation career service. Reach out to one of our admissions advisors today and start your educational journey.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About the (COURSE) Certificate Program

What do you learn in dental assistant school?

In dental assistant school, students typically learn a range of topics to ensure they have the necessary knowledge and training needed for the role. Dental assistant education can encompass subjects such as dental terminology, anatomy, and proper administrative protocols. Additionally, aspiring dental assistants are usually trained in different dental procedures and techniques, including how to use and sterilize dental instruments. Soft skills are also a crucial part of a career in dental assisting, so students will need to grow and maintain their interpersonal skills for patient care and communication.

CHCP's Dental Assistant Certificate Program is designed to train students to handle the routine tasks and challenges commonly encountered in the role, fostering confidence and competence in their professional duties.

Do dental assistants need a degree?

The requirements for a dental assistant can vary by state, so it's important to understand the necessary degree completion and certification standards set by your specific region. That said, dental assistants are not always required to have a degree, but most individuals choose to complete a certificate or degree program.

CHCP’s on-campus blended Dental Assistant Certificate Program has two available tracks—one in the daytime, and one in the evening. The day track can be completed in as few as 35 weeks and the evening track can be completed in as few as 54 weeks. These blended learning options combine both online and in-person classes for added flexibility.

How long is the dental assistant program?

CHCP’s on-campus blended Dental Assistant Certificate Program has two available tracks—one in the daytime, and one in the evening. The day track can be completed in as few as 35 weeks and the evening track can be completed in as few as 54 weeks. These blended learning options combine both online and in-person classes for added flexibility.

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