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Dental Assistant - Certificate

Dental Assistant - Certificate

CHCP’s Dental Assistant Program prepares you for a successful career as an entry level dental assistant. 

Dental assistants help dentists in oral procedures like fillings, crowns, extractions, and root canals. They’re also expected to deliver compassionate patient care, as well as manage administrative and office procedures. Once you complete the Dental Assistant Program at The College of Health Care Professions, you will be prepared to take your certification test and well on your way to becoming a state-registered dental assistant.

Begin a Career as a Dental Assistant

Learn more about becoming a Dental Assistant with the DA Certificate Program!

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Program Details

Program Length

On-Campus (Day Track): 35 weeks

On-Campus (Evening Track): 54 weeks

On-CampusBlended


CHCP has health care programs across the state of Texas, and different locations deliver the dental assistant program using different methods. For our Dental Assistant Program, you can take it via blended learning or in-person classes.

In-person classes:

In-person programs provide our Dental Assistant program utilizing the traditional, face-to-face delivery. The following campuses offer in-person classes for our dental assistant program: Austin, Ft. Worth, North San Antonio and Houston NW.

Module IModule IIModule IIIModule IVModule VModule VIModule VII

Master Student / Study Skills

MSS 100

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

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits2 

Professionalism

PRO 100

Students will learn and become familiar with the soft skills and habits that are necessary to be a successful employee in the allied healthcare field. This course is designed to help students identify the attributes of an employee that are sought-after in the professional setting and to develop a personal plan to expand their talents to meet the expectations of the educational institution and workplace. Prerequisite: None

Lecture15hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours15hr.
Credits1 

HIPAA / OSHA / Infection Control

HIP 100

Students will learn about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability 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

Lecture15hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours15hr.
Credits1 

Medical Terminology

MED 100

Students will learn the study of the word roots, prefixes, suffixes as well as abbreviations and symbols that are necessary tools for building a medical vocabulary. Prerequisite: None

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits2 

Overview of Anatomy & Physiology

APM 100

Students will learn and identify basic structures, functions and dysfunctions of the body. This course covers a general treatment of the sensory, muscular, nervous, endocrine, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, urinary, reproductive, integumentary, and skeletal system. Prerequisite: None

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits2 

Introduction to Dental Assisting

DA 310

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. Prerequisite: Module 1

Lecture15hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours15hr.
Credits1 

Ethics/Law and Texas Jurisprudence

DA 311

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 I

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits2 

Tooth Morphology and Dental Charting

DA 312

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

Lecture15hr.
Laboratory25hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours40hr.
Credits1.5 

Preventative Dentistry/Nutrition

DA 313

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.
Laboratory20hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours35hr.
Credits1.5 

Anatomy and Physiology (Head and Neck)

DA 314

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 315

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. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture20hr.
Laboratory80hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours100hr.
Credits4 

Office Procedures and Resumes

DA 316

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. The student will be taught the proper form of the construction of a personal resume, and have the practice of interview questions. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures. Prerequisite MOD I Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture20hr.
Laboratory25hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours45hr.
Credits2 

Medical Emergencies and CPR

DA 317

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 I

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

Dental Materials

DA 319

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. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture20hr.
Laboratory20hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours40hr.
Credits2 

Dental Skills and Procedures

DA 320

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

Lecture20hr.
Laboratory20hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours40hr.
Credits2 

Treatment Areas and Instruments/Accessories

DA 321

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. Prerequisite: Module I

Lecture20hr.
Laboratory20hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours40hr.
Credits2 

Special Populations/Pedodontics/Orthodontics/ Restorative/ Periodontics/Endodontics/Prosthodontics and Oral Surgery

DA 322

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 I

Lecture60hr.
Laboratory60hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours120hr.
Credits6 

Dental Externship

DAX 323

Students will integrate practice of all dental assistant responsibilities carried out in a dental office, hospital, or 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: Completion of all dental assistant classes, current on financial obligations to the school, and recommendation of the instructor and externship coordinator.

Lecture0hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship180hr.
Total Hours180hr.
Credits4 

Blended learning:

A blended learning program combines online and in-person classes for a “best of both worlds” situation. With this flexible method of delivery, you can take theory classes online, and clinical, hands-on classes can be taken in-person. Click here to learn more about the flexibility of blended learning. The following campuses utilize blended learning for our dental assisting training: Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston SW, Houston Astrodome, McAllen, and South San Antonio .

What Skills Will I Learn?

Regardless of the track you choose or the delivery method you select, our dental assistant school’s goal is to mold you into a competent entry-level dental assistant. In this program, you will learn the affective (behavior), cognitive (knowledge), and psychomotor (skills) skills necessary to be a successful dentist’s assistant, including equipment utilization, tooth morphology, radiology, and other clinical aspects of working in a dental office. We also train our dental assistant students in administrative and procedural duties as well as professional communication and compassionate chairside manner. After you complete our program, you will be prepared to handle all of the aspects of a dental assistant’s day-to-day duties with ease.

 

Hands-On Training

In Dental Assistant program, you will receive training in the following technical and professional skills to prepare you for success in your future career as a dental assistant:

  • Oral hygiene techniques
  • Emergencies in the dental office
  • Taking/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
  • Tooth morphology
  • Dental charting
  • Office administrative procedures
  • Professionalism with other dental associates
  • Compassionate patient care

Towards the end of your training, you will also have the opportunity to learn about special populations, pedodontics, orthodontics, restorative dental care, periodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics, and oral surgery.

How Do I Enroll?

To enroll in our Dental Assistant program, applicants must possess the following:

  • A high school diploma or GED*
  • The ability to read and write in English
  • A grade of at least 10 on the Wonderlic SLE Assessment

If you’re ready to enroll or would like to receive more information on CHCP’s Dental Assistant program, fill out the form to contact a counselor today!

 

* Some campuses offer additional assistance for applicants who are in need of their GED. Please inquire with the campus near you for more information. 

 Dental assisting is a growing career field. It’s projected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028, which is much higher than average. Dental Assistants may become in higher demand because of ongoing research linking oral health to overall health. As the population becomes more aware of this link, there will likely be an increased demand in preventative dental services.1 Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics to learn more about Dentist Assistant salary and job outlook.

As a dental assistant, you will have a lot of opportunities to grow. Dental assistants can advance their careers with additional training in positions such as Expanded Function Dental Assistants, Dental Hygienists, and even Dentists. With so many options, the only way to go is up.

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

What Career Options Are Available?

After you successfully complete CHCP’s Dental Assistant Program, you’ll be eligible to apply to become a registered dental assistant. Visit tsbde.texas.gov or talk to a counselor to receive more information on the necessary certificates.

By law, a dental assistant must be registered with the TSBDE before taking x-rays at a dental office.

Once you complete your certification exams, you’ll be able to apply as an entry-level Dental Assistant in a variety of dental settings. Here are some of the places you could work:

  • Private dentist offices
  • Group dental practices
  • Outpatient dental surgery centers
  • Hospitals
  • Educational institutes
  • Public health facilities
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