Dental Assisting Certificate Program

Dental Assisting Certificate Program

Classes Start June 3rd

Our online dental assistant courses leverage the flexibility of blended learning to train students in the technical, clinical, and administrative skills they’ll need to pursue a career in dental assisting.

Dental assistants serve a multifunctional role in dentistry and require individuals to balance an array of clinical and administrative skills with a passion for patient comfort, care, and overall well-being. Due to the clinical aspect of the role, which requires a strong understanding of procedures, instrument sterilization, and taking patient vitals, becoming a dental assistant requires hands-on training elements for proper preparation. 

In the world of dental assisting programs, there are many routes to dental assistant certification, including online dental assistant programs and dental assistant online degrees. The online Dental Assisting Certificate Program at CHCP stands out for its lifestyle-compatible design, with built-in online flexibility for the busy student. Students in the program can take the majority of their courses from the comfort of their own homes, which is then supplemented by three weekends of on-campus, hands-on dental assistant training. 

At the end of the program, students will participate in a dental assisting externship to experience using their newfound skills in the real world at dental offices. This crucial component enables students to experience their role fully before diving into dental assisting as a professional. Students in the program will complete 160 hours of externship experience at a dental office, hospital, or group practice, all under the supervision of a dentist or dental assistant.

On-Campus Flexible Learning

Weekend clinical training for the online dental assisting program is available at the local Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, McAllen, and San Antonio campuses, allowing online students to learn in person and practice their skills with instructors. For those who may prefer more time on campus, our on-campus Dental Assistant Certificate Program takes a more thoroughly integrated approach to blended learning. 

Taking Your Education Further

At CHCP, our online Dental Assisting Certificate Program comes with the added value of transferable credits that can be used to help students transition into degree-completion programs. Credits earned through the dental assisting program can be transferred to our Health and Medical Administrative Services AAS Degree, which encourages students to pursue further roles in management positions.

Online Dental Assisting Programs in Texas | Our Locations

The in-person training for both our online dental and on-campus Dental Assistant Certificate Program is available at every CHCP Texas campus apart from San Antonio North. These campuses are strategically located in major metropolitan cities that each come with an array of healthcare opportunities and unique atmospheres. The following locations offer on-campus training for our online dental assisting program.

Online Dental Assisting Programs | Dallas and Fort Worth

Dallas Campus Fort Worth Campus

Online Dental Assisting Programs | Austin

Austin Campus

Online Dental Assisting Programs | San Antonio & McAllen

McAllen Campus San Antonio - South Campus

Dental Assisting Skills and Course Modules

The primary goal of a dental assistant school is to prepare students with the skills they need to enter the world of dentistry as qualified, entry-level dental assistants. At 48 weeks long, the online dental assisting certification program at CHCP trains students in a foundation of dental assisting knowledge and skills, including everything from tooth morphology and healthcare ethics to dental radiology, equipment utilization, and procedures. With this foundation, students will also have the opportunity to learn more about specific specializations in dental assisting, including periodontics, orthodontics, pedodontics, prosthodontics, and oral surgery. For more information about the specific dental assistant course modules, explore the breakdown below.

MODULE IMODULE IIMODULE IIIMODULE IVMODULE VMODULE VI

Introduction to Dental Assisting, Dental Office Procedures, Law and Ethics

DAC110

Students will be able to describe key milestones in dental history and identify the dental specialties and the members of the dental team as well as discuss the skills used by the dental assistant, including communication, office management, infection control, and basic chairside assisting. Students will be able to describe 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 also learn the functions of the dental business office and the fundamentals of front desk operations, use of dental office management software to schedule appointments, manage dental records, communicate with patients, and handle accounts including the components of an insurance claim form. In addition, the students will be able to summarize the federal and state laws governing dental assisting as well as the ethical principles established by professional dental associations. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits48 

Anatomy, Physiology, Tooth Morphology, Dental Charting

DAC111

Students will be able to describe the functions of the body systems and identify the landmarks of the oral cavity and the anatomical features of the head and neck. Students will be able to identify the dental arches, the names of the teeth, tooth surfaces, and the structure of the gingiva. Students will identify anatomic features of the teeth, occlusion and malocclusion, and deciduous and permanent dentition. Students will be able to use tooth numbering systems and charting systems to chart existing conditions, restorative procedures, and decay as diagnosed by the dentist. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits48 

Infection Control

DAC112

Students will be able to identify the types of disease-causing organisms and routes of microbial transmission. Students will demonstrate mastery of infection control techniques and procedures, use of sterilizers, disinfectants, and sterilization monitors, and safe disposal of sharps. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits48 

Dental Materials and Skills I

DAC114

A skill related clinical lab-based learning experience that enables the student to apply specialized occupational theory, knowledge, skills, and concepts the dental assistants must have to understand the identification, properties, and proper uses of dental materials. Students will learn the dental assistant’s role in restorative procedures. Students will learn to, in a combination of simulations and residential laboratory sessions, to mix materials, take impressions, pour and trim study models, and fabricate custom trays and temporary crowns. Direct supervision is provided by the clinical professional and lectures will be geared toward the State Registration Examination. Prerequisite: DAC110, DAC111

Lecture36hr.
Laboratory60hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours96hr.
Credits96 

Dental Radiology

DAC113

This course focuses on the knowledge and skills dental assistants must have to properly and safely expose and process dental x-rays. Students will learn about the properties of radiation and the precautions dental assistants must take to protect patients’ health. Students will master the steps of taking a full mouth radiography survey, including exposure and processing techniques. Lecture will be geared toward the State Registration Examination. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures will also be covered. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits48 

Dental Procedures and Skills II*

DAC115

A skill related clinical lab-based learning experience that enables the student to apply specialized occupational theory, knowledge, skills, and concepts the dental assistants must have to identify the drugs commonly used in dentistry and how to respond to dental emergencies, including administering CPR. Students will be able to, in a combination of simulations and residential laboratory sessions, demonstrate correct instrument exchange, maintenance of the oral cavity, placement and removal of the dental dam, and administration of anesthetics. Students will practice daily routines for opening and closing the dental office and seating and dismissing the patient. Direct supervision is provided by the clinical professional. Prerequisite: DAC110, DAC111, DAC114

Lecture36hr.
Laboratory60hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours96hr.
Credits96 

Preventive Dentistry and Nutrition

DAC117

Students will be able to describe how diet affects oral health. Students will learn about the dental team’s role in prevention of decay in relationship to nutrition, including dietary evaluations and oral manifestations of nutritional deficiencies. Students will learn the dental assistant’s role in preventive techniques, including tooth brushing and flossing, fluoride application, dental sealants, and coronal polish. Related terminology, dental charting/documentation, vital signs, and infection control procedures will also be covered. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits48 

Dental Specialties I (ORAL SURGERY, PROSTHODONTICS, COSMETIC DENTISTRY)

DAC118

Students will learn the dental assistant’s role in oral surgery procedures, fixed and removable prosthodontic treatment, and cosmetic procedures, including how to place and remove a gingival retraction cord. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits48 

Dental Specialties II (PEDODONTICS, ENDODONTICS, ORTHODONTICS, PERIODONTICS)

DAC119

Students will learn the materials, instruments, and special considerations of the dental specialties of pedodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, and periodontics. Students will demonstrate competency in the dental assistant’s role in common procedures in these specialties. Prerequisite: None

Lecture48hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours48hr.
Credits48 

Treatment Areas and Instruments/Accessories and Skills III

DAC116

A skill related clinical lab-based learning experience that enables the student to apply specialized occupational theory, knowledge, skills, and concepts the dental assistants must have for basic patient care, including taking vital signs and assisting with oral evaluation. Students will learn to identify hand instruments, attachments, dental burs, abrasives, and rotary instruments, as well as instrument classification and sequencing. Students will learn to identify different types of oral lesions and oral cancer. Direct supervision is provided by the clinical professional. Prerequisite: DAC115

Lecture15hr.
Laboratory90hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours105hr.
Credits105 

Dental Assisting Cert Prep

DAC300

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: Mod I – V

Lecture30hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship0hr.
Total Hours30hr.
Credits30 

Dental Assisting Externship

DAC301

Students will integrate practice of all dental assistant responsibilities carried out in a dental office or group practice setting under the supervision of a dentist or supervising dental assistant. Use of related terminology, dental charting/documentation, and infection control procedures. Prerequisite: Mod I – V

Lecture0hr.
Laboratory0hr.
Externship160hr.
Total Hours160hr.
Credits160 

Dental Assisting Certification and Course Outcomes

The goal of the online Dental Assisting Certificate Program at CHCP is to help prepare students to pursue entry-level dental assistant positions across a variety of practice settings. Obtaining certification, such as becoming a registered dental assistant (RDA) or expanded function dental assistant (EFDA), presents opportunities for students to broaden their understanding and explore specialized roles. If you’re interested in the career paths for a dental assistant, you can explore our guide to types of dental assisting careers and how to become a registered dental assistant. 

Students who complete the online dental assisting training program through CHCP will have the opportunity to take a test to earn their dental assistant certifications. In Texas, dental assistants must be registered with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) before taking x-rays at a dental office, so becoming fully certified may contribute to a student’s ability to perform the full spectrum of dental assisting responsibilities. At CHCP, students nearing graduation will also have access to our career services department, which can help with the creation of resumes, provide interviewing tips, and provide job search assistance.

The Dental Assistant Role

With the increase in preventative dental services and oral health being linked to overall health, dental assisting positions are expected to increase by 7% over the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. CHCP has built our dental assistant program to serve Texas students looking to become part of this growing field.

Dental assistants can work in a variety of settings, including but not limited to private offices, group dental practices, hospitals, public health facilities, educational institutes, and outpatient dental surgery centers. Their general duties and responsibilities range from sterilizing dental instruments and assisting with dental procedures such as fillings and crowns to providing aftercare instruction, processing billing and payments, and updating patient health histories. Additionally, dental assistants must have strong communication, organization, and attention to detail to best serve patients and aid providers.

Curious about the dental assisting career and role? Visit our comprehensive dental assistant career guide for more information on salary, growth opportunities, and more.

Learn More

How to Become a Dental Assistant Online | Admission Criteria

Ready to begin your journey in dental assisting? Start your application to the online Dental Assisting Certificate Program at CHCP by filling out our simple form. Share your program preferences, desired location for study, and how to contact you. Following your submission, a dedicated CHCP admissions advisor will guide you through the next steps. Before you dive in, here’s what you'll need to get started:

  • 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 team is committed to providing support every step of the way, from personalized help during the application process to an assigned Student Services Advisor and career services after graduation. Contact an admissions advisor today to take the first step on your educational path.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Online Dental Assisting Certificate Program

Can I Do a Dental Assistant School Online?

Yes. You have the option to pursue your education with a certificate in dental assisting online. At CHCP, our online certificate program provides training in a number of essential dental office clinical and administrative skills, from preparing industry-current dental instruments to recording dental exams, and more. Completion of this program is designed to give you the education, credentials, and skills needed to apply for entry-level dental assistant jobs throughout Texas.

What Can a Dental Assistant Certificate Lead To?

The online certificate program offered at CHCP can help prepare you for a dental assistant career—a field projected to add more than 40,000 new jobs by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Plus, the education provided in the dental program is foundational, meaning upon completion, you’ll be able to build upon it with additional training down the line to help advance your career, perhaps as an expanded function dental assistant or dental hygienist.

How Do I Prepare for Dental Assistant School?

You would prepare for your online dental assistant program as much as you would for any other professional-level training opportunity. A dental assistant plays a significant role in the oral health of patients, from sterilizing equipment to assisting the dentist chairside and serves as a valuable team member in patient care. So, prepare to be your best. Investigate relevant programs for accreditation, the skills taught, and job placement services. Make sure you have the relevant paperwork in hand when you apply for admission. Check into your financial aid resources. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Record classes. Get enough sleep. Set goals. And if you have questions, ask. The CHCP instructors and advisors are here to help you before, during, and after you  obtain your dental assistant certificate.

What Dental Assistant Skills Will I Learn?

 Our online dental assisting program focuses on the training and professional skills needed for success in a career as a dental assistant.

  • Personal oral hygiene
  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Taking/recording blood pressure
  • Infection control in the dental office
  • Preparation and sterilization of instruments
  • Exposing adult radiography
  • Obtaining and recording patient histories
  • Recording dental exams
  • Dental terminology
  • Tooth morphology
  • Dental charting
  • Office administration procedures
  • Professionalism with other dental associates
  • Compassionate patient care

 

How Will I Afford Dental Assistant School?

We can help you get started with financial aid options and affordable payment plans that are available to those who qualify. Click here to learn more!

Where Can Dental Assistants Work?

Typically, dental assistants find employment in dental offices, but it is not uncommon for dental assistants to work in physician offices or even for the government. Other work settings can include group practices, insurance companies, dental manufacturers, hospitals, equipment suppliers, and more.

How Will I Find a Job After I Graduate?

CHCP Career Services offers job placement assistance as well as interview and resume writing tips and more. Check out our career services page!

**This program is currently only offered in specified areas.

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Find the Career of Your Dreams

Starting your educational adventure in the allied healthcare field opens up multiple professional possibilities. As an ABHES Accredited Allied Healthcare College, we’re committed to guiding you through your education journey. We encourage you to reach out to an admissions advisor who can shed light on our extensive range of certificate programs, stackable degrees, and financial aid options. Our dedicated team is ready to help you explore the variety of programs available at CHCP, each designed to provide you with distinct knowledge and hands-on experiences.

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