The Dental Assistant diploma program is designed to prepare students for entry-level dental assistant positions assisting the dentist chairside. The program prepares students to work in the operatory or treatment room with the dentist. The chairside dental assistant mixes and prepares dental impression and restorative materials, evacuates debris and extraneous materials from the oral cavity, and prepares the operatory for procedures including instrument tray and anesthesia set-ups as required by the dentist. The chairside assistant exposes, processes and mounts dental radiographs (x-rays). The chairside assistant may also perform dental instrument sterilization duties and prepare cases to be sent to an outside laboratory. The assistant may perform some dental laboratory procedures within the office and is often the person responsible for infection control and sterilization requirements as set forth in government regulations and guidelines. The program also prepares students in the various administrative and clerical procedures required, including word processing, managing files and records, scheduling appointments and handling other front office duties. This program is comprised of approximately six five-week modules (evening modules are ten weeks), including classroom theory, practical experience and field experience, followed by one module of a ten-week externship in a dental care facility. Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be prepared to assist the dentist chairside. The program prepares students to work in the operatory or treatment room assisting the dentist, as well as, performing various administrative and clerical duties. Graduates may also choose to take the Dental Assisting National Board?s Certified Dental Assistant examination.
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