Almost all dental offices employ one or more Dental Assistants. In the office, the person working directly with the dentist during patient procedures is the Dental Assistant. Each state has a dental practice act that governs which duties Dental Assistants can perform. This varies from performing invasive procedures, such as placing retraction cord and dental dams, to non-invasive procedures, such as patient education. Dental Assistants enable dentist to care for many more patients and to produce much more dentistry than they could alone. The objective of the Dental Assisting Program is to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to qualify for entry-level positions in the dental office. This training program is divided into eight learning units called modules. Students must complete modules I, through VIII. Upon successful completion of modules I through VII, students participate in 160 clock-hour Externship. Completion of the Dental Assisting Program is acknowledged by the awarding of a diploma. Program completion normally requires 32 weeks for full-time students.
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