The objective of the Dental Assistant program is to prepare students for an entry-level position as a dental assistant in a dental office, clinic or lab environment, with the skills for advancement in the dental field, depending upon the student's goals. The main job skills students will learn are treatment room care of the dental patient and how to assist the dentist, infection control and sterilization, medical emergencies, taking dental x-rays, impressions, use of various dental instruments, oral evacuation, fixed prosthodontics, pharmacology and pain control, preventive dentistry, and how to assist with oral surgery and tray setups. Graduates will be prepared for entry-level positions in private dental offices, group practices, public and private hospitals, public health institutions, clinics, dental insurance agencies, and for dental product distributors. Graduates can continue to grow in their careers and become office managers, enter a dental sales position, or obtain a position at a research facility or insurance company. Prior to graduation, students are required to complete a 300-hour externship program at a local dental office, clinic, hospital or other dental facility. The students are required to obtain certification in radiology from the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (Board) in order to perform dental x-rays in Texas. The program will assist students in preparing for the exams required for this radiology certification. The program is not designed to prepare students for Board certification in nitrous oxide monitoring, which certification is required in order for Dental Assistants to monitor the administration of nitrous oxide in Texas. Graduates of the program will not be eligible for Board certification in pit and fissure sealants, which certification is required in order to apply pit and fissure sealants in Texas. Please refer to the \Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams\" section of this catalog for further guidance. "