Dental Assisting Program

With ongoing research linking oral health and general health, the demand for preventive dental services continues to increase, and employment of dental assistants is expected to grow 25 percent nationally from 2012 to 2022*. At ACC, our Dental Assisting program is designed to help you quickly gain proficiency in dental procedures and techniques as you prepare for a satisfying, in-demand career.

PICK UP THE PACE! This program offers an accelerated option to earn your diploma in about 9 months. At ACC, new sessions begin twice a month, every month, so you can start right away, graduate, and be ready to work in about 9 months!

* Source: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm

Dental Assisting | Los Angeles, OC & Ontario, CA

"I went from being a receptionist to working full time as a Dental Assistant, and it's all because of American Career College. My ultimate goal is to become an Orthodontist, but for now, I really enjoy what I'm doing."

Dental Assisting Overview

The ACC Dental Assisting program is designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to qualify for an entry-level position as a Dental Assistant. Emphasis is placed on the Registered Dental Assistant practical and written examinations, which you are encouraged to sit for once you have successfully completed the program.

Today's dental assistants play important roles assisting dentists, such as:

  • Sterilizing instruments and equipment
  • Preparing materials
  • Gathering patient dental records
  • Instructing patients in proper dental hygiene
  • and many other important responsibilities

ACC's dynamic curriculum can prepare you for Coronal Polish Certification,* Pit and Fissure Certification,* and the requirements necessary to earn a California Radiation Safety Certificate (limited to dental x-ray).

The focus is on your success!

The goal of our program is to help you graduate with the confidence and qualifications to begin your career as a dental assistant.

*The Coronal Polish Certificate and Pit and Fissure Certification are awarded by the State of California upon successful completion of the RDA exams and completion of a state approved course. Students must successfully complete coronal polish, pit and fissure, and radiation safety written and practical examinations with a minimum score of 75 percent.

The Dental Assisting program is available at the following campuses:

 

Careers After I Graduate

Most dental assistants work in dentists' offices, performing a wide range of patient, clinical, and laboratory procedures and improving patient awareness of the need for dental services.

At ACC, you will practice a variety of procedures and techniques in a dental laboratory comparable to a modern dental facility. Upon successful completion of the program, you can expect to qualify for entry-level positions and may obtain employment in:

  • Dentists' Offices
  • Public Health Facilities
  • Hospital Dental Departments
  • Dental Clinics
  • Orthodontists' Offices
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Schools/Universities
  • Clinics
  • Dental Supplier Companies

A few interesting statistics* about Dental Assistant careers:

  • Employment of dental assistants is expected to grow by 31 percent nationally from 2010 to 2020.
  • Dentists will continue to hire more dental assistants to complete routine tasks, allowing the dentist to see more patients in their practice and spend their time on more complex procedures.
  • As the baby-boom population ages and people keep more of their original teeth than previous generations, the need to maintain and treat teeth will continue to increase the need for dental assistants.

*Source: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm

What Will I Learn

This curriculum is divided into learning units called modules. Students are required to complete the Introduction to Healthcare module before beginning the standalone core modules. The final component of the curriculum is a 160-hour externship that will be arranged for you at an appropriate area dental facility. Modules for the ACC Dental Assisting program include:

  • Introduction to Healthcare Professions – The course provides an overview of healthcare professions, including the history of medicine, ethical standards, medical terminology and behaviors that are expected of professionals in the field.
  • Fundamentals of Dental Assisting – Course material in this module examines the anatomy and physiology of the head and neck as it relates to the practice of dentistry. You will also be introduced to the roles and responsibilities of various members of the dental health team and the expected levels of professionalism in this profession.
  • Science of Dentistry – In this module, you will be introduced to the basic concepts and principles of microbiology as it pertains to dentistry. Special emphasis will be placed on the proper methods and ramifications of infection control issues including OSHA regulations and the disease transmission process. Periodontics theory and practice will also be addressed.
  • Restorative Dentistry/Pharmacology – Coursework in this module is designed to introduce you to various materials and instrumentation. You will be exposed to the use and care of the Caries Detection Device. Pharmacology and drugs as they relate to dentistry will also be discussed.
  • Laboratory Procedures/Prosthodontics – This module is designed to analyze programs and procedures for meeting the needs of diverse populations. You will be exposed to and practice with a variety of impression materials as well as producing primary impressions. Theory and practice of permanent and removable prosthodontics will also be presented.
  • Pediatric Dentistry/Orthodontics – Theory and practice in orthodontics will be introduced in this module. Emphasis is placed on both the preventive and restorative techniques in pediatric/operative dentistry.
  • CPR/Preventive Dentistry – In this module, you will be exposed to the principles and practices of preventing and controlling dental disease with emphasis on nutrition and plaque control. You will receive basic training in standard first aid and in recognizing and dealing with medical emergencies. Exposure to sealant materials in the field of preventive dentistry will also be discussed.
  • Endodontics/Radiography – Basic principles of dental radiology are the focus of this module. Emphasis will be placed on operation of the x-ray equipment, safety practices, mounting and evaluation of dental films. Once you have fulfilled the necessary program requirements, you will receive a state certificate to perform x-rays in the dental office.
  • Oral Surgery/Anesthetics – This module is designed to introduce you to surgical procedures performed in dentistry. You will also be exposed to the various methods and techniques of anesthesia.
  • Dental Assisting Externship – Under the direct supervision of qualified personnel at your externship site, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate and reinforce the knowledge and skills presented and practiced throughout the training program. You will be evaluated by supervisory personnel, and those evaluations will placed in your permanent student record.

For a complete description of coursework in these modules, please refer to the ACC Catalog.

What Will I Do as a Dental Assistant

Once you have completed your ACC training and earned your diploma, you'll be ready to pursue exciting career opportunities as an entry-level Dental Assistant. From patient care to record keeping, you will assume the duties of an indispensible contributor to the dental health care community. As a Dental Assistant, your day-to-day responsibilities may include:

  • Sterilizing instruments and equipment
  • Preparing materials
  • Gathering patient dental records
  • Instructing patients in proper dental hygiene
  • Preparing the work area for patient treatment
  • Processing x-rays and doing lab tasks under the direction of a dentist
  • Keeping records of dental treatments
  • Scheduling patient appointments
  • Working with patients on billing and payment

You'll be on your way!

A commitment to your career can result in the ongoing development of your skills and increased opportunities for advancement. Even after you start your career, ACC's Career Services team will remain committed to providing you with the resources, support and personalized assistance you need to keep your career on the fast track.

Program Information Disclosure

Select campus below to view disclosures:

To view outcome information for this and ACC's other programs, and to view state disclosure information, visit: americancareercollege.edu/disclosures.

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