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Dental Assisting Program

Dental Assisting | Los Angeles, OC & Ontario, CA

Turn your passion to help others into your career and train to become a Dental Assistant! Ongoing research links oral health to general health, and the demand for preventative dental services continues to increase. Earning your diploma to be a Dental Assistant will give you the chance to help and care for others in a rewarding industry.

Looking for the right dental assistant school near you? ACC’s dental assistant program emphasizes hands-on learning. Emphasis is placed on the Registered Dental Assisting (RDA) practical and written examinations, which you are encouraged to sit for once you have successfully completed the school’s program.

Find a dental assistant program near you. Our program is available at our three Southern California campuses: Los Angeles, Ontario, and Orange County.

Jump on the fast-track to success! Our accelerated Dental Assisting training program allows you to earn your diploma in as little as 10 months.

If you’re ready to help patients, young and old, feel more comfortable in the dentist’s chair, consider training to become a Dental Assistant at American Career College. At ACC, our Dental Assisting courses are designed to help you quickly gain proficiency in dental procedures and techniques as you prepare for a satisfying career. Our program is also RDA approved!

This program is taught in a blended format combining online classes and only 2 days a week of in-person instruction.  

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"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."

- Tammy R. '10 Dental Assisting Graduate
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Dental Assisting Program Overview

Do you enjoy helping others and have an interest in the field of healthcare? Working as a Dental Assistant can help you, help others by establishing working relationships with your patients and enabling them to realize the importance of oral health.

The American Career College Dental Assisting program is designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to qualify for a position as a Dental Assistant.

Today's Dental Assistants play many of these important roles1:

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

The class curriculum at ACC 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).

Tuition

Our admissions advisors and financial aid advisors are here to support you. They can help you figure out the dental assistant school cost and help you explore financial aid options.

To learn more about ACC’s Dental Assisting program cost, access our tuition info.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.

Our focus is on you, and your success!

The goal of our College is to help you graduate with the confidence and qualifications you will need to begin your career as a Dental Assistant and qualify as a RDA.

Our faculty members care about their communities and are passionate about teaching the next generation of healthcare professionals.

ACC is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

ABHES 7777 Leesburg Pike
Suite 314N
Falls Church, VA 22043
Phone (703) 917-9503
Fax (703) 917-4109
www.abhes.org

*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.

1California Employment Development OCC Guides, Dental Assistants in California

Find a dental assistant school near you! Our accredited Dental Assisting training program is available at our three Southern California campuses:

Careers After I Graduate

Dental Assistants are primarily found in dental offices, but there are many other dental career options for you to consider. No matter the setting, you will assist and care for others by performing a wide range of clinical, laboratory, and patient procedures.  At American Career College, we are focused on providing you with real-world skills and hands-on experience. You will practice a variety of procedures and techniques in a dental laboratory, comparable to a modern dental facility, while learning in a collaborative and open classroom environment.

 Upon successful completion of the Dental Assisting program, you will be prepared to provide quality care to patients, and can expect to qualify for entry-level positions in the following healthcare facilities.

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

 A few interesting facts* about Dental Assistant careers:

  • Dentists will continue to hire more Dental Assistants to assist and complete tasks, allowing the dentist to see more patients in their practice and spend their time on 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.

Many area employers are very familiar with the quality of ACC's health care training programs and our school's track record for preparing confident, qualified professionals for rewarding careers. 

*California Employment Development OCC Guides, Dental Assistants in California

What Will I Learn?

The Dental Assisting curriculum is divided into learning units called modules. Each core module stands alone and is not dependent upon previous training. Upon successful completion of the classroom and laboratory training, the ACC curriculum then provides you with hands-on experience through a 180-hour externship that will be arranged for you at an appropriate dental facility.

Class Modules for the American Career College Dental Assisting program include:

  • 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 these courses, 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 these courses. 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 these courses. 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 – These courses are 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 School Externship – Under the direct supervision of qualified personnel at your school 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 be 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 American Career College training, you will be ready to pursue exciting career opportunities as an entry-level Dental Assistant. From patient care to record keeping, you will become an important part of the dental health care community.

As a Dental Assistant, day-to-day responsibilities may include1:

  • Processing X-rays and doing lab tasks under the direction of a dentist
  • Preparing materials for use
  • Establishing relationships with staff and patients
  • Assisting in dental procedures
  • Assisting and caring for others
  • Instructing patients in proper dental hygiene
  • Working in a hands-on environment
  • Sterilizing instruments and equipment
  • Gathering patient dental records
  • Preparing the work area for patient treatment
  • Keeping records of dental treatments
  • Scheduling patient appointments
  • Working with patients on billing and payment

As an ACC graduate, you'll be on your way to the next steps in your career as a Dental Assistant!

During and after your program, our dedicated Career Services team helps you find the right job for you.  Even after you start your career, our Career Services team will continue to provide you with the resources, support and assistance you may need to keep your career on track.*

1California Employment Development Department, Dental Assistants in California

*American Career College cannot guarantee employment.

FAQs

A Day in the Life of a Dental Assistant

As a dental assistant, you'll support dentists with patient procedures, sterilize and prepare instruments, manage patient records, and advise patients on proper dental hygiene.

Here are some things you may do:

  • Instruct patients on proper dental hygiene
  • Assist with and prepare for dental procedures
  • Obtain and update patient records
  • Prepare impressions and restorations
  • Administer and process X-rays 1

1 California Employment Development Department Detailed Guide, Dental Assistants in California

What Will I Be Trained to Do as a Dental Assistant?

Dental assistants perform a wide range of patient, clinical, and laboratory procedures, including x-rays, dental impressions, and coronal polishing. Students in our dental assisting program will be trained to do the following:

  • Obtain dental records Sterilize and disinfect instruments and equipment
  • Prepare patients for treatment
  • Hand instruments and materials to the dentist
  • Instruct patients on oral health care1

1California Employment Development Department OCC Guide, Dental Assistants

Am I a Good Fit for the Dental Assistant Program?

If you love working with people and are good at making them feel at ease, you might enjoy being a dental assistant.

Here are some of the top skills and attributes that make for a great dental assistant:

Active listening – Dental assistants need to be able to communicate with both patients and dentists, understanding what is being said and asking the right questions.

Instructing – Dental assistants should be able to educate patients on oral health, delivering information in a way that’s easy to understand and easy to remember.

Service orientation – A great dental assistant is one with a passion for helping patients and for providing the best care possible.

Social perceptiveness – Dental assistants should be aware and understanding of patients’ reactions in order to provide the best possible patient-centered care.

Critical thinking – A dental assistants’ ability to make sound decisions can help them provide optimal care for each individual patient.

Where Can I Work as a Dental Assistant?

Dental assistants can work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Dentists’ offices
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Physicians’ offices1

1California Employment Development Department OCC Guide, Dental Assistants

What Will I Learn in the Dental Assistant Program?

The Dental Assisting curriculum is divided into learning units called modules. Each core module stands alone and is not dependent upon previous training. Upon successful completion of the classroom and laboratory training, the ACC curriculum then provides you with hands-on experience through a 180-hour externship that will be arranged for you at an appropriate dental facility.

Class Modules for the American Career College Dental Assisting program include:

  • 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 these courses, 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 these courses. 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 these courses. 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 – These courses are 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 School Externship – Under the direct supervision of qualified personnel at your school 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 be placed in your permanent student record.

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

How Long Will It Take to Get My Diploma in Dental Assistant?

Students can earn their diploma to become a dental assistant in as little as 10 months.

How Much is Tuition for the Dental Assistant Program?

Our admissions advisors and financial aid advisors are here to support you. They can help you figure out the dental assistant school cost and help you explore financial aid. To learn more about ACC’s Dental Assistant program cost, access our tuition info.

Is Financial Aid Available for the Dental Assistant program?

Yes, financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.

Will I Get Real-World Training?

Yes! ACC's dental assisting program includes a 180 hour externship which gives students the opportunity to demonstrate and reinforce the knowledge and skills they acquired learning hands-on throughout the training program.

Want more details about the Dental Assisting Program?

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