Dental Assisting Degree

Overview

DENTAL CLINIC

Program Description

Dental Assisting Technology educates students in all phases of dental assisting, including expanded functions and passing the National Board Exam for Certification. The program starts in summer quarter and continues through the summer of the following year.

The Dental Assisting Technology Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), www.ada.org/100.aspx.

Career Opportunities 

Graduates may be hired as expanded functions assistants, preventive assistants, business assistants, or traditional assistants.  Employment opportunities are high and well distributed throughout the state. Dental assistants directly assist with all aspects of patient treatment and perform certain procedures independently.  They also organize instruments, set up and oversee sterilization and disinfecting procedures, inventory control, ordering of supplies, polishing teeth, applying fluoride, placing sealants, providing homecare instructions, taking X-rays, and fabricating and placing temporary restorations. See Health and Wellness » Dental Assisting for more career and employment information. 

Program Outcomes

At the completion of the Dental Assisting Technology Program, the successful student will be able to:

  • Effectively, independently, and efficiently perform supportive services that may be performed by registered dental assistants in Washington State
  • Know and follow state and federal standards when assessing situations to maintain safe environments in the dental setting
  • Measure, record, interpret, and report data in both clinical and office settings
  • Adjust communication techniques to interact effectively with colleagues and patients who have diverse backgrounds, expectations, and needs
  • Use multiple approaches to solve problems and deal with issues as they emerge while considering professional responsibilities and the perspectives of others
  • Engage in processes that support continual improvement  

Program Requirement

Based on placement testing, students may need to complete basic skills and/or pre-college English and math prior to being accepted into the Dental Assisting Technology Program.  

AAS Degree Requirements 

An Associate in Applied Science Degree will be awarded upon successful completion of a minimum of 90 credits in courses numbered 100 or above.  All core and general education distribution requirements must be met, with any additional credits to be selected as electives.  Courses coded DENT must be taken in succession.  All DENT courses must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better to continue in and complete the program.  Other courses may be taken prior to or concurrent with the dental assisting courses.

Program Information

Length of Program:  The program is designed to be completed in five quarters (summer through the following summer) by full-time students.

Additional Program Information

 

Special Admissions

Minimum Eligibility for Entrance to the Program 

Applicants to the Dental Assisting Technology Program must be eligible for college-level English and math. Proficiency may be demonstrated through placement testing or by receiving a placement test waiver based on previous college credits in English and math. Contact Enrollment Services at (360) 596-5241 for instructions on taking the Computerized Placement Test (CPT) or receiving a test waiver.

Priority consideration will be given to those students who have completed all the general education courses required for the program prior to spring quarter.  Consideration will then be given to those students who will have completed general education courses by the end of spring quarter.  In the event of a tie, priority will be given based upon date of application. 

Preparation for the Dental Assisting Technology Program

If you have not already satisfied basic skill and/or pre-college requirements, use the college’s general application to apply for admission as early as possible for an upcoming quarter. Contact Enrollment Services about placement testing or receiving a placement test waiver. Refer to the General Education Requirements for the Associate in Applied Science for recommended general education courses. It is not mandatory that all the general education courses be completed prior to starting the program. A new general application for admission need not be submitted if you are a current student at South Puget Sound Community College.

Application Procedure  

Applications for the Dental Assisting Technology Program will be accepted beginning on the first business day in December. Those received by the first business day in April will be given priority consideration for admission. There is a required, non-refundable $25.00 application fee due at the time of application. The Dental Assisting Technology Program application and fee are required for entry into the Dental Assisting Technology Program even if you are already attending the college for other courses or programs.

APPLY TO SPSCC

Dental Assisting 2017-2018 application cycle is closed

Transfer of Credit  

Have any previous college credits evaluated for transfer of credit into the Dental Assisting Technology Program. Submit official copies of previous college transcripts or an Application for Transfer of Credit form.  An official transcript is one sent directly between schools or submitted by the student in a sealed envelope.  Student (unofficial) copies of transcripts may be used for advising.

Readmissions  

Readmissions of students with advance standing is governed by policies in the Dental Assisting Technology Policies and Procedural Manual, available from program faculty.

Additional Considerations

HEALTH AND SAFETY:  Prior to the beginning of fall quarter, students registered in the Dental Assisting Technology Program are required to have current and valid health care provider basic life support (BLS) certification, to have started the Hepatitis B vaccination series, and to have received a recent Tuberculosis (TB) skin test (within 60 days prior to the start of fall quarter).  Documentation for each of these requirements must be presented by the first day of class in fall quarter.

UNIFORMS: Information on uniforms will be provided during advising and registration to those accepted into the Dental Assisting Technology Program.

ADDITIONAL COSTS (dollar values are approximate and subject to change):

Non-refundable application fee $25.00
Hepatitis B vaccination $250.00
Tuberculosis clearance $100.00
Malpractice insurance $17.00
Name tag $15.00
Uniforms and shoes $300.00
Clinical uniform scrub fee $150.00
Texbooks and supplies $300.00
Dental instruments and supplies $1,000.00
Lab fee $200.00
Typodont model $175.00
National Board exam $425.00
Parking Not Applicable

 

Educational Plan

Dental Assisting Technology

Associate in Applied Science Degree
90 credits

Core Requirements

1st Quarter Summer

DENT 101 Orientation to Dentistry 2 Credits Search Schedule
Basic terminology, anatomy, types of dental procedures and responsibilities related to the operations of dentistry. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 110 Dental Office Exposure Control 5 Credits Search Schedule
Instructs students on OSHA/WISHA Exposure Control as it pertains to dentistry. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 141 Ethics and Jurisprudence 1 Credit Search Schedule
Reviews ethics and jurisprudence, Washington State Dental Practice Act, roles of the traditional and expanded functions for both the dental assistant and dental hygienist as it pertains to Washington State. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.

2nd Quarter Fall

DENT 142 Pretreatment Analysis 2 Credits Search Schedule
Assessment of the patient's medical health history as it relates to dental treatment. This includes health history review, taking and recording of vital signs, basic pharmacology, and medical emergencies. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 151 Dental Materials I 3 Credits Search Schedule
Introduction to the properties and techniques for the usage of common dental restorative materials and the rationale for the selection and preparation of the materials. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 152 Instruments 3 Credits Search Schedule
Introduction to instruments used for restorative dentistry including identification, ordering, sequence of use, transfer and grasps. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 153 Dental Science 3 Credits Search Schedule
Development and identification of intra oral and extra oral structures to include: terminology, histology, morphology and pathology. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into the Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 155 Introduction to Chairside Assisting 4 Credits Search Schedule
Student?s orientation to the Campus Dental Clinic including chairside assisting skills, patient management and the student?s role in patient care. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into the Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 156 Practical Lab Application I 1 Credit Search Schedule
Students are assigned rotations into the Campus Dental Clinic for observation and to assist dentists in the delivery of dental services to patients from the community at large. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into the Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 162 Dental Specialties I 2 Credits Search Schedule
Basic information regarding endodontics and oral surgery, including background, procedures, and instrumentation. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.

3rd Quarter Winter

DENT 160 Introduction to Radiography 4 Credits Search Schedule
Introduces dental radiography and includes instruction in bitewing radiographs, manual and auto processing, patient and operator safety, biological effects of radiation, principles of radiography, evaluation of radiographs, and exposure of bitewing radiographs on Dexter's and patients. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 161 Dental Materials II 3 Credits Search Schedule
Emphasis on fixed and removable prosthodontics. Construction of a variety of temporary crowns and custom trays. Manipulation of impression materials, techniques for prepping and seating crown and bridge, laboratory steps for fabrication and sequence of patient's appointments. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 164 Preventive Dentistry 4 Credits Search Schedule
A comprehensive lecture and lab course that includes all principles of preventive dentistry. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 165 Chairside Assisting II 3 Credits Search Schedule
Introduction to rotary instruments, charting, legal entries, placement and removal of dental dams, matrices and wedges. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 166 Practical Lab Application II 2 Credits Search Schedule
Students are assigned rotations into the Campus Dental Clinic and visitations in local dental offices for observation and to assist dentists in the delivery of dental services to patients from the community at large. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into the Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 179 Dental Office Management 2 Credits Search Schedule
Introduction to basic business administration procedures for the dental office to include Dentrix software program. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into the Dental Assisting Technology core program.

4th Quarter Spring

DENT 170 Radiology II 4 Credits Search Schedule
Exposing, processing, mounting, and evaluating full mouth sets of radiographs using the paralleling and bisecting techniques. Includes technique errors, various holding devices, quality assessment, extraoral radiographs, and digital radiography. Students expose radiographs on manikins and lab patients. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 171 Dental Materials III 4 Credits Search Schedule
Manipulation of irreversible hydrocolloids for preliminary impressions resulting in the fabrication of study models, bleaching trays and mouth guards. Dental waxes and their uses are included. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 172 Dental Specialties II 2 Credits Search Schedule
Introduction to the specialty of orthodontics. Included is the study of bite classifications, diagnostic records, instrumentation, appliances and retainers. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 173 Dental Science II 2 Credits Search Schedule
Systems of the body will be presented with emphasis on anatomy and physiology in the head and neck region. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 174 Advanced Practice Lab 1 Credit Search Schedule
Students identify and practice skills taught first, second and third quarters in need of further review and higher proficiencies culminating in a program portfolio or comparable lab project. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 175 Chairside Assisting III 2 Credits Search Schedule
Introduction to a hazardous communications program found in a dental office; use of nitrous oxide as an analgesic; group research project involving various countries and cultural norms of our patients and peers; written and oral dental related reports. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into the Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 176 Practical Lab Application III 2 Credits Search Schedule
Rotation through the Campus Dental Clinic and dental office visitations while assisting in traditional and expanded skills as assigned. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into the Dental Assisting Technology core program.

5th Quarter Summer

DENT 180 Clinical Experience 8 Credits Search Schedule
Students are assigned to off campus dental practices in the community and rotate through the Campus Dental Clinic. Students are evaluated on-site both by the course instructor and by clinic personnel on chairside assisting, patient management skills, application of team concepts, and professionalism. Students are assigned two clinical sessions, four weeks per session. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into the Dental Assisting Technology core program.
DENT 181 Advanced Theory 2 Credits Search Schedule
Student preparation and review to take the Dental Assisting National Board Exam and become a Certified Dental Assistant. Prerequisite: Must be admitted into the Dental Assisting Technology core program.

General Education Requirements
Communication:

ENGL&101 English Composition I 5 Credits Search Schedule
Develops writing skills by focusing on strategies and techniques writers use to convey ideas, evaluate information, make a point, and participate in multiple discourse communities. Emphasizes both the process and the product of writing. This course was formerly known as WRIT 101, College Writing I. Prerequisite: Appropriate placement test scores OR appropriate completion of ENGL 095, ENGL 095X, or ENGL 098 OR concurrent enrollment in ENGL 110 with instructor's permission.
Distribution: AA, AAS, AS, DTA, COMMUNICATION, GER-CIS, AA-AAS-T-COMMUNICATION, AAS-COMMUNICATION: Reading/Writing, AAS-READING-WRITING

Additional Communication:

5 Credits in COMPUTATION

3-5 credits
 

DIVERSITY REQUIREMENT: South Puget Sound Community College requires all new students as of summer 2005 seeking an Associate Degree to complete a “diversity” course which meets the college criteria for listing as a diversity course and has been approved for such listing by the college Instructional Council prior to the student enrolling in the class.

 

Effective Catalog Year 2017-2018, Revised February 28, 2017