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Dental Assisting Program

2016-2017

Career Technical Education

This is a Career Technical Education Program. According to the California Department of Education, Career Technical Education is a program of study that involves a multiyear sequence of courses that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide students with a pathway to postsecondary education and careers.

Description

This program has a prerequisite course that is offered during the summer session only. This program is a two-semester certificate program which prepares the student for employment to work as a Dental Assistant (DA) as well as prepares the student for their state and national boards. Training includes four and six-handed dentistry in: basic and advanced chairside dental support procedures; sterilization of instruments and infection control; prepare and manipulate a variety of dental materials; work on the dental patients under the supervision of the dentist; California Dental Practice Act; oral and written communications in the dental setting; operate dental x-ray equipment including exposing, processing, and mounting dental radiographs manually and digitally; coronal polish; dental business administration software and responsibilities are also taught as well as all dental specialties. Students must complete four units of Directed Clinical Practice. This allows the student to participate in the externship to advance their clinical skills.

The program is accredited by the Dental Board of California and the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Upon completion of the program the student is awarded a Certificate of Achievement from the college and may complete an Associate degree with additional coursework. Students will receive a Certificate of Completion to operate dental x-ray equipment in the State of California. Proof of completion in Coronal Polish, Dental Sealants, Infection Control and Dental Practice Act will be presented to successful students at the completion of the program. The student is eligible to take the California Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) State written and practical boards and the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) National written examination.

Students must maintain a grade of "C" (75%) or better in all courses to continue in the program.

Course repetition in this program is not permitted. This program is governed by the Allied Health Department Policies.

Eligibility for enrollment in this program is determined by a special admissions process. Interested students should contact the admissions office at 619-388-2684.

Dental Assisting Mission Statement

The Dental Assisting Program at San Diego Mesa College provides dental assisting students the knowledge and skills needed to be confident, which will lead to success in the dental profession as a dental health team professional as well as enhance dental assisting in the community.

Award Type Units
Certificate of Achievement:
Dental Assisting (RDA,CDA) 35
Associate of Science Degree:
Dental Assisting (RDA,CDA) 35*

*and courses to meet graduation requirements, general education and electives as needed to meet the minimum of 60 units required for the degree.

Directed Clinical Practice (DCP) Requirement

Students accepted into this program will be required to successfully complete DCP, clinically-based courses held in health care facilities. These facilities may require background checks, including fingerprinting and drug screening, as a condition of placement at the clinic.

Refusal to submit to a background check, or failure to meet clearance criteria established by the health care facility, may prevent placement in the DCP courses and thus, it may not be possible to successfully complete the program.

Health care facilities also require adherence to strict standards of conduct. Facilities may refuse educational access to any person who does not adhere to the facility's standards of safety, health and ethical behavior. This may be cause of removal from the program.

Program Goals

The Dental Assisting Program is committed to:

  1. Keeping current with the state-of-the-art dental equipment and techniques;
  2. Providing dental assisting students currency for employment;
  3. Providing the dental assisting students with the best training for success in their future careers;
  4. Promoting safe, ethical, and quality patient care;
  5. Developing or enhancing the student's critical thinking, time-management, problem solving and communication skills.

Upon completion of the Dental Assisting Program, the student will:

  1. Have the skills and knowledge to function as a competent dental assistant;
  2. Obtain licensure and certifications applicable to dental assisting;
  3. Acquire professional characteristics to function as a member of the dental team.

Program Emphasis

The San Diego Mesa Dental Assisting Program requires state-of-the-art dental equipment, hardware, and software to maintain relevance for dental assisting students and to be competitive with the other dental assisting schools. The dental field is changing rapidly in regards to new technology, equipment and allowable duties. According to the local Dental Society advisory members there is not only a demand for qualified Registered Dental Assistants but also the Dental Business Administrative Assistant.

Career Options

According to the Employment Development Department Labor Market Information Division study of 2010-2016, 70 new positions are projected for San Diego County in the area of dental assisting with an average of 120 a year for the next four years. Labor Market data continues to show a shortage of qualified dental assistants.

Student learning outcomes

Students who complete the Dance Program will be able to:

  • Communication: Explain dental assisting skills and knowledge to achieve career and educational goals.
  • Personal Actions and Civic Responsibility: Obtain licensure and certifications applicable to dental assisting.
  • Self-Awareness: Conduct themselves as legal and ethical dental professionals within the scope of practice for dental auxiliaries.
  • Critical Thinking: Evaluate all necessary skills, both clinical and social, to become a chairside Dental Assistant or Credentials on state and national level.

Students will be assessed through a combination of performance evaluations, written assignments, and written tests and quizzes.

Certificate of Achievement

Dental Assisting (RDA,CDA)

Courses Required for the Major: Units
Summer
DENA 50 Dental Communications 3
Fall
DENA 53 Preventive Dental Care 2
DENA 53L Preventive Dental Care Lab 0.5
DENA 56 Basic Dental Science 3.5
DENA 116 Dental Materials 2
DENA 116L Dental Materials - Lab 1
DENA 54 Basic Dental Assisting 2
DENA 54L Basic Dental Assisting Lab 2
DENA 129 Dental Radiology I 2.5
DENA 129L Dental Radiography Lab 0.5
DENA 86A Directed Clinical Practice 1
Spring
DENA 60 Clinical Business Management 1.5
DENA 60L Clinical Business Management Lab 1
DENA 139 Dental Radiography II 0.5
DENA 62 Dental Specialties I 2.5
DENA 62L Dental Specialties I Laboratory 2
DENA 82 Dental Specialties II 2.5
DENA 82L Dental Specialties II Lab 2
DENA 86B Directed Clinical Practice 3
Total Units = 35

Associate of Science Degree

Dental Assisting (RDA,CDA)

For graduation requirements see Requirements for the Associate Degree

Electives as needed to meet minimum of 60 units required for the degree.

Courses Required for the Major: Units
Summer
DENA 50 Dental Communications 3
Fall
DENA 53 Preventive Dental Care 2
DENA 53L Preventive Dental Care Lab 0.5
DENA 56 Basic Dental Science 3.5
DENA 116 Dental Materials 2
DENA 116L Dental Materials - Lab 1
DENA 54 Basic Dental Assisting 2
DENA 54L Basic Dental Assisting Lab 2
DENA 129 Dental Radiology I 2.5
DENA 129L Dental Radiography Lab 0.5
DENA 86A Directed Clinical Practice 1
Spring
DENA 60 Clinical Business Management 1.5
DENA 60L Clinical Business Management Lab 1
DENA 139 Dental Radiography II 0.5
DENA 62 Dental Specialties I 2.5
DENA 62L Dental Specialties I Laboratory 2
DENA 82 Dental Specialties II 2.5
DENA 82L Dental Specialties II Lab 2
DENA 86B Directed Clinical Practice 3
Total Units = 35