Dental Assisting (RDA, CDA) Program

 

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Dental Assisting Program

2017-2018

Career Education

This is a Career Education Program. According to the California Department of Education, Career 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.

Check back in September for a valid application

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 to succeed as a dental health care professional. As a State and Nationally accredited program, we promote learning, leading to licensure and credentialing in dental assisting. By providing quality education to our diverse students, we contribute to the regional dental workforce, which provides access to care and dental health in San Diego County.

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.

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.

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.

Program Philosophy

The Dental Assisting Program:

  • Provides students with a foundation in basic literacy and critical thinking skills to succeed as a dental assistant.
  • Encourages students to become life-long learners.
  • Provides the dental community with graduates who will have the knowledge and skills to become a vital member of the dental health team.
  • Encourages students to pursue personal, professional, and educational goals through critical and independent thought.
  • Prepares students to act as legal and ethical dental professionals.

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.

Certificate of Achievement

Dental Assisting (RDA,CDA)

Courses Required for the Major: Units
Summer
DENA 50 Dental Communications 3
Fall
DENA 56 Basic Dental Science 3.5
DENA 58 Preventive Dental Care 1.5
DENA 58L Preventive Dental Care Lab 0.5
DENA 117 Dental Materials 2.5
DENA 117L 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 56 Basic Dental Science 3.5
DENA 58 Preventive Dental Care 1.5
DENA 58L Preventive Dental Care Lab 0.5
DENA 117 Dental Materials 2.5
DENA 117L 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

Program Learning Outcomes