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Dental Assisting

Award Type: Certificate of Achievement

Approved by the California Board of Dental Examiners, this program provides technical skills needed for employment in a dental office. The student develops skills to participate as a member of the dental health team in chairside general and specialty procedures, office management and x-ray techniques. Admittance to the dental assisting program requires the student to obtain program application forms and follow outlined procedures for enrollment. Applications and specific information are available at the Health Science Office, located in Building M Science Complex. A grade of "C" or better in the designated dental assisting classes is required to progress in the program. Upon completion of the dental assisting certificate requirements, students are eligible to take the California Registered Dental Assistants Examination. Students are encouraged to complete the associate in science degree.

The graduate of the Certificate of Achievement in Dental Assisting will:

  • Perform all Registered Dental Assistant duties as specified by accreditation standards through directed lectures, demonstrations, guided practice, written assignments, exams and evaluation of skills to prepare for taking the Registered Dental Assisting State Board Exam and the Law and Ethics examination and gain employment as a Registered Dental Assistant.
  • Practice assisting skills that demonstrate a working knowledge of infection control protocols.
  • Demonstrate office management skills including computer skills technology to perform the following tasks; scheduling, inventory management, ordering supplies, treatment planning and patient charting.
  • Complete requirements to obtain a certificate in pit and fissure sealants.
  • Complete requirements to obtain a dental x-ray certificate.
  • Complete requirements to obtain a coronal polishing certificate.
  • Apply knowledge of basic dental assisting sciences in a professional setting.
  • Explain the purpose of the state Dental Practice Act.
  • Model professional conduct and appearance and demonstrate behavior of the dental workplace.
  • Assist in diagnostic and operative procedures by demonstrating general chair side skills.

Program Requirements

A total of 32.5 units is required for the certificate.

1st Semester (Summer Semester)

Course Number Course Title Units
DA 310 Exploring Career Opportunities 1.0

2nd Semester (Fall Semester) 17 units

Course Number Course Title Units
DA 314 Introduction to Bio-Dental Science 3.0
DA 317 Dental Assisting Theory 7.0
DA 318 Basic Dental Assisting Skills 3.0
DA 319 DA Administrative Skills 3.0
DA 320 DA Practicum in the Community 1.0

3rd Semester (Spring Semester) 14.5 units

Course Number Course Title Units
DA 325 Clinical Dental Procedures 3.0
DA 326 Dental Radiography 4.0
DA 327 Dental Screening 0.5
DA 328 Pit and Fissure Sealants 1.0
DA 329 Dental Assisting Practicum 4.0
DA 330 Coronal Polish 1.0
DA 332 RDA Law and Ethics 0.5
DA 348 RDA - Success Seminar 0.5

Recommended electives (for both 2nd and 3rd semesters):

Course Number Course Title Units
DA 380 Dental Assisting Skills Lab 0.5