Dental Assisting (DA12)  Diploma

Program Description:

The Dental Assisting accredited program prepares students for employment in various positions in today's dental offices. The Dental Assisting program provides learning opportunities that introduce, develop, and reinforce academic and occupational knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for job acquisition, retention, and advancement. Additionally, the program provides opportunities to upgrade present knowledge and skills or retrain in dental assisting. Graduates of the program receive a Dental Assisting diploma and are eligible to earn the Georgia Expanded Duties certification, Dental Radiography certification, Coronal Polishing certification, and are eligible to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination.

Cohort Entrance date: Fall semester

Core courses: Each semester

Program Cohort Acceptance Capacity: 24 students (effective Fall 2019)

Occupationally specific courses: Fall semester, day classes only, On campus (not virtual)

Program admission requirements:

  • High School diploma or equivalent
  • Applicant must be at least 17 years old
  • 2.0 GPA or higher

Minimum Test Scores

Writing 232 Reading Comprehension 55
Arithmetic 235 Arithmetic 40

Students must attend program orientation.

Applicant must provide documentation of the following after program admission:

  • negative tuberculosis skin test or chest X-ray
  • physical exam (within 12 months)
  • current dental exam with cleaning (within 6 months)
  • AHA BLS for the Healthcare Provider certification (must not expire prior to August 2024)
  • Hepatitis B vaccination series or declination form
  • immunization record

All documentation is required after program admission by the dates set by the program director.

Dental Assisting students must achieve at least a “C” in all required courses in the program and maintain a 2.0 GPA to remain in the program.

Dental Assisting students may not repeat a core or occupational course that he/she has failed or withdrawn from more than once. This includes withdrawal from a course prior to midterm. Any student who withdraws or fails a course twice will be automatically dropped from the program. A student who withdraws or fails a course for the second time cannot re-enter the program. Students will be allowed only 2 failing course grades during their enrollment in the program. Upon failing the first class (whether it is general core courses, allied health science courses, dental courses, or dental practicum courses) the student will attend a conference with selected faculty. The student will be placed on a probationary status with a prescribed action plan. The student must adhere to the prescribed action plan completely. Any student that fails any dental assisting course while in the occupational program, must repeat all occupational courses of the program.

Credits Required for Graduation: 54

Beginning Spring 2022 (January 2022), ALL FIRST TIME college students will be required to take the College Success (COLL 1020) course.

The program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements”. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission’s web address is: The Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Basic Skills Courses 9 credits
ENGL 1010

Emphasizes the development and improvement of written and oral communication abilities. Topics include analysis of writing, applied grammar and writing skills, editing and proofreading skills, research skills, and oral communication skills.

MATH 1012

Emphasizes the application of basic mathematical skills used in the solution of occupational and technical problems. Topics include fractions, decimals, percents, ratios and proportions, measurement and conversion, formula manipulation, technical applications, and basic statistics.

PSYC 1010

Presents basic concepts within the field of psychology and their application to everyday human behavior, thinking, and emotion. Emphasis is placed on students understanding basic psychological principles and their application within the context of family, work and social interactions. Topics include an overview of psychology as a science, the nervous and sensory systems, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, intelligence, lifespan development, personality, psychological disorders and their treatment, stress and health, and social relations.

Occupational Courses 46 credits
ALHS 1011

Focuses on basic normal structure and function of the human body. Topics include general plan and function of the human body, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, nervous and sensory systems, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, lymphatic system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system, and reproductive system.

DENA 1050
Corequisite: DENA 1080

Introduces fundamental microbiology and infection control techniques. Topics include: classification, structure, and behavior of pathogenic microbes; mode of disease transmission; body's defense and immunity; infectious diseases; and infection control procedures in accordance with CDC recommendations and OSHA guidelines.

DENA 1080
Corequisites: DENA 1050, DENA 1340

Focuses on normal head and neck anatomy and the development and functions of oral anatomy. Topics include: dental anatomy; oral histology; oral embryology; osteology of the skull; muscles of mastication and facial expression; temporomandibular joint, blood, lymphatic, nerve supply of the head; and salivary glands and related structures.

DENA 1340
Pre/Corequisites: DENA 1050, DENA 1080

Introduces student to ethics and jurisprudence for the dental assistant and to chairside assisting with diagnostic and operative procedures. Topics include: ethics and jurisprudence in the dental office; four-handed dentistry techniques; clinical data collection techniques; introduction to operative dentistry; and dental material basics.

DENA 1030
Pre/Corequisites: DENA 1080, DENA 1340

Introduce students to the area of preventive and public health dentistry. Topics include: patient education techniques; plaque control techniques; types and use of fluoride; diet analysis for caries control; and dietary considerations for the dental patient.

DENA 1070
Prerequisites: DENA 1080, ALHS 1011

Focuses on the diseases affecting the oral cavity and pharmacology as it relates to dentistry. Topics include: identification of the disease process; signs/symptoms of oral diseases and systemic diseases with oral manifestations; developmental abnormalities of oral tissues; basic principles of pharmacology; drugs prescribed by the dental profession; drugs that may contraindicate dental treatment; and applied pharmacology (regulations, dosage, and applications).

DENA 1350
Prerequisite: DENA 1340

Focuses on chairside assisting with dental specialty procedures. Topics include: prosthodontic procedures (fixed and removable); orthodontics; pediatric dentistry; periodontic procedures; oral and maxillofacial surgery procedures; endodontic procedures and expanded duties approved by law for performance by dental assistants in the state of Georgia. Students will pass a comprehensive examination and successfully perform all required clinical skills to receive EDDA certification.

DENA 1390
Prerequisite: DENA 1080

After completion of the course the student will be able to provide radiation safety for patient and self, expose x-rays, process x-rays, and prepare dental images for the dental office. Topics include: fundamentals of radiology and radiation safety; radiographic anatomy and interpretation; intraoral and extraoral radiographic techniques; and quality assurance techniques.

DENA 1090
Prerequisite: DENA 1350

Reviews information concerning all didactic areas tested by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Topics include: collecting and recording clinical data; dental radiography; chairside dental procedures; prevention of disease transmission; patient education and oral health management; office management procedures; and management of medical emergencies.

DENA 1400
Prerequisite: DENA 1340

Emphasizes procedures for office management in dental practices, utilizing basic computer skills and dental practice management software. Topics include: oral and written communication; records management; appointment control; dental insurance form preparation; accounting procedures; supply and inventory control; employability skills and basic computer skills. A computer lab provides basic skills in computer use and utilization of these skills to perform office procedures on a microcomputer.

DENA 1460
Prerequisites: DENA 1050, DENA 1340

Practicum focuses on infection control in the dental office and assisting with diagnostic and simple operative procedures. Topics include: infection control procedures; clinical diagnostic procedures; and general dentistry procedures.

DENA 1470
Prerequisite: DENA 1350 Corequisite: DENA 1460

Practicum focuses on demonstrating the progression of chairside assisting in general dental procedures and/or dental specialty procedures. Topics include: advanced general dentistry and specialties.

DENA 1480
Pre/Corequisites: DENA 1460, DENA 1470

Practicum continues to focus on demonstrating the progression of chairside assisting with general and specialty procedures. Topics include: general dentistry; specialty procedures; preventive dentistry; expand duties; and radiography techniques.

Select from one of the following courses 3
COLL 1020

Prepares students for success in college, on the job, and in the community. Topics include information access, basic computer skills, academic strategies, financial literacy, career exploration, and civic engagement. A Student Success Plan is the capstone project.

MAST 1060

Emphasizes essential skills required for the medical practice. Topics include: office protocol, time management, appointment scheduling, medical office equipment, medical references, mail services, medical records, and professional communication.

ALHS 1040

Introduces a grouping of fundamental principles, practices, and issues common in the health care profession. In addition to the essential skills, students explore various delivery systems and related issues. Topics include: basic life support/CPR, basic emergency care/first aid and triage, vital signs, infection control/blood and air-borne pathogens.

COMP 1000

Introduces the fundamental concepts, terminology, and operations necessary to use computers. Emphasis is placed on basic functions and familiarity with computer use. Topics include an introduction to computer terminology, the Windows environment, Internet and email, word processing software, spreadsheet software, database software, and presentation software.

Click to view profile for Ivey Bradley, BA, CDA, EDDA
Program Chair

Dental Assisting Program Chair/Instructor

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