Dental Assisting - Somerville
DA517CT - Certificate Program
CIP Code: 51.0601
SOC Code: 31-9091
Day and Evening Programs
Program ObjectiveThe Dental Assisting program is designed to prepare the student with a strong foundation on which to build a successful career as a competent entry-level dental assistant. A well-rounded curriculum offers the student knowledge and skills in the technical areas of preventive dentistry, four-handed dentistry, chair side assisting with emphasis in diagnostics, operative, fixed prosthodontics, pediatric dentistry, orthodontic procedures, endodontic procedures, surgical procedures, and expanded functions, and dental radiology. Because of the wide range of opportunities for the graduate, the program also focuses on the business aspects of a dental practice including practice management. Students and graduates are encouraged to sit for the following Dental Assisting National Board Exams; Radiography, Health and Safety and Infection Control, although there is no guarantee of passing the certification test and passing the test is not a graduation requirement. Successful completion of the Dental Assisting program qualifies the student to be licensed with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry in order to become employed as a Dental Assistant in the State of Massachusetts. Students will be required to complete out of class assignments in each course, except externship.
Course DescriptionThis course discusses all of the recognized specialties of dentistry. Students will be given information on the organizations that represent the many members of the dental team. Students will gain an understanding of the communication required to effectively care for the patients. The client’s basic needs and multi-cultural interaction are identified. The importance of understanding human psychology and an individual’s belief system is explored in order to improve communication skills. This course covers the many skills necessary to manage a dental office. The student will utilize a computer with database software to register patients and perform other data entry necessary for a dental office. An introduction to bookkeeping, dental insurance, basic accounting, and coding and billing procedures is introduced. Employment strategies, ethics and jurisprudence are discussed. Students will learn how to record conditions in the patient’s oral cavity on a dental chart using symbols, numbers, and colors in a shorthand technique. Accurate charting is stressed as part of the patient’s legal record that is maintained in the office. This course covers both manual and computer charting.
Course DescriptionThis course introduces the student to general and dental anatomy and physiology. All the body systems are described in terms of their functions and the head and neck anatomy as it relates to dentistry. The student will learn the landmarks of the head, face and oral cavity. Embryology is covered with specific information covering the human face development and changes during the zygote and embryo phases. Material on the components of the periodontium and each fiber group associated with the periodontal ligament and the gingival tissue will be covered. The student will learn the study of the structure and form of teeth. The course will cover the location, eruption schedule and function of each tooth in the primary and permanent dentition. The students will learn the proper way to take and record vital signs, which include: body temperature, pulse, respiration and blood pressure. The student will also be introduced to the methods used to manage pain and anxiety related to dental procedures. General, local, topical anesthesia and general sedation/premedication are discussed.
Course DescriptionThis course covers how to prepare and care for the patient during dental procedures. The Dental Assisting student will learn the proper way to review medical, dental and health history with the patients. This course describes the components of a dental office and explains the equipment found in each section as well as its function. The students learn about different types of dental practices and how the dentist’s personality and professional goals affect the office setting. Concepts of chairside assisting are explained, including how to prepare the office for patients and how to seat and discharge dental patients. Ergonomic positioning for the assistant and the operator are discussed. This course includes information for the dental assistant to work with patients that have special needs. The students will learn how to transfer instruments to the dentist while chairside assisting and how to maintain the operating field. This includes the use of the dental light, the air/water syringe, the high volume evacuation, saliva ejector and mouth props. Hands-on learning includes identifying instruments, rotary instruments and hand-pieces used in diagnostic and operative dental procedures. This also includes handling, sterilization and storage techniques. Hands-on training on manikins and student partners will allow the student the opportunity to master chairside functions.
Course DescriptionThis course discusses dental materials used in dental restorative procedures. The students will learn the standards and organizations that regulate dental materials. Properties of dental materials are discussed and applied to restorative materials. This course covers materials used to restore teeth such as dental amalgam and composite. It also identifies dental cements, bases and liners, cavity varnish and bonding agents. To enhance the students learning the steps in cavity preparation are explained. Student knowledge and skills are developed with hands-on learning, by mixing the materials and understanding what is necessary to prepare, place and cleanup dental restorative materials. This course also reviews the many materials utilized in the dental laboratory and during the procedures of removable and fixed Prosthodontics. Students will learn how to handle reversible hydrocolloid materials, take impressions, bite registrations and pour dental models. The students will learn the skill of trimming the dental study models. The dental assistant student will gain knowledge and skills in all phases of removable and fixed Prosthodontics treatment, including dentures, partials, including cosmetic/esthetic dentistry, dental implant retainers, and core build-ups. Hands-on learning of instruments and tray setups assists the student’s learning of this specialty. Students will learn how to handle final impression materials, fabricated temporary crowns, take bite registrations, pack retraction cord, make bleaching trays, and review gingival retraction procedures. The scope of Prosthodontics is discussed to include the patient considerations and case presentations.
Course DescriptionThis course discusses the importance of caring for the oral cavity properly. The student will learn the skills necessary to brush and floss teeth, maintain healthy teeth and gums, and motivate patients in the proper methods of maintaining optimal oral health. The course covers the many oral hygiene aids and their uses, the types of toothbrushes and their techniques, types of floss, along with the oral hygiene skills for patients with special needs. The history of fluoride and its use in dentistry are covered. Adequate nutrition and the importance of choosing the right foods for optimum dental health are also a component of this course. This course also discusses the scope of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Dentistry as well as the role of each team member. Through the study of common behavior characteristics of children, students will gain the knowledge and skill to understand and manage children of various ages, handle common emergencies, and work with the parents or guardian of the patient. Hands-on training on manikins and student partners of common procedures and equipment in pediatric dentistry are covered including how to perform a coronal polish and how to place sealants. The student will learn the scope of Orthodontics and the procedures and instruments used in Orthodontic Dentistry. Basic Endodontic procedures, such as root canal treatment, pulpotomy and pulpectomy, and surgical Endodontics are clearly defined and demonstrated. Students will master the procedure tray set-ups and the sequence of the procedure, and gain an understanding of pulpal and periapical diseases. This course will also cover the knowledge and skills relating to procedures commonly performed by the Periodontist.
Course DescriptionThis course discusses the properties and effects of radiation. The components of a dental x-ray unit are discussed. The function of each component of the x-ray unit is explained as well as the safety precautions. The student will learn how x-rays are produced. This course covers the composition, sizes, types and storage of dental x-ray film. The dental assisting student will learn how to expose quality radiographs on various patients. Both the bisecting and the paralleling techniques for exposing intra-oral films will be discussed. This course demonstrates extra oral x-ray techniques, equipment, film, and production. The student will learn normal and abnormal radiographic landmarks and common x-ray production errors. The knowledge and skills to produce special radiographs, such as, occlusal, pediatric, edentulous surveys, Endodontic radiographs and radiographs on special need patients will be covered. Hands-on training on a patient simulator manikin (Typodont) will allow the student the opportunity to master the safety measures, infection control techniques, the exposure, the processing, mounting, and storage of patient x-rays. Knowledge and skills necessary to ensure quality radiographs are integrated into this course.
Course DescriptionThis course discusses the various ways a dental radiograph can be taken. The dental assisting student will learn how to expose quality radiographs on a patient simulator manikin. Both the bisecting and the paralleling techniques for exposing intraoral films will be discussed. This course demonstrates extra oral x-ray techniques, equipment, film, and production. The student will learn normal and abnormal radiographic landmarks and common x-ray production errors. The knowledge and skills to produce special radiographs, such as, occlusal, pediatric, edentulous surveys, Endodontic radiographs and radiographs on special need patients will be covered. Hands-on training on a patient simulator manikin (Typodont) will allow the student the opportunity to master the safety measures, infection control techniques, the exposure, the processing, mounting, and storage of patient x-rays. Knowledge and skills necessary to ensure quality radiographs are integrated into this course.
Course DescriptionThe goal of the clinical externship is to foster the student’s personal and professional development as a Dental Assistant. The externship offers the student the unique opportunity to work on a variety of patients with varying conditions under the immediate supervision of a licensed dentist. Throughout the clinical experience the student will build confidence and master their skills as an entry-level dental assistant.
Course DescriptionThe goal of the clinical externship is to foster the student’s personal and professional development as a Dental Assistant. The externship offers the student the unique opportunity to work on a variety of patients with varying conditions under the immediate supervision of a licensed dentist. Throughout the clinical experience the student will build confidence and master their skills as an entry-level dental assistant in specialty offices, such as, Orthodontics, Periodontics, Endodontics, Prosthodontics, Oral Surgery and Pediatric Dentistry.
Course DescriptionThis course introduces skills and strategies that will help students be successful in completing their course of study and in entering the world of work. The overall goal of this course is to facilitate a smooth transition to school by engaging the students in curriculum focusing on academic and life skills. Students will make connections with key personnel within the school who will assist with their questions and provide guidance throughout their education. Students learn about time management, financial management, goal setting, learning strategies, career awareness and critical thinking strategies that will provide them with skills to be successful in school and in life. Learning to work well in teams and individually are positive outcomes of the way this course is taught. Students will learn important computer and digital technology concepts and skills necessary to succeed in careers and in life. No prior computer experience is assumed. Students will become familiar with essential concepts, including an introduction to computers and the Internet.