Dental Assisting

Division: Health Science

Division Dean

Rebecca R. Gomez

Faculty

Elizabeth Pacheco
Joel Silva

Counselors

Kelly Carter
Denise Vo
Doreen Villaseñor

Program Description

The Dental Assisting Program is a two-semester program that includes patient care experiences in a fully equipped on-site facility, with students assigned to clinics or dental offices for their clinical externship experiences. Course content provides the academic knowledge necessary for the competent practice of dental assisting and registered dental assisting.

The Cypress College Dental Assisting program 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 Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education. The Cypress College Dental Assisting Program is also accredited by the Dental Board of California, the Accrediting body for the dental professionals (Auxiliaries) in California through the Department of Consumer Affairs.

At the completion of the program the student will have satisfied the requirements set forth by the Dental Board of California to be eligible for the California Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) examination and the National Certification Examination for Dental Assistants. These requirements include satisfactory completion of course work in Radiation Safety, Coronal Polish, Dental Sealants, Infection Control, the Dental Practice Act, CPR, and all the duties for the Dental Assistant and Registered Dental Assistant. Upon satisfactory completion of the Registered Dental Assistant examination, the student will be licensed to perform all functions set forth in the Dental Practice Act by the Dental Board of California.

Program Goals

The goal of the Dental Assisting Program is to provide the student with the educational opportunity to attain the academic knowledge and competence necessary to qualify for both the National Certification Examination and the California State Registered Dental Assistant Examination, and to prepare the student for dental assisting entry-level employment as an integral member of the dental health team.

Program Objectives

  1. To provide a dental assisting program to meet challenges presented by demographic changes of the current decade.
  2. To promote a dental assisting curriculum that helps build student’s educational and career goals in a success-oriented learning environment.
  3. To provide students with the academic resources and clinical experiences to perform the functions approved by the California Dental Practice Act for a Dental Assistant and a Registered Dental Assistant with competence and judgment.
  4. To provide students with academic knowledge and clinical skills in the Dental Practice Act, infection control and CPR.
  5. To prepare the student to qualify for certification in Radiology Safety, Coronal Polishing and Dental Sealants.
  6. To maintain a positive communication network between the advisory committee, dental community, and dental assisting program alumni.
  7. To create a safe learning environment in compliance with federal and California state standards and regulations.

Minimum Standards

  1. Eligibility for admission to Cypress College.
  2. High School graduation, or passing of the General Education Development (GED) or high school proficiency test, or an Associate’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college/university. Spring high school graduates may apply and if accepted to the program must submit proof of graduation before enrolling in the Fall courses.
  3. Evidence of good physical and mental health as determined by medical examination upon admission to the program and prior to enrollment.

Application Procedures

  1. Applications must be completed online starting the month of February. Applications will be accepted until the program is full or the fall semester begins. Please see the Health Science Application link on the Health Science home page http://www.cypresscollege.edu/academics/divisions-special-programs/health-science.
  2. Enrollment is limited to the first 24 qualified applicants.

Selection Procedures

Qualified applicants will be accepted into the program first come first serve based on the date of a completed Dental Assisting application and supporting documents.

DA 016 C Dental Materials 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Acceptance into the Dental Assisting Program.

Term hours: 36 lecture and 54 laboratory. This course is a study of the structure, chemical and physical properties and manipulation of materials used in dentistry. Laboratory application of dental materials and the relationship of dental materials to the oral environment is included. Emphasis in this course is on specific materials and functions delegated to the registered dental assistant by the State of California. $85 materials fee payable at registration.

DA 058 C Clinical Externship I 2 Units

Prerequisite(s): Acceptance into the Dental Assisting Program and successful completion of all first semester courses.

Term hours: 9 lecture and 72 laboratory. This course is the first in a series of clinical externships. The emphasis is on the beginning level skills and training for the dental assistant. Dental Assisting students will complete clinical rotations in dental offices and/or schools of dentistry. A minimum of eight hours per week will be spent in the clinical setting.

DA 059 C Clinical Externship II 3.5 Units

Prerequisite(s): Successful completion of first semester Dental Assisting Program and enrollment in all of the second semester courses.

Term hours: 18 lecture and 144 laboratory. This course is the second in a series of clinical externships. The emphasis is on advanced skills and training for the dental assistant. Dental Assisting students will complete clinical rotations in dental offices and/or schools of dentistry. A minimum of sixteen (16) hours per week will be spent in the clinical setting.

DA 061 C Oral Anatomy/Dental Assisting 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Acceptance into the Dental Assisting Program.

Term hours: 54 lecture. This course is a study in dental anatomy and physiology, oral embryology, head and neck, tooth morphology and histology, occlusion and malocclusion, innervations of the oral cavity essential to the proper care of patients during clinical treatment. Emphasis is placed on the proper identification of dental structures within the oral cavity, and the recognition of normal occlusion in contrast to malocclusion.

DA 062 C  Preventive Dental Health - Basics 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Acceptance in the Dental Assisting Program.

Term hours: 36 lecture and 54 laboratory. This course deals with the concepts of preventive dental health and basics of dental assisting which includes applied nutrition, and patient education, dental and medical emergencies, taking and evaluating medical and dental histories, systemic diseases with dental care implications, principles and fundamentals of infection control, sterilization and disinfection in the dental environment, dental photography, and oral evacuation.

DA 063 C Chairside Assisting I 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Acceptance in the Dental Assisting Program.

Term hours: 36 lecture and 54 laboratory. This course provides instruction in chairside assisting, which includes the history of dentistry, the dental team, pre-clinical knowledge and entry-level skills for the dental assistant in instrumentation, advancing to the application and principles of restorative dentistry and applying asepsis and infection control protocols during restorative dentistry. $90 materials fee payable at registration.

DA 065 C Radiology/Dental Assisting 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Acceptance into the Dental Assisting Program or practicing Dental Assistant enrolled in class to meet state certification.

Term hours: 36 lecture and 54 laboratory. This course covers the didactic, pre-clinical work on mannequins and clinical instruction on patients as required by the California State Dental Practice Act in regard to radiation safety. Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be certified to take x-rays on patients in the dental office. The student will complete 72 (seventy-two) hours of instruction to meet state requirements. $74 materials fee payable at registration.

DA 066 C  Radiology II/Dental Assisting (formerly Clinical/Dental Radiology) 1 Unit

Prerequisite(s): Enrollment in the Dental Assisting Program.

Term hours: 54 clinical laboratory. This course provides advanced instruction on the exposure of intraoral and extraoral radiographs. The bisecting technique, paralleling technique, panoramic technique and the use of dental radiology aids will be utilized. Emphasis in this course is placed upon the student's performance demonstrating the ability to consistently produce diagnostic radiographs. $69 materials fee payable at registration.

DA 067 C Dental Specialties 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Enrollment in Dental Assisting Program and successful completion of all first semester courses.

Term hours: 36 lecture and 54 laboratory. This course provides instruction in the principles and procedures to function in the specialty area of dentistry: orthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, pediatric dentistry, prosthodontics, and oral surgery. It also provides information and clinical practice in those functions legally delegated to the Dental Assistant and Registered Dental Assistant in the California Dental Practice Act. It includes rules and regulations implemented by the Board of Dental Examiners pertaining to licensure. $107 materials fee payable at registration.

DA 068 C Chairside Assisting II 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Enrollment in the Dental Assisting Program and successful completion of all first semester courses and/or an employed dental assistant.

Term hours: 36 lecture and 54 laboratory. This course provides instruction in the principles, instrumentation, and procedures to function as a Registered Dental Assistant according to the legal stipulation in the California Dental Practice Act and implemented by the Board of Dental Examiners.

DA 069 C Clinical Externship III 2.5 Units

Prerequisite(s): Enrollment in the Dental Assisting Program and successful completion of all first semester courses.

Term hours: 144 laboratory. This course is the third in a series of clinical externships. The emphasis is on advanced skills and training for the dental assistant and registered dental assistant. Dental assisting students will complete clinical rotations in dental offices and/or schools of dentistry. A minimum of sixteen (16) hours per week will be spent in the clinical setting.

DA 070 C Dental Office Procedures 2 Units

Prerequisite(s): Enrollment in the Dental Assisting Program and successful completion of all first semester courses.

Term hours: 36 lecture. This course is designed to provide instruction, both didactic and practical application, in the skills and responsibilities of a dental administrative assistant. In addition, the students will be trained to use the Dentrix Dental Software program to become knowledgeable in all areas of practice management utilizing the computer. These areas include patient files, charting and treatment planning, appointment scheduling, reports and insurance claim processing. $5 materials fee payable at registration.

DA 099 C  Dental Assisting Independent Study 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Approved Independent Study Learning Contract

Pass/No Pass/Letter Grade Option. Term hours: 54 hours of scheduled conferences or clinics per term according to instructor. This course is designed for students with background/experience in Dental Assisting who wish to increase their knowledge and experience in applied areas. Students will participate in independent study on assigned areas under staff supervision. Course may be taken four times for credit.

The Dental Assisting (DA) Program prepares students to demonstrate competencies required for employment as a Dental Assistant or Registered Dental Assistant in the field of Dentistry.  The courses taught by the Dental Assisting Program contribute to ISLOII-Career Technical Education Certificate, Degree, and Transfer Competencies, including the following PSLOs: IA2-CTE Knowledge and Skills, IIBI-Reading, IIB2-Writing, IIB3-Communicating, IIB4-Presenting, IIIC1-Analysis, IIIC2-Computation, IIIC4-Problem-Solving, IIIC5-Technology, IVD1-Personal, Academic, and Professional Development, IVD2 Global Citizenship.  In addition, the Dental Assisting Program prepares students to qualify for the State and National exams, meet the ethical and regulator duties, and be an integral member of the dental health team.