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Dental Assisting

About
Are you "good with people"? A "TEAM" player? Do you have the "I'm in it to help everybody attitude"? Then you have what it takes for a career in dentistry and should check out the two-year, six-credit, Dental Assisting program, where you will be introduced to the various career paths of the dental profession, including dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistant, dental laboratory technician, and dental receptionist. This field of study includes infection control and OHSA standards, anatomy and physiology, tooth morphology, oral histology, preventive dentistry, applied psychology, operative dental techniques, dental materials/laboratory skills, and much more. Dental Assisting I and II students gain valuable hands-on experience in the state-of-the-art clinic working on actual dental patients.

Students in this two-year course are introduced to the careers in dentistry, including dentist,dental students working on a tooth mold dental hygienist, dental assistant, dental laboratory technician, and dental receptionist. Students practice and learn about many of the skills in the state of the arts dental clinic working on actual patients necessary to become a dental assistant. Study includes infection control and OSHA standards, anatomy and physiology, tooth morphology, oral histology, preventive dentistry, applied psychology, effective communication, office administration and management, use of dental software, operative dentistry techniques, and dental materials/laboratory skills. Students will prepare for the following credentials or certifications: Dental Assisting National Board (DANB)- Radiation Health & Safety (RHS) Examination, Infection Control Examination (ICE); National Registered Dental Assistant Certification Examination (NRDA); National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) Assessment- Dental Assisting; and the Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth Examination.

The short list of duties includes preparing the patients for preventive or operative treatment, setting up and breaking down the rooms and sterilizing instruments.  Chairside assistants facilitate procedures by using the suction equipment to maintain a clear field and pass necessary instruments and materials to the dentist or hygienist.  They must also expose, develop and mount patient radiographs and maintain accurate patient records.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2022 should bring with it more than 74,000 new openings for dental assistants which equates to a 24.5% in employment growth-a much faster than the average for all professions.  With this growth rate, offices will be looking for qualified and certified dental assistants to care for their patients. Upon successful completion of this course and certifications in hand, the average salary is $34,000 per year with benefits.

Credentials and certifications:
Dental Assisting National Board (DANB)
Radiation Health and Safety (RHS)
Infection Control Examination (ICE)
NEW IN 2015: Anatomy, Morphology, and Physiology
National Association for Health Professionals (NAHP)
National Registered Dental Assisting Certification (NRDA)
National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI)
Dental Assisting Assessment
Workforce Readiness Skills (WRS)
Commonwealth Examination
American Heart Association
Healthcare Provider CPR Certification

Internships
All students at the Tech Center have the option to obtain an internship towards the end of their experience here. The philosophy is there is invaluable knowledge and experience to be gained working side by side with a licensed professional in an actual working environment.

After high school opportunities
Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in dentistry, dental hygiene, and dental laboratory technician. Additional careers include, Dental Equipment Technician and Dental Supply Salesperson.For more information visit:
www.odu.edu
www.vcu.edu
www.tncc.edu
www.jsrcc.edu
www.mcv.edu

Careers
Dental Assistant
Dental Hygienist
Dental Laboratory Technician
Dental Equipment Technician
Dentist
Dental Supply Salesperson
 
Internships
All students at the Tech Center have the option to obtain an internship towards the end of their experience here. The philosophy is that there is invaluable knowledge and experience to be gained working side-by-side with a professional in an actual environment. The following dental offices have welcomed our interns as Dental Assistants, which provided them with practical, hands-on experience:

Michael L. Kahan, DDS
James Milonas, DDS
Harlan Hendricks, DDS
Randall Furman, DDS
James Meares, DDS
Tarek Zaki, DDS
Michael P. Folck, DDS
Rashmi Bhatt, DDS
Tracy Oliver, DDS
Wolfgang Bay, DDS
Larry Liebowitz, DDS
Thomas Dunham, DDS
Les Richmond, DDS
Carter Richards, DDS
Tiffany Kessler, DDS
Jack Mavromatis, DDS


Instructor: Meredith Davis