Skip Ribbon Commands Skip to main content
Sign In Navigate Up
Dental Assisting

 

Program          Awards:
Certificate of Achievement &
Associate in Science Degree Optional
Approx. Cost
$3,500
Approx. Length
2 semesters
Accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, Board of Dental Examiners, Committee on Dental Auxiliaries
Prerequisite
Allied Health a010 (.5u) & Allied Health a111

Dental Assisting is a challenging field requiring skills in chairside assisting, dental radiology, preventive therapy, patient management, receptionist duties, expanded functions and office management. Qualified dental assistants find employment opportunities in a variety of settings such as private dental offices, specialty practices, federal or state dental programs and dental schools. 

The Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of approval.  The commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.  The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted as 312-440-4653 or at 211 E. Chicago Ave, Chicago IL 60611.  The program is also accredited by the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, Dental Board of California, 2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1550, Sacramento, CA 95815. Students are eligible to take the National Certification Exam and State Licensing Examination for Registered Dental Assistants.
 
Registered Dental Assistant functions are taught to laboratory competency and clinical competency where applicable.  A list of laboratory and clinical competencies is available on request.  Students must complete all required courses with a grade of “C” or better.  This program is a sequential program.  All fall semester courses must be taken concurrently in the fall semester.  All spring semester courses must be taken concurrently in the spring semester.

Program goal

The overall goal of the program is to prepare students for careers as Registered/Certified Dental Assistants by providing the necessary knowledge, skills, and aptitudes through didactic, laboratory, and clinical experience.

Program Outcome
The outcome of the program is to meet the needs of the local health care community by preparing students for employment as a professional and competent registered dental assistant.
 
Program objectives
The students will be able to:
  • Successfully pass State and National Board Examinations
  • Successfully pass Coronal Polish, Pit and Fissure Sealant and Radiation Safety Examinations and all clinical requirements.
  • Function competently in all areas of dental assisting, including appropriate infection control practices as mandated by OSHA.
  • Participate in the dental assisting organization, thereby contributing to the growth and development of the dental assisting profession.
  • Understand and comply with the State Dental Practice Act and Scope of Practice for Dental Assistants.
Description of job for which program prepares students

Dental Assisting is a challenging field requiring skills in chair side assisting, dental radiology, preventive therapy, patient management, receptionist duties, expanded functions and office management.

Required program prerequisites
q  Allied Health 010: Health Occupations
     
Associate of Science Degree and Certificate
May receive certificate without completion of the Associate in Science Degree.
 
Does this program transfer?
Some units are transferable to Dental Hygiene Programs and may also transfer for an advanced degree in allied health programs at California State Universities.
 
Procedure for program admittance
All students must complete the course Allied Health 010 – Health Occupations in order to apply to the program.  Students are selected and admitted to the program on a first come, first serve basis following completion of Allied Health 010. Students must be admitted to the program in order to enroll in any DA class.
 
Program start
The program starts in the fall semester every year.  All classes must be taken in sequence as listed in the college catalog.
 
Employment possibilities upon program completion
Private dental offices, specialty practices, federal or state dental programs, dental schools, Health Maintenance Organizations, dental office managers, dental receptionists, dental insurance clerk, and sales representatives.  There is a high demand for dental assistants and Registered Dental Assistants (RDA) in Orange County, all of California, and nationwide.  This trend is predicted for the next decade.
 
Salary
Starting salary range (without RDA license): $15-$20/hour. With experience and RDA license/certifications salary range is $20-$25/hour. Excellent benefits and working conditions.
 
Length of program
Two semesters and one intersession.
                             
Spaces available
28 
 
 Licenses obtained from program.
1.  State Radiation x-ray license
2.  Coronal polishing Certification
3.  Pit and Fissure Sealant Certification
4.  CPR certificate
5.  Ultrasonic Scaling for cement removal from orthodontic bands.
6.  Student will be eligible to take the Registered Dental Assisting examination
     and the National Certification examination upon completion of the program.
 
Background checks
All students will be required to submit an application for pre-clinical background/drug screen check. The background check will include County Criminal Records (Past 7 Years), Residency History Search, Social Security Alert, Nationwide Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Registry (OIG/GSA), and Nationwide Sexual Offender Registry. The drug screening will include THC, cocaine, opiates, PCP, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methaqualone, propoxyphene and methadone. If requested by the clinical site, the results of the background/drug checks must be provided to them by the student.

Clinical requirements

The program requires that students participate in scheduled course clinical experience concurrent with classroom courses. Clinical assignments provide students with hands-on application of knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and laboratory courses at OCC contracted hospitals, medical centers, and/or outpatient facilities.  It is the responsibility of each student to provide his or her own transportation to assigned clinical sites.

Prior to entry into clinical, students are required to complete/obtain:

q  A physical examination
q  Criminal background/drug screen check clearance
q  CPR, HIPAA training, Blood borne pathogen training provided through Al H A115
q  Student liability insurance
 
Students must adhere to appropriate required dress code which may include a laboratory coat or scrubs, clinic shoes, nametag, and other program specific requirements.
 
The Registered Dental Assisting Program has established the Bloodborne Pathogen Program to minimize or eliminate exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other infectious diseases that may result from the performance of their duties as students in the program or in clinical affiliates.  The Registered Dental Assisting Program complete Bloodborne Pathogen Program Policy is available to applicants and can be found on the Orange Coast College website. The policy on Bloodborne Pathogens is also available to applicants in the Consumer Health Science Division and the program coordinator’s office included with an application.
 
Clinical sites may require drug testing or other blood work.  There may be exposure to hazardous materials and infectious pathogens in the clinical setting.  Students will adhere to all safety and standard precautionary measures.  The student receives no financial compensation for clinical experience, but does receive course units as a required class in the program. All students participate in clinical rotation at UCLA School of Dentistry.

Other
Dental Assisting classes must be taken and completed in the appropriate sequence in order to advance from fall semester to the spring semester and graduate from the program.

 

Contact information
Joy Myers, Program Coordinator              Caryn Plum, Allied Health Advisor
Office: Allied Health Bldg., 205-C              Office: CS&D, Room 101-C
jlmyers@occ.cccd.edu                            cplum@occ.cccd.edu
Phone: 714-432-5565                             714-432-5945
                      
                                   Make a Counseling Appointment online
 
                              Allied Health Program Assistant: 714-432-5729
                               Jane McLaughlin - jmclaughlin@occ.cccd.edu