Clinical Dental Assistant

  • 6 Months
  • 240 Course Hours
  • $2,145

Overview

Prepare for the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Exam Online

Dental assistants play a valuable role in any dental care team, often handling a variety of tasks from assisting with treatment procedures to administrative duties. This 100% online course will help you gain the technical skills you need to join a dental office as a clinical dental assistant. Through interactive lessons, you will also prepare for the Radiation Health and Safety and Infection Control components of the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Exam.

CERTIFIED DENTAL ASSISTANT, CDA AND DANB are trademarks of the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc (DANB).  This program is not reviewed or endorsed by DANB.

Clinical Dental Assistant Externship

The 40-hour Dental Externship is only offered to our Clinical Dental Assistant students. The application for the externship is within the program. Students must be at least 80% complete with the program before applying but will also have up to 6 months after completion to apply. The externship is not guaranteed. It is an optional part of the program, but highly recommended training for clinical assistant experience. We will assist accepted externship students in finding local offices that they are interested in. Externship students will need to pass a background check and a possible drug test. They will be asked to purchase liability insurance and be responsible for purchasing this on their own ($40 to $45 for an annual policy). Students will need to provide an updated resume, current CPR certification and proof of current Hepatitis B vaccinations or a current negative test form provided by a doctor, depending on the state or the doctor office that has been selected for the externship. There may be more requirements depending on the state or dental office selected.

WIOA Approved

This is a Mississippi WIOA approved program.  Those interested in seeing if they qualify to use WIOA funding to pay for this training should contact their local MS WIN Job Center. 

What you will learn

  • The progression of dental disease and preventive techniques.
  • Identification of teeth and their functions, as well as the anatomy of the head and neck.
  • Sterilization and disinfection techniques and infection prevention.
  • How to complete patient charting and take vital signs.
  • How to set up trays for dental procedures.
  • Processing quality radiographs.

How you will benefit

  • You will have the opportunity to apply for the Dental Externship Program, which includes 40 hours of real-life training.
  • You'll also be ready to sit for the radiology and infection control portions of the Dental Assisting National Board examination to start your journey to becoming a certified dental assistant.
  • You'll receive a certificate of completion to show all that you've learned in this course.

How this course is taught

  • This is a non-credit program offered in partnership with ed2go.  You do not have to be admitted to the university to enroll in this program. 
  • This is an open enrollment program, which means you can enroll and start at any time.  There are no set start and end dates. 
  • This course is entirely online and can be completed at a pace and time that is convenient for you.  There are not set times you must attend classes.  
  • You will have 6-months from the date of enrollment to complete this program.  

Prerequisites

Students should have a high school diploma or equivalent. Basic computer skills are required. No healthcare or medical office work experience is required. A current CPR certification is required for employment, but it's not required for this program.


 

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a clinical dental assistant is currently just under $38,000 per year.

 

Employment is projected to grow by 19% through 2026, which is considered much faster than average. Job demand for dental assistants is projected to grow 10% over the next decade.


Objectives

Course Objectives

Prepare for the Radiology and Infection Control portions of the Dental Assisting National Board

Identify of teeth and their functions, as well as the anatomy of the head and neck

Sterilization and disinfection techniques and infection prevention

Completing patient charting and take vital signs

Requirements

Hardware Requirements:

  • This course must be taken on a PC. Macs are not compatible.

Software Requirements:

  • Windows XP or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge is also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Other:

  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:

  • Dental Assisting: A Comprehensive Approach
  • Dental Terminology
  • Dental Assisting Instrument Guide
  • Certification Exam Review for Dental Assisting: Prepare, Practice and Pass!
  • Flossing and Brushing Teaching Model
  • Pediatric Hygiene Kits

Externship packet and dental smock will be provided upon acceptance into the Externship Program.


 

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites prior to taking this course.

Curriculum

OVERVIEW OF THE DENTAL PROFESSION

Introduction to the Practice of Dentistry

DENTAL HEALTH AND DISEASE

Oral health and preventative techniques; etiology of dental disease

Anatomy and Physiology

Basic human physiology, embryology and histology; head and neck anatomy

INFECTION CONTROL

Microbiology, infection control and managing hazardous materials

BASICS OF DENTAL ASSISTING

Patient care, dental charting and pharmacology; anesthesia and sedation, chair-side assisting and dental instruments and tray setups

RADIOLOGY

Producing and processing quality radiographs; extraoral and digital radiography

DENTAL MATERIALS

Dental cements, bases, liners, and bonding agents; restorative materials, dental dams, matrix, and wedges

DENTAL ASSISTING IN THE SPECIALTY PRACTICE

Oral pathology and maxillofacial surgery; endodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and prosthodontics

DENTAL OFFICE MANAGEMENT

Records management; administrative techniques

Instructor

Cindy Lamkin

Cindy Lamkin has been employed in the dental field for over 20 years. She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in dental hygiene and holds Registered Dental Assistant and Registered Dental Hygienist credentials. In addition to practicing clinical hygiene, she has also worked in dental office administration and treatment coordination. Her career includes general dentistry, as well as specialty practices of periodontics, endodontics, pedodontics, and orthodontics.


 

FAQs

WHAT DOES A CLINICAL DENTAL ASSISTANT DO?

Clinical dental assistant jobs vary based on the dental office and the state your work in. Typical duties include preparing patients for treatment, sterilizing tools, instructing on proper dental hygiene, passing instruments to the dentist during procedures, keeping records of treatments, scheduling appointments and processing x-rays.

 

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO BECOME A CLINICAL DENTAL ASSISTANT?

Most clinical dental assistant training programs can be completed in one year or less. This does not include the time you will spend working in an externship or similar position to gain experience in the field. It also does not include the required two years of work experience you will need to become certified.

 

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A CERTIFIED DENTAL ASSISTANT?

To become a Certified Dental Assistant, you will need to pass the three components of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Certification Exam and meet the Board’s work experience requirements. You will need to pass the Radiation Health and Safety, Infection Control, and General Chairside components of the DANB Certification Exam as well as complete at least two years of work experience (or a minimum of 3,500 hours accrued over a two to four year period).

 

WHAT KIND OF HOURS DO CLINICAL DENTAL ASSISTANTS WORK?

Most dental assistants work a full-time schedule of 40 hours per week, however there are some dental assistants that work part-time. Many of the hours will be worked during the day, but depending on your dental office, you may be asked to work some evenings or weekends.

 

WHERE DO CLINICAL DENTAL ASSISTANTS WORK?

Almost all clinical dental assistants work in dental offices under the supervision of dentists, though some may find employment with the government or in physicians’ offices. Dental assistants work very closely with dental hygienists. In this position, you will be on your feet for large portions of the day and wear surgical masks, safety goggles, gloves, and protective clothing to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

 

IS A CLINICAL DENTAL ASSISTANT THE SAME AS A DENTAL HYGIENIST?

No, a dental assistant and a dental hygienist are not the same. A dental assistant directly supports a dentist with small, supervised jobs performed on patients’ teeth and administrative tasks in the office. A dental hygienist will work one-on-one with patients with less supervision. A dental assistant can practice after earning a dental assistant training certificate while a dental hygienist must obtain an associate degree in dental hygiene at minimum.

Overview

Prepare for the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Exam Online

Dental assistants play a valuable role in any dental care team, often handling a variety of tasks from assisting with treatment procedures to administrative duties. This 100% online course will help you gain the technical skills you need to join a dental office as a clinical dental assistant. Through interactive lessons, you will also prepare for the Radiation Health and Safety and Infection Control components of the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Exam.

CERTIFIED DENTAL ASSISTANT, CDA AND DANB are trademarks of the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc (DANB).  This program is not reviewed or endorsed by DANB.

Clinical Dental Assistant Externship

The 40-hour Dental Externship is only offered to our Clinical Dental Assistant students. The application for the externship is within the program. Students must be at least 80% complete with the program before applying but will also have up to 6 months after completion to apply. The externship is not guaranteed. It is an optional part of the program, but highly recommended training for clinical assistant experience. We will assist accepted externship students in finding local offices that they are interested in. Externship students will need to pass a background check and a possible drug test. They will be asked to purchase liability insurance and be responsible for purchasing this on their own ($40 to $45 for an annual policy). Students will need to provide an updated resume, current CPR certification and proof of current Hepatitis B vaccinations or a current negative test form provided by a doctor, depending on the state or the doctor office that has been selected for the externship. There may be more requirements depending on the state or dental office selected.

WIOA Approved

This is a Mississippi WIOA approved program.  Those interested in seeing if they qualify to use WIOA funding to pay for this training should contact their local MS WIN Job Center. 

What you will learn

  • The progression of dental disease and preventive techniques.
  • Identification of teeth and their functions, as well as the anatomy of the head and neck.
  • Sterilization and disinfection techniques and infection prevention.
  • How to complete patient charting and take vital signs.
  • How to set up trays for dental procedures.
  • Processing quality radiographs.

How you will benefit

  • You will have the opportunity to apply for the Dental Externship Program, which includes 40 hours of real-life training.
  • You'll also be ready to sit for the radiology and infection control portions of the Dental Assisting National Board examination to start your journey to becoming a certified dental assistant.
  • You'll receive a certificate of completion to show all that you've learned in this course.

How this course is taught

  • This is a non-credit program offered in partnership with ed2go.  You do not have to be admitted to the university to enroll in this program. 
  • This is an open enrollment program, which means you can enroll and start at any time.  There are no set start and end dates. 
  • This course is entirely online and can be completed at a pace and time that is convenient for you.  There are not set times you must attend classes.  
  • You will have 6-months from the date of enrollment to complete this program.  

Prerequisites

Students should have a high school diploma or equivalent. Basic computer skills are required. No healthcare or medical office work experience is required. A current CPR certification is required for employment, but it's not required for this program.


 

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a clinical dental assistant is currently just under $38,000 per year.

 

Employment is projected to grow by 19% through 2026, which is considered much faster than average. Job demand for dental assistants is projected to grow 10% over the next decade.


Objectives

Course Objectives

Prepare for the Radiology and Infection Control portions of the Dental Assisting National Board

Identify of teeth and their functions, as well as the anatomy of the head and neck

Sterilization and disinfection techniques and infection prevention

Completing patient charting and take vital signs

Requirements

Hardware Requirements:

  • This course must be taken on a PC. Macs are not compatible.

Software Requirements:

  • Windows XP or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge is also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Other:

  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:

  • Dental Assisting: A Comprehensive Approach
  • Dental Terminology
  • Dental Assisting Instrument Guide
  • Certification Exam Review for Dental Assisting: Prepare, Practice and Pass!
  • Flossing and Brushing Teaching Model
  • Pediatric Hygiene Kits

Externship packet and dental smock will be provided upon acceptance into the Externship Program.


 

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites prior to taking this course.

Curriculum

OVERVIEW OF THE DENTAL PROFESSION

Introduction to the Practice of Dentistry

DENTAL HEALTH AND DISEASE

Oral health and preventative techniques; etiology of dental disease

Anatomy and Physiology

Basic human physiology, embryology and histology; head and neck anatomy

INFECTION CONTROL

Microbiology, infection control and managing hazardous materials

BASICS OF DENTAL ASSISTING

Patient care, dental charting and pharmacology; anesthesia and sedation, chair-side assisting and dental instruments and tray setups

RADIOLOGY

Producing and processing quality radiographs; extraoral and digital radiography

DENTAL MATERIALS

Dental cements, bases, liners, and bonding agents; restorative materials, dental dams, matrix, and wedges

DENTAL ASSISTING IN THE SPECIALTY PRACTICE

Oral pathology and maxillofacial surgery; endodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and prosthodontics

DENTAL OFFICE MANAGEMENT

Records management; administrative techniques

Instructor

Cindy Lamkin

Cindy Lamkin has been employed in the dental field for over 20 years. She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in dental hygiene and holds Registered Dental Assistant and Registered Dental Hygienist credentials. In addition to practicing clinical hygiene, she has also worked in dental office administration and treatment coordination. Her career includes general dentistry, as well as specialty practices of periodontics, endodontics, pedodontics, and orthodontics.


 

FAQs

WHAT DOES A CLINICAL DENTAL ASSISTANT DO?

Clinical dental assistant jobs vary based on the dental office and the state your work in. Typical duties include preparing patients for treatment, sterilizing tools, instructing on proper dental hygiene, passing instruments to the dentist during procedures, keeping records of treatments, scheduling appointments and processing x-rays.

 

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO BECOME A CLINICAL DENTAL ASSISTANT?

Most clinical dental assistant training programs can be completed in one year or less. This does not include the time you will spend working in an externship or similar position to gain experience in the field. It also does not include the required two years of work experience you will need to become certified.

 

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A CERTIFIED DENTAL ASSISTANT?

To become a Certified Dental Assistant, you will need to pass the three components of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Certification Exam and meet the Board’s work experience requirements. You will need to pass the Radiation Health and Safety, Infection Control, and General Chairside components of the DANB Certification Exam as well as complete at least two years of work experience (or a minimum of 3,500 hours accrued over a two to four year period).

 

WHAT KIND OF HOURS DO CLINICAL DENTAL ASSISTANTS WORK?

Most dental assistants work a full-time schedule of 40 hours per week, however there are some dental assistants that work part-time. Many of the hours will be worked during the day, but depending on your dental office, you may be asked to work some evenings or weekends.

 

WHERE DO CLINICAL DENTAL ASSISTANTS WORK?

Almost all clinical dental assistants work in dental offices under the supervision of dentists, though some may find employment with the government or in physicians’ offices. Dental assistants work very closely with dental hygienists. In this position, you will be on your feet for large portions of the day and wear surgical masks, safety goggles, gloves, and protective clothing to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

 

IS A CLINICAL DENTAL ASSISTANT THE SAME AS A DENTAL HYGIENIST?

No, a dental assistant and a dental hygienist are not the same. A dental assistant directly supports a dentist with small, supervised jobs performed on patients’ teeth and administrative tasks in the office. A dental hygienist will work one-on-one with patients with less supervision. A dental assistant can practice after earning a dental assistant training certificate while a dental hygienist must obtain an associate degree in dental hygiene at minimum.

Registration Information

WIOA Approved

This is a Mississippi WIOA approved program.  Those interested in seeing if they qualify to use WIOA funding to pay for this training should contact their local MS WIN Job Center. 

This course is 100% online. Start anytime. After enrolling you will have 6 months to complete the program at a pace that is convenient for you.  You can get started today by clicking the "Enroll Now" button below and completing your registration at our partner ed2go site.