DENTAL ASSISTING TECHNOLOGY –CURRICULUM AND CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

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DENTAL ASSISTING TECHNOLOGY –CURRICULUM AND CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

One-Year Certificate

Dental assistants are specially-trained, technically-skilled members of the dental team.  Students are trained in the steps required for a variety of dental procedures and become proficient in preparing and transferring dental instruments and materials throughout those procedures.  Students will learn to take x-rays, polish teeth, apply dental sealants, take impressions, and provide oral health instructions.

In addition to basic chairside dental assisting, Missouri law provides advancement opportunities for dental assistants licensed in performing expanded functions.  The State Technical College of Missouri Dental Assisting Technology program includes Expanded Function Dental Assisting (EFDA) licensing courses and examinations.  Graduates of the program are eligible to receive EFDA certificates/licenses to provide specialized patient care.

The Dental Assisting Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678; 312-440-2500; www.ada.org.

The Dental Assisting Technology program is an eleven-month program with general education courses taken the prior summer semester.  This certificate program includes 1,166 total instructional hours including a minimum of 300 clock hours of clinical study in which students will participate at approved clinical sites.  To be successful, students need effective communication skills and a solid background in science and math.

Upon successful completion of the program, Dental Assisting Technology students will be state certified in Assisting in the Administration of and Monitoring Nitrous Oxide-Oxygen Anesthesia and eligible to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examination to earn the designation of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

Enrollment in the Dental Assisting Technology program is limited and students are selected for this program on a competitive basis.  Contact the Office of Admissions or https://www.statetechmo.edu/dat/ for the specific application requirements, forms, and deadline.

Students who are admitted to the Dental Assisting Technology program should be aware that they will be subject to drug screening.  Persons who have been convicted or pled guilty to certain felony offenses may be ineligible for placement in required clinical externships, to sit for the DANB examination, or hold any direct patient care positions.

To remain enrolled in the Dental Assisting Technology program students are required to earn a grade of 75% or better in every Dental Assisting Technology course.  It is a graduation requirement of the Dental Assisting Technology (DAT) program for students to earn a grade of 75% or better in all “Core Curriculum” courses and a grade of “C” or better in all “General Education Requirements” and “Graduation Requirements” courses.

To view program outcome data, visit https://www.statetechmo.edu/programs/healthsci/dat/datfacts/.

Program Mission

The mission of the Dental Assisting Technology program is to educate students to become knowledgeable and clinically proficient dental assistants who can assist the dentist in providing optimum patient care.

Program Goals

The goals of the program are to provide the opportunity for students to develop:

  • Clinical proficiency in the performance of direct patient care.
  • The knowledge and fundamental skills required to qualify for Expanded Function Dental Assistant certificates/licenses in Missouri.
  • Analytical and problem solving skills to pass the Dental Assisting National Board examination and earn the designation of “Certified Dental Assistant”.
  • Desirable chairside assisting skills for job placement.

 
  CORE CURRICULUM  
  Credit Hours
DAT 100 Infection Control 2
DAT 111 Dental Science and Health I 3
DAT 112 Dental Science and Health II 1
DAT 122 Chairside Assisting I 4
DAT 131 Dental Materials I 5
DAT 141 Dental Radiology I 4
DAT 151 Clinical Externship I 2
DAT 161 Chairside Assisting II 5
DAT 171 Dental Materials II 2
DAT 182 Dental Radiology II 3
DAT 190 Dental Office Procedures 2
DAT 191 Clinical Externship II 4
SUB-TOTAL 37
       
GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
General Education Requirements 6
Must Include:
Six credit hours from Area 1. Oral & Written Communication 6
  SUB-TOTAL 6
       
    PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS  
SEM 101 Clinical Practice Seminar I 0
SEM 102 Clinical Practice Seminar II 0
SUB-TOTAL 0
 
    GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS  
COM 125 Job Search Strategies 1
    SUB-TOTAL 1
    It is a graduation requirement of the Dental Assisting Technology (DAT) program for students to earn a grade of 75% or better in all “Core Curriculum” courses and a grade of “C” or better in all “General Education Requirements” and “Graduation Requirements” courses.  
     
    PROGRAM TOTAL 44

 

DAT 100  Infection Control.  In this course, students will study microorganisms and diseases of concern in dentistry. Emphasis will be placed on modes of disease transmission, practicing aseptic techniques, and methods for preventing disease transmission through personal protection, disinfection, and sterilization. Focus will be on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, Center for Disease Control (CDC) and American Dental Association (ADA) recommendations, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines. This course will prepare students for the Dental Assisting National Board Infection Control Examination (DANB-ICE).  2 credit hours.

DAT 111  Dental Science and Health I.  This course is an in-depth study of dental anatomy and morphology. It includes basic sciences related to the practice of dentistry. Dental assistants must be knowledgeable in these sciences in order to understand why dental procedures require specific and detailed protocols for compliance with a standard of care for best practices.   3 credit hours.

DAT 112  Dental Science and Health II.  In this course, students will identify bones of the skull and also nerves and blood vessels that supply the teeth and oral cavity. Students will learn the names and locations of muscles of facial expression and mastication. This course also includes the study of nutrition for dental and whole body health. Material learned will serve as a foundation for the practice of dental assisting.   Prerequisites:  DAT 100, DAT 111, DAT 122, DAT 131, DAT 141, and DAT 151 with a grade of 75% or better.  1 credit hour.

DAT 122  Chairside Assisting I.  This course teaches the hands-on daily activities the chairside assistant performs to be an effective member of the dental health team.  The manipulation and care of dental instruments and equipment, and their relationships to dental operative procedures are emphasized.  The study of theory and development of preclinical and clinical skills prepare students for their extramural clinical practicum.  Lectures include instruction on how to care for patients with special needs, office emergencies, and first aid.  Two –year certification through the American Red Cross or American Heart Association in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a requirement prior to patient contact.  4 credit hours.

DAT 131  Dental Materials I.  This course teaches students the properties and manipulation of materials used in the process of delivering dental care to patients.  Students will learn to apply critical thinking in the selection and preparation of dental materials as well as the proper clinical techniques required in working with these substances. Lab skills are taught and evaluated to clinical proficiency.  Skills that cannot be taught to clinical proficiency will be taught and evaluated to preclinical or lab proficiency.  5 credit hours.

DAT 141  Dental Radiology I.  In this course, students will be taught theories and how to apply techniques in dental radiography and digital imaging. Students will develop competencies using bisecting and paralleling techniques with dental film, x-ray sensors, and phosphor plates. Emphasis is placed on interpretation of radiographic findings to determine if a radiograph is of diagnostic value. This course also prepares students for the Dental Assisting National Board Radiation Health and Safety Examination.  4 credit hours.

DAT 151  Clinical Externship I.  This course consists of approximately sixteen hours of clinical practicum per week in participating dental facilities.  In conjunction with Clinical Externship II, students rotate through three general dental practices and observe two specialty practices for a minimum of 300 clinical hours.  2 credit hours.

DAT 161  Chairside Assisting II.  This course teaches the American Dental Association (ADA) recognized dental specialties including Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Pediatric Dentistry, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Periodontics, and Prosthodontics. This course will also include direct restorative procedures, sizing and cementing stainless steel crowns, and palliative care for minor dental emergencies. Students will also complete requirements for Missouri Expanded Functions and Assisting in the Administration of and Monitoring Nitrous Oxide-Oxygen Anesthesia.  Prerequisites:  DAT 100, DAT 111, DAT 122, DAT 131, DAT 141, and DAT 151 with a grade of 75% or better.  5 credit hours.

DAT 171  Dental Materials II.  This course teaches dental assisting students the properties and manipulation of the more specialized materials utilized in dental specialties in the process of providing dental care to patients.  Students will learn to apply critical thinking in the selection and preparation of these dental materials as well as the proper clinical techniques required in working with these substances.  Lab skills are taught and evaluated to preclinical, clinical, and/or lab proficiency.  Prerequisites:  DAT 100, DAT 111, DAT 122, DAT 131, DAT 141, and DAT 151 with a grade of 75% or better.  2 credit hours.

DAT 182  Dental Radiology II.  This course emphasizes digital imaging, interpretation of radiographic findings, and correction of exposure and image handling and processing errors to attain diagnostically-acceptable images.  In addition, students will demonstrate proficiency in identification of radiographic landmarks through written examinations.  Knowledge of infection control and radiation safety for both the patient and dental assistant is of utmost concern when exposing radiographs; therefore, students will build on infection control and safety protocols learned in Dental Radiology I.  Students will be required to expose radiographic images on a variety of patients during their clinical externship.  Prerequisites:  DAT 100, DAT 111, DAT 122, DAT 131, DAT 141, and DAT 151 with a grade of 75% or better.  3 credit hours.

DAT 190  Dental Office Procedures.  This course will introduce students to administrative dental assistant duties such as: managing electronic dental records, information management, dental patient scheduling, inventory management, financial arrangements and collections, dental insurance processing, and bookkeeping procedures including both accounts receivable and accounts payable. Students will also learn to work with a digital practice management software system.   Prerequisites:  DAT 100, DAT 111, DAT 122, DAT 131, DAT 141, and DAT 151 with a grade of 75% or better.  2 credit hours.

DAT 191  Clinical Externship II.  This course consists of approximately sixteen hours of clinical practicum per week in participating dental facilities.  Building on skills obtained during Clinical Externship I, students continue to rotate through three general dental practices and observe two specialty practices for a minimum of 300 clinical hours. Prerequisites:  DAT 100, DAT 111, DAT 122, DAT 131, DAT 141, and DAT 151 with a grade of 75% or better.  4 credit hours.