A certified dental assistant is an essential member of the healthcare team. In this position you will work alongside dentists in the care of patients. While working as a dental assistant, you will engage in a multitude of tasks that can range from preparing patients for dental examinations and carrying out patient education in oral health to working with office administrative responsibilities.
Summit College’s Dental Assistant program prepares students to enter the professional world with confidence in their knowledge and with a set of skills to succeed in the ever-growing field of dental care. Our program provides the perfect balance between class and hands-on education that employers are looking for. The staff at Summit College is equipped with skilled and highly trained professional instructors who will challenge and guide students, so they will be able to reach their full potential.
At the end of the Dental Assistant program, you will be prepared to provide excellent care to patients, and launch your career in the rapidly growing field of dental care.
Benefits of Summit College
Summit College is committed to offering individual attention to each student, providing them with the knowledge needed in order to succeed in the dental assistant field. You will receive constant support and help from knowledgeable instructors who will assist you on your path to achieving your goals.
At Summit College you will develop a wealth of professional skills and abilities that dental offices are looking for. The Dental Assistant program prepares students to provide excellent care and attention to patients, whether it’s prepping them for care, charting oral conditions or even chairside assisting. You will be a key member of the dental care team.
Our program is designed with a strong foundation in theoretical knowledge and an abundance of hands-on training offered in modern facilities, laboratories and classrooms that will prepare you not only for everyday tasks, but for the most complicated challenges of the dental care field. In Summit College’s Dental Assistant program, among other areas, you can expect to learn the following:
- Oral health and nutrition
- Oral cavity anatomy
- Dental Terminology
- Patient anxiety and relief
- Coronal polishing
- Dental office management
These are just some of the many abilities and topics you will learn. You will also learn how to apply critical thinking skills to problem solving. At Summit College, we offer small class sizes to create a more personal connection among peers and instructors, helping support one another to reach their personal, educational and career goals.
When you join Summit College’s community as a dental assistant student, you will join a learning environment with personal attention from a highly accomplished faculty, academic support, free tutoring services, modern facilities and resources, and great career service support that will include resume assistance, mock interviews and externships, among other services.
Summit also has flexible scheduling options that include day, evening and weekend courses.
Allied Health courses are on a monthly start rotation. Please check with the Admissions department for the next start date.
The dental assistant role has been in increasing demand in recent years. Research shows a link between oral health and general health, and the demand for preventive dental services is likely to increase significantly. As dental practices grow, more dental assistants will be needed. Employment for certified dental assistants is projected to grow by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics*. This exceeds the overall projected employment growth rate of 7 percent. Now is a great moment to launch your career.
As a certified dental assistant, you will work directly with dentists and patients, and you will play a major role in providing good dental care for patients. You may also have responsibilities in the front office, laboratory and treatment area.
You will be fully trained and ready to work in the following clinical environments:
- Dental facilities
- Endodontic offices
- Orthodontics offices
- Hospital dental clinics
- Public health facilities
- Dental supply manufacturers
Summit College offers the instruction you need through modern facilities, experienced faculty, academic support, and a blend of classroom and hands-on experience with clinical and externship hours. Our program prepares you to do an excellent job and thrive in the career path you have chosen.
Certified dental assistants have a very important role in providing dental care, but they also have responsibilities in the office and laboratory. Your duties may include, but are not limited to:
- Sterilizing and disinfecting instruments and equipment
- Preparing and setting instruments and materials for treatment
- Updating patient dental records
- Appointment scheduling
- Marketing and patient communication
- Easing and preparing patients for dental care
- Assisting dentist during treatment
- Instructing patients on oral healthcare
- Processing dental X-Rays
- Preparing materials for impressions and restorations
- Making casts of teeth and mouth impressions
Our Dental Assistant program is designed to give the students the skills and knowledge required to work in a dental office, with emphasis on both dental office management and back-office clinical skills. The administrative portion of Summit’s Dental Assistant program emphasizes receptionist responsibilities, marketing techniques and business office systems. The clinical portion prepares students to work as chairside assistants in a dental setting.
Our curriculum includes:
- Oral and Health Nutrition
- Preparation of Patient Care
- Introduction to Chairside Assisting
- Dental Radiology
- Dental Specialties
- Chairside Restorative Materials
- Laboratory Materials & Techniques
- Advanced Chairside Functions
- Dental Office Management
- Career Development
The goals of our Dental Assistant program are to equip students for an industry-related, entry-level dental assistant position, and to help them develop quick thinking skills to perform their jobs with excellence and as smoothly as possible.
Upon graduation from the Dental Assistant program, you still need to earn a license from the state Dental Board. You must complete at least 12 months of satisfactory paid work experience with a licensed dentist, show successful completion of Board-approved courses in infection control and meet California Dental Practice Act requirements for a license to be issued.