Dental Assistant

Train to Work as a Dental Assistant

SJVC’s Dental Assistant program trains students in all aspects of working with a dentist, including patient care, and office and laboratory duties. Our balance of hands-on experience and classroom instruction prepares students with the dental assisting skills and related theory they’ll need to perform on the job. Whether you use your Dental Assistant training for a career chairside or in an administrative capacity, you are well prepared at the program’s completion.

Dental Assistant Program Details

Skills Students Learn

Our Dental Assistant students learn:

  • Dental anatomy and radiology
  • Dental software
  • Preventive dentistry
  • Dental practice management
  • Coronal polishing

Program Course Examples

Courses* taken by our Dental Assisting students include:

Orientation to Dentistry
This course focuses on the study of basic principles of microbiology, embryology and morphology as they relate to the oral environment and dentistry. Nutrition from a whole body concept and its interrelated effects on dental health and an introduction to standard infection control procedures will be covered in this course. Procedures of the Dental Healthcare Professional (DHCP) will be introduced in a simulated laboratory setting.

Dental Anatomy and Patient Management
Emphasis of this course is on the basic study of the anatomy of the head and neck, blood supply of the head and neck and innervation of the teeth. This course also provides the theory as well as hands- on-approach to medical and dental emergencies. Emphasis is given to step-by-step procedures performed by the Dental Healthcare Professional (DHCP) and will be performed on typodonts in a laboratory setting, in a pre-clinical setting on patients and clinical observation of dental practice management in an extramural facility. This course will also present principles and practices of infection control, OSHA regulations, law and ethics, practice management and communication.

Preventative Clinical Procedures
This course presents the principles of preventive dentistry including coronal polish and pit and fissure sealants. Instruction in applicable oral anatomy, histology, physiology, oral pathology as well as normal and abnormal anatomical and physiological tooth descriptions will be covered. Students will be required to perform coronal polish and place pit and fissure sealants on laboratory typodonts as well as clinical patients. Emphasis is given to step-by- step procedures performed by the Dental Healthcare Professional (DHCP) and will be performed on typodonts in a laboratory and pre- clinical setting, on patients, and clinical observation of dental practice management in an extramural facility. This course will also present principles and practices of infection control, OSHA regulations, law and ethics, practice management, and communication. A grade of “C” or better is required to earn credit for this course.

*Students will take additional program courses on top of the three listed courses. Courses may vary by program, credential level and campus.

Program Outcomes

Our Dental Assistant students can earn a certificate of completion in approximately 10 months.

Graduates also earn certifications in CPR, Infection Control, HIPAA, Dental Radiation Safety, Coronal Polish and Pit & Fissure Sealant. Graduates are eligible to take the Dental Board of California Examination for State Licensure as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA).

The Dental Board of California publishes institutional pass rate information.

Program Availability

SJVC’s Dental Assistant program is available at the following campuses:

Career Opportunities

Our dental assisting training provides graduates for a career that offers many work environment options. As a dental assistant or dental office employee, you can expect to perform the following job duties:

  • Provide chairside assistance to the dentist
  • Take dental impressions
  • Coronal polish and fluoride treatments
  • Expose and process X-rays
  • Practice infection control procedures
  • Apply pit and fissure sealants

Accreditation and Approvals

The SJVC Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Dental Board of California.

Dental Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Ste. 1550
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 263-2300 | http://www.dbc.ca.gov 

San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at www.accjc.org.

San Joaquin Valley College is a private institution and is approved to operate as an accredited institution in the state of California by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). BPPE physical address: 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833; mailing address: P.O. Box 980818, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818; phone (916) 431-6959; toll free (888) 370-7589; fax (916) 263-1897; website: www.bppe.ca.gov.