Dental Assistant

Diploma Program Overview

NCC’s Dental Assistant program is designed to provide the student with a combination of theory and practical skills. The hands-on training you’ll receive will be needed for working as a dental assistant in modern health and dental care facilities. Dental assistants will study relevant terminology to help them complete dental examinations, procedures, and daily tasks accurately.

The Dental Assistant Program teaches students a combination of skills taught in preparation for the ever-changing field of dentistry and orthodontics. Students study dental radiography, dental sciences, operative dentistry, laboratory procedures, dental anatomy/orthodontics, and dental health. Upon completion of the Dental Assistant program, which includes classroom training and an externship, a diploma is awarded.


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What Does A Dental Assistant Do?

A Dental Assistant’s duties include care for patients, appointment scheduling, and recordkeeping, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. Dental Assistants may perform some or all of the following duties1:

  • Ensure that patients are comfortable in the dental chair
  • Prepare patients and the work area for treatments and procedures
  • Sterilize dental instruments
  • Hand instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Dry patients’ mouths using suction hoses and other equipment
  • Instruct patients in proper oral hygiene
  • Process x-rays and complete lab tasks, under the direction of a dentist
  • Keep records of dental treatments
  • Schedule patient appointments
  • Work with patients on billing and payment

Your role as a dental assistant requires anticipating a dentist’s needs. You need to be able to provide them with the appropriate equipment they need to complete a procedure. Dental Assistants need to have everything ready to go, be able to think on their feet and adjust when things don’t go as planned.

In addition to supporting the dentist with their duties, Dental Assistants help handle the administrative side of a dental practice. They must often plan appointments, keep records and on occasion, take inventory and place orders for new equipment.

For more information check out our top Blog Articles on what it’s like to be a Dental Assistant:

How Long Is Dental Assistant School?

NCC’s Dental Assistant Diploma program is ten months with an externship. This program is offered full-time on-campus with both morning and evening classes available.

What Will You Learn In Dental Assistant School?

A dental assistant’s primary responsibility is to help the dentist. The courses you take will include instructions on how to correctly utilize dental equipment. Basic dental procedures will also be taught as part of this training to help patients prepare for more extensive operations. The Dental Assistant training program consists of:

  • Dental Office Emergencies and Compliance
  • Dental Radiography
  • Dental Specialties
  • Operatory Dentistry
  • Laboratory Procedures
  • Dental Anatomy and Orthodontics
  • Dental Health
  • Modern Concepts in Dental Assisting
  • Administrative Dentistry
  • Dental Assistant Externship

Instructors will frequently run through operational scenarios to give pupils practice adjusting to diverse situations. Training will frequently walk a student through fundamental record-keeping procedures to help them improve their organizational abilities.

As a student at National Career College, you will also have the opportunity to attain real-life experience. Students at NCC can demonstrate their clinical and administrative skills in a dental practice setting through our externship program. Our placement department will assist graduates with career placement after graduation as well.

Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for the Registered Dental Assistant examination, RDA (CA DCA, Dental Board of California). Additionally, upon graduation, students will obtain Radiation Safety, Infection Control, and Coronal Polishing certifications, approved by the Dental Board of California.

For more information check out our top Blog Articles if you are considering enrolling in a Dental Assistant Program:

Where Do Dental Assistants Work?

A Dental Assistant typically works full time, and some work evenings and weekends, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook2. The top three employers of dental assistants are:

  • 90% – Dentist Office
  • 2% – Physicians Office
  • 2% – Government

The Dental Assistant program aims to prepare graduates for positions as entry-level dental assistants by imparting the necessary knowledge and skills. Since NCC’s Dental Assistants are trained in clinical and radiographic procedures, their services are also sought by: general dentists and dental office facilities specializing in pediatrics, orthodontics, endodontics and other specialties, dental schools, dental supply manufacturers, and hospital dental departments, dental laboratories and dental insurance companies.

What Is The Job Outlook For Dental Assistants?

TThe U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for Dental Assistants to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 20303.

More About Careers In Dental Assistant

For more information about a career as a Dental Assistant, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*NET website.

Local Wages for California (ONET):
31-9091.00 – Dental Assistants Local Wages

Standard Occupational Code (SOC):
31-9091.00 – Dental Assistants

Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP):
51.0601 – Dental Assisting/Assistant

Dental Assistant Training Near Me

If you live in or around the Panorama City area in California, National Career College offers Medical Assistant training at the following location:

National Career College Campus 14355 Roscoe Blvd, Panorama City, CA 91402

Program Specific Application Requirements

None. See National Career College’s admissions process here.