Dental Assistant

Diploma Program Overview

The objective of the Dental Assistant program is to provide the student with the appropriate theory and hands-on skills. As a dental assistant in today’s modern dental clinics, health and dental care offices, and facilities, you will need these skills. Students will study diagnostic and procedural terminology as it relates to the accurate completion of dental examinations, procedures, and daily tasks.

The combination of introduced skills taught in this program will prepare students for the ever-changing field of dentistry and orthodontics. Students study dental radiography, dental sciences, operatory dentistry, laboratory procedures, dental anatomy and orthodontics, and dental health. A diploma is awarded upon completion of the Dental Assistant program, which includes classroom training and an externship.

The National Career College Dental Assistant course curriculum could provide you with the training necessary to sit for the RDA examination.


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What Does A Dental Assistant Do?

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dental Assistant’s duties include patient care, recordkeeping, and appointment scheduling. Dental Assistants may perform some or all of the following duties (1):

  • 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 so you can provide them with the equipment they need to complete a procedure. Dental Assistants need to think on their feet and to have everything ready to go and adjust when things don’t go as planned.

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

How Long Is Dental Assistant School?

The typical Dental Assistant training is ten months with an externship. NCC’s Dental Assistant Diploma programs are offered full-time on campus with both morning and evening schedules 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 instruction on how to correctly utilize dental equipment as well as practice strategies for doing so. 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 organizing 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 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.

Where Do Dental Assistants Work?

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook Dental Assistants typically work full time and some work evenings and weekends2. The top three employers of dental assistants are:

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

The goal of the Dental Assistant program is to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to qualify for entry-level positions as dental assistants. Since they 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?

The 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.

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.