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Dental Assisting

Dental Assisting (DAST) Courses

DAST 100 Introduction to Dental Assisting

  • Units:1
  • Hours:18 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course is an introduction to the practice of dental assisting. Topics include dental terminology, infection control, study strategies, and the expectations and concerns of the allied dental health professional.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • identify various licensed and non-licensed personnel commonly employed in dental offices in California.
  • determine which duties can be performed by each member of the dental team.
  • identify the "Essential Functions" required of allied dental health professionals.
  • explain the legal duties of the licensed and non-licensed allied dental health professionals in California.
  • utilize new study strategies, such as time-management skills, test-taking strategies, and note-taking skills that may be useful for success in the dental assisting program.
  • demonstrate basic dental terminology, such as tooth numbering and landmarks.
  • identify potential hazards associated with the allied dental health profession as they relate to OSHA standards and the treatment of all individuals including those with infectious diseases.

DAST 101 Biodental Science

  • Units:2.5
  • Hours:36 hours LEC; 27 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Enrollment Limitation:Acceptance into the Dental Assisting program
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

Biodental Science includes microbiology and asepsis, disease prevention, infection control regulations, occupational safety procedures, sterilization, and hazardous materials in the dental practice.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • identify various infectious diseases and their relationship to patient safety and occupational risk.
  • analyze the need for operatory barriers and/or surface disinfection and employ acceptable techniques during various patient treatment situations.
  • explain the need for immunization against infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B.
  • demonstrate techniques to prevent cross-contamination and disease transmission.
  • demonstrate sterilization procedures using appropriate monitoring systems.
  • maintain aseptic conditions during various patient treatment procedures.
  • follow the standards and guidelines of occupational safety for dental office personnel.
  • incorporate all safety measures when using chemical and physical hazards.
  • maintain and document a quality assurance (quality improvement) program for infection control and safety.

DAST 102 Chairside Assisting

  • Units:6
  • Hours:72 hours LEC; 108 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Enrollment Limitation:Acceptance into the Dental Assisting program
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course is an introduction to basic dental assisting duties and the principles of four-handed dentistry. Basic dental materials and instrumentation are major components of this course.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • identify instruments, materials, and techniques used in all aspects of dentistry.
  • arrange appropriate tray set-ups.
  • demonstrate the ability to properly exchange instruments from prepared tray set-ups to dental operator.
  • list, describe, define, and recognize properties and procedures that affect the manipulation, placement, and effectiveness of dental materials.
  • explain the effects the oral environment may have on dental materials, as well as the effect dental materials may have on the oral environment.
  • demonstrate the ability to mix dental materials at chairside to proper consistency in a reasonable length of time.
  • describe and demonstrate the appropriate methods for maintenance of dental operatories and equipment including appropriate infection control measures.
  • utilize, care for, and maintain dental equipment safely.
  • describe and demonstrate appropriate methods for construction of a bleaching tray.
  • apply principles of topical and local anesthesia during chairside procedures.
  • apply and adapt various isolation devices.
  • demonstrate the ability to take accurate impressions and pour and trim models.
  • demonstrate the ability to place intra-oral matrices.
  • accurately acquire patient vital signs while demonstrating appropriate and compassionate communication with patients.
  • discuss various basic oral surgery and endodontic procedures including the requisite supplies, materials, and techniques.

DAST 103 Patient Assessment

  • Units:2.5
  • Hours:45 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:See enrollment limitations
  • Enrollment Limitation:Acceptance into the Dental Assisting program
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course is an introduction to patient assessment, including communication skills, medical history assessment, pharmacology, dental history assessment, vital signs, and medical emergencies. An emphasis is placed on the relationship between systemic conditions and prescriptive medications and their effects on the oral cavity and subsequent dental treatment.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • explain the necessity for, and the role of, effective communication in the provision of quality dental care.
  • discuss techniques that promote effective communication.
  • describe how various systemic conditions, diseases, and medications can impact dental care.
  • demonstrate skills in conducting online research on medical conditions, diseases, and medications as they relate to dentistry.
  • obtain and review a complete and thorough medical and dental history.
  • recognize physiological conditions that have implications in planning dental treatment.
  • discuss the influence of demographic and economic factors on health and dental care.
  • describe the basic components of pharmacology, drug interactions, and routes of drug administration.
  • summarize the importance of acquiring each of the four vital signs on every patient.
  • illustrate knowledge of the various factors that influence vital signs.
  • describe the preventive measures taken for medical emergencies that commonly occur during dental treatment.
  • identify signs and symptoms of medical emergencies common in the dental office.
  • determine proper responses to specific medical emergencies common in a dental office.

DAST 104 Dental Anatomy and Morphology

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Enrollment Limitation:Acceptance into the Dental Assisting program
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

The focus of this course is dental anatomy and morphology including the form, function, and location of the hard and soft structures of the mouth. In addition, the course covers material related to general physiology, oral embryology and histology, and physiology of the head and neck as these relate to the practice of dentistry.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • locate and explain the purpose, components, and functions of the 10 systems of the human body.
  • identify and describe normal anatomical structures of the oral cavity.
  • identify the teeth and their components, formation, and eruption patterns.
  • identify the basic structures of the head and neck region.
  • describe the three periods of prenatal development and discuss prenatal influences on dental development.
  • discuss the genetic and environmental factors that can affect dental development.
  • chart cavity classifications, existing restorations, and classifications of occlusion.
  • recite the tissues of the tooth and the periodontium.
  • locate the basic components of the cardiovascular system.

DAST 107 Dental Radiology

  • Units:2.5
  • Hours:27 hours LEC; 54 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:See enrollment limitations
  • Enrollment Limitation:Acceptance into the Dental Assisting program
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course covers the principles of dental radiology. Topics include theory and techniques, operation of the x-ray machine, biological effects, safety practices, and the practical application of utilizing appropriate infection control while exposing, processing, mounting, and evaluating intraoral dental films.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate acceptable practices of health and safety, including infection control, in relation to exposing and processing radiographs.
  • describe the production of dental x-rays, the components of dental radiology equipment, film, and processing.
  • relate basic principles of radiographic theory to the production of diagnostically acceptable radiographs.
  • employ appropriate methods for intra-oral radiography and be capable of modifying techniques to adjust to specific patient needs.
  • identify radiographic techniques and processing errors and be able to remediate these errors with faculty or peer collaboration.
  • interpret basic caries, periodontal and periapical disease processes on intra-oral and panoramic dental radiographs with beginning level competence.
  • identify anatomical landmarks and visible dental materials radiographically.
  • provide education to the patient regarding the need, value, and benefit/risk rationale for dental radiographs.
  • explain various radiographic quality control programs.
  • summarize biological effects of radiation and safety techniques for both patient and operator.
  • identify the state and federal agencies that regulate operator licensure, equipment safety, and exposure guidelines for dental radiology.

DAST 111 Dental Patient Education

  • Units:1
  • Hours:18 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:DAST 101, 102, 103, 104, 107, and 119 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Dental Assisting program
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

The focus of this course is the study of nutrition from a whole body concept and its interrelated effects on the oral environment. Students will integrate these concepts with preventive dentistry concepts and the role of the dental assistant in community and public health situations.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • summarize the philosophy of preventive dentistry and the role a dental assistant plays in providing preventive dental services in the office and to the community.
  • describe plaque, its formation, pattern of accumulation, and role in caries and periodontal disease.
  • compile various oral hygiene aids and explain their use relative to different patient needs.
  • design a personalized plaque control program for patients.
  • identify the role of fluorides in preventive dentistry, the types of fluorides available, and appropriate recommendations for usage.
  • review the theories involved in patient motivation and be able to utilize appropriate techniques while providing plaque control instruction and nutritional evaluation.
  • explain the role of carbohydrates in the development of dental caries and the role of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals in the diet and their possible effects on oral health.
  • identify oral diseases and conditions associated with tobacco use.
  • present strategies to assist dental patients in their tobacco cessation efforts.
  • detect age-related physiological changes and their impact on oral health care.
  • describe key health promotion and disease prevention activities appropriate for older people.

DAST 112 Registered Dental Assistant Advanced Duties

  • Units:3
  • Hours:27 hours LEC; 81 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:DAST 101, 102, 103, 104, 107, and 119 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Dental Assisting program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course includes the practical application of advanced dental assisting duties as defined by the Dental Board of California.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • fabricate, trim, polish, and cement indirect provisional restorations.
  • place and adjust direct provisional restorations.
  • explain the difference between phase 1 and phase 2 orthodontics and provide examples for best practice in each phase.
  • place and remove ligature ties and archwires.
  • explain the purpose of pit and fissure sealants.
  • identify the purpose of a coronal polish and list the steps involved in this procedure.
  • categorize and differentiate among various stains and determine their ability to be removed.
  • review various methods of caries detection and compare the advantage and disadvantages of each.
  • identify and compare the chemical agents used for tooth whitening.
  • compare professional whitening systems with at-home whitening systems.
  • discuss various oral surgery and endodontic procedures including the requisite supplies, materials, and techniques.
  • demonstrate advanced techniques for various oral surgery and endodontic procedures including the requisite supplies, materials, and techniques.
  • place and remove periodontal dressings.

DAST 113 Advanced Patient Assessment and Dental Imaging

  • Units:2
  • Hours:27 hours LEC; 27 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:DAST 101, 102, 103, 104, 107, and 119 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Dental Assisting program
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course builds on the principles of DAST 103 Patient Assessment. Topics of this course include medical and dental history assessment, treatment planning, head and neck examination, intra-oral inspection of hard and soft tissues, gingival assessment, oral pathology, intra-oral and extra-oral imaging, full mouth radiographs, and case presentation.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • evaluate contraindications and complications for dental care presented by various medical and dental conditions/diseases and prescription medications.
  • recognize physiological conditions that have implications in planning dental treatment.
  • identify various pathological conditions of the oral cavity.
  • discuss HIV/AIDS and its oral manifestations, including various lesions associated with the disease.
  • list and describe the key components of the head and neck examination.
  • conduct online research on medical conditions/diseases and medications as they relate to dentistry.
  • expose, process, and evaluate full-mouth radiographic series.
  • capture diagnostic intra-oral and extra-oral images.
  • accurately perform an intra-oral inspection of hard and soft tissue, with emphasis on gingival health assessment and identification of potential pathological conditions.
  • perform a case presentation including health history assessment, vital signs, imaging (including intra-oral and extra-oral photographs and radiographs), head and neck examination, and gingival description.

DAST 115 Registered Dental Assistant Advanced Duty Certifications

  • Units:2
  • Hours:108 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:DAST 101, 102, 103, 104, 107, and 119 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Dental Assisting program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course provides instruction and practice in advanced dental assisting duties including coronal polish, application of pit and fissure sealants, patient assessment, teeth whitening, and caries detection.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • review patient dental and medical histories and determine the appropriate treatment protocol regarding coronal polish, fluoride treatments, pit and fissure sealants, and in-office tooth whitening.
  • categorize and differentiate between various stains and determine their ability to be removed.
  • demonstrate proper coronal polishing techniques.
  • exhibit effective utilization of caries detection devices and analyze the acquired data.
  • demonstrate clinically effective pit and fissure sealant placement.
  • perform in-office tooth whitening techniques to clinical competence.
  • demonstrate proper infection control techniques throughout all clinical procedures.
  • perform an intra-oral and extra-oral examination including gingival health assessment.
  • evaluate the effectiveness and clinical competence of procedures performed in this course.

DAST 116 Practice Management for the Dental Assistant

  • Units:2
  • Hours:36 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:DAST 101, 102, 103, 104, 107, and 119 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Dental Assisting program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course encompasses the principles of dental office management including: administrative procedures, record keeping, scheduling, dental histories, financial arrangements, bookkeeping, insurance procedures, patient communication, patient psychology, and job-finding skills. This course also includes a thorough review of all dental assisting duties allowed by the Dental Board of California and the application process for both the Registered Dental Assistant Exam and the Certified Assistant Exam.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • define ethical and legal considerations in the practice of dentistry.
  • compare various communication modes for both patient and inter-office communications.
  • schedule patients and manage appointment book control.
  • make financial arrangements for services rendered.
  • complete the procedures for third-party reimbursement.
  • demonstrate the ability to keep and balance accounts receivable records.
  • create a personal portfolio to include a resume, cover letter, list of references, and other pertinent documents in preparation for job interviews.
  • list categories of potential employment opportunities and compare the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • demonstrate appropriate interview skills in a typical dental office job interview.

DAST 118 Board Preparation

  • Units:2
  • Hours:36 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:DAST 111, 112, 113, 115, 116, and 119 with grades of "C" or better
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course is the culmination of all previous dental assisting courses and focuses on the specific requirements and components of both the state and national dental assisting board exams. At the completion of this course, students should be well-prepared to take the Registered Dental Assisting examination of the Dental Board of California, as well as the Certified Dental Assistant examination of the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate preparation for the Registered Dental Assisting written exam.
  • demonstrate preparation for the Certified Dental Assistant exam.

DAST 119 Clinical Experience I

  • Units:3
  • Hours:162 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:DAST 101, 102, 103, 104, and 107 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Dental Assisting program
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course involves performance of dental assisting duties in an assigned dental office.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate the characteristics of a professional dental assistant such as a positive attitude, initiative, good attendance and punctuality, cooperation, teamwork, and effective communication with patients.
  • assist with various diagnostic procedures including review of medical and dental histories, intra- and extra-oral examinations, and dental charting.
  • accurately take and record vital signs and preliminary impressions.
  • expose, process, and mount diagnostic radiographs.
  • pour and trim diagnostic models and fabricate bleaching trays.
  • follow proper infection control procedures during operatory set-up and tear-down, patient treatment procedures, and instrument processing.
  • competently prepare and dismiss patient, accurately set up trays, correctly identify and manipulate various dental materials, and precisely document patient treatment.

DAST 129 Clinical Experience II

  • Units:3
  • Hours:162 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:DAST 111, 112, 113, 115, 116, 118, and 119 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Dental Assisting program
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course involves performance of basic dental assisting duties as well as expanded duties in an assigned dental office.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • perform basic and advanced chairside assisting procedures using four-handed techniques.
  • maintain the dental operatory including disease transmission control procedures, sterilization of instruments, and equipment care.
  • manage the care of the dental patient including dental records.
  • assemble the necessary armamentarium for general and specialty dental procedures and demonstrate knowledge of the step-by-step procedures for each procedure.
  • perform California RDA duties to clinical competency as permitted by each individual dental office.
  • apply skills in the basic business office procedure in a dental practices.
  • display the characteristics of responsibility, dependability, cooperation, and professionalism necessary for a dental assistant.

DAST 295 Independent Studies in Dental Assisting

  • Units:1 - 3
  • Hours:54 - 162 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:See enrollment limitations
  • Enrollment Limitation:Student must be enrolled in the Dental Assisting program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This is a course for those dental assisting students requesting special projects related to their dental assisting education.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • perform the task(s) determined by the staff and student as they relate to the specific project.

DAST 299 Experimental Offering in Dental Assisting

  • Units:0.5 - 4
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020