Additional information available on the Dental Assisting Department website.
Recommended basic skills courses are
A dental assistant is a skilled and essential member of the dental health care team in the delivery of preventive and restorative dentistry. The continuing demand for dental assistants makes this program an opportunity for a productive career.
The Dental Assisting certificate program prepares students for employment as chair-side dental assistants. In addition to the prescribed coursework, a minimum of 300 clinical hours is required to complete the program. Students must provide their own transportation to their clinical sites. A complete physical examination is required prior to the beginning of the clinical experience, and a Hepatitis B vaccination is strongly recommended.
Students must be at least 18 years of age before enrolling in Dental Radiology courses. Students must earn a C or better in all dental assisting and general education courses in order to graduate. Students must submit to a criminal background check and a drug screening prior to entering their clinical internship assignments. (Student fees for these tests apply.)
The program in Dental Assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of Approval Without Reporting Requirements. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is www.ada.org/en/coda.
Graduates of the certificate program are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Examination. Successful completion of the DANB Examination awards students the status of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).
Students who wish to pursue the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Dental Assisting must be a graduate of an ADA accredited dental assisting certificate program. Students participating in the AAS Degree program will be given instruction, laboratory experience, and clinical experience in expanded functions as permitted by the Dental Practice Law of Colorado. Students who wish to develop skills as an expanded functions dental assistant but, are not graduates of an ADA accredited dental assisting program, must be a Certified Dental Assistant or have a minimum of two years of full-time documented experience as a chairside dental assistant, preferably in a general dentistry practice.
Students who are interested in either the certificate program or the AAS degree program must meet with a dental assisting program advisor prior to enrolling in any dental assisting courses.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Dental Assisting program, students should be able to:
- Assist a variety of procedures in the dental office in a professional manner
- Identify uses of and manipulate a variety of dental materials to clinical standards
- Produce a variety of intra-oral and extra-oral radiographs of diagnostic quality
- Perform infection control procedures consistent with current industry standards
- Maintain accurate dental records
- Anticipate and identify potential medical emergencies that can arise before, during and after treatment
- Perform a variety of business office duties
- Provide restorative services to clinical competency
- Solve problems using critical thinking and principles of ethics
- Communicate with dental team members and patients in a professional manner
Content criteria, competencies, and student learning outcomes associated with the general education courses required for this degree can be found on the Colorado Department of Higher Education website.