The increasing sophistication of dental treatment and infection control procedures is changing the role of the Dental Assistant. The position requires more technical knowledge and skill than ever before. Therefore, specialized training to the level of Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) is essential. Dental assisting requires both clinical and social skills. The RDAs primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to patient preparation sterilization of instruments, operatory care, instrument exchange, preparation of materials, radiography and patient education. In addition to clinical responsibilities, those who prefer the business office can have administrative functions such as appointment control, records management, bookkeeping and insurance processing.
The SRJC Dental Assisting Program is located in the beautiful new state-of-the-art William B Race Health Sciences Building on the Santa Rosa Campus.
The Dental Assisting program is an intensive 11-month, full-time sequence of instruction. The program can also be taken on a part-time basis and completed in 22 months. Twenty-four full-time students and four part-time students are admitted in the program each fall. The program admits student once a year in the fall semester.
The Dental Assisting Program has an excellent reputation within the local dental community. Graduates of the Dental Assisting Program rank among the highest in the state in passing the California Registered Dental Assisting Examination.
The majority of the dental assisting classes are a combination of science-oriented lectures and skill development laboratories. During the lectures, students learn theory about oral anatomy, dental radiology, dental materials, chairside dental assisting, oral health information, and management of dental and medical emergencies. In the labs, students develop the skills necessary to become competent in the procedures they will expected to perform in their clinical experiences.
During the fall and spring semesters, the 11-month full-time students should plan for classes to be scheduled from 8 AM to 5 PM, four days a week. There may be times when a class will be held before 8 AM or later than 5 PM.
Summer semester clinical is 8 hours a day for 4 days per week, with hours varying from 7 AM to 7 PM, depending on the clinical site. There is a one-hour seminar, usually Tuesday evening from 6-7PM
Dental Assisting students in the 22-month program will attend classes 2-3 days a week. Approximately 7 hours of outside study each week is required.
Students are expected to provide their own transportation to and from the clinical sites.
Dental Assisting Program Goals
The Allied Dental Program curriculum creates an environment in which students are stimulated to learn, to grow personally, to develop decision making, ethical, and problem solving skills, and to stimulate creative and independent thinking.
Students will achieve professional and personal growth through application of classroom knowledge in clinical, laboratory and community settings.
Program Learning Objectives
Be successful on the CDA written and RDA written and practical examinations.
Perform four handed dentistry
Produce diagnostic intraoral and extraoral radiographs
Function at the front office
Perform those functions delegated to the Registered Dental Assistant
Comply with OSHA regulations
Apply the principals of health and safety concerns in the dental office
Apply the knowledge and skills necessary for sterilization and disinfection
Apply scientific principles, allowing for advances in technology, as well as changes in social needs.
Apply the ethical standards necessary for the performance of the assigned duties in a clinical setting
Identify sources for continuing education to remain current in the technology of the profession.