Dental assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dentist in the delivery of quality oral health care and are valuable members of the dental team. The duties of a dental assistant are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office. Dental assistants perform many tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills.Â Â Responsibilities may include:
Assisting the dentist in providing dental treatment.
- Collecting and recording patient health histories
- Preparing and maintaining dental instruments, supplies and equipment
- Patient management during dental procedures
- Instrument transfer
- Isolation techniques
- Preparation of dental materials including cements, amalgam, composite, impressions materials, etc.
- Dental charting
- Prevention and management of dental medical emergencies
- Inventory control and management
- Taking dental x-rays
- Providing patient education
- Performing procedures independently but under the supervision of the dentist
- Polishing the teeth to remove stains and soft deposits
- Applying topical fluoride treatments
- Taking impressions and bite registrations
- Applying pit and fissure sealants
- Placing and removing periodontal dressing
- Constructing and placing temporary restorations
- Removing surgical sutures
- Placing topical medications
Dental Infection Control Procedures:
- Managing the dental office infection control plan to meet local, state and federal regulations
- Instrument cleaning, sterilization and recirculation
- Dental treatment room disinfection
Dental Laboratory Procedures:
- Constructing models from impressions
- Fabricating mouth guards, bleach trays and custom impression trays
Business Office Procedures:
- Managing appointments
- Telephone techniques
- Records management
- Insurance processing
- Preparation of written business communications
The approximate completion time for the Dental Assisting Certificate is 1485 hours or 12 months at 30 hours per week and 100% progress.
The Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College Dental Assisting Program is accredited by the American Dental Associationâ€™s Commission on Dental Accreditations and has been granted the accreditation status of â€śapproval without reporting requirements.â€ť The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.Â The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commissionâ€™s web address is: http://www.ada.org/prof/ed/programs/search_index.asp.
Graduates of the Dental Assisting Program are eligible to sit immediately for the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
- Please meet with a counselor to schedule testing and to receive application forms
- Accuplacer reading score of 72 or DRP (Degree of Reading Power) of 70 or ACT score of 22
- Accuplacer math score of 65 or Compass math exam with minimum of 43 in all areas or math ACT score of 17 or successful completion of OWATC Math I course
- Completed application including physical examination, record of immunizations, and dental office observation
- Documentation of high school diploma or GED or other equivalent
- A background check is required for all students prior to enrolling in the Dental Assisting program
IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you are enrolling in any health occupation program, any misdemeanor or felony conviction relating to drug offenses, assault/violent crimes, sexual assault, fraud, or theft that you have on your record, will result in the college not being able to place youÂ in a clinical or externship site. As a result, you will not be able to complete the program.Â See your program coordinator for more detailed information.
Employer Advisory Team
- Stephanie, Bossenberger, RDH, MS, Dental Hygiene – Weber State University
- Marc Collman, DDS
- Benjamin Garr, DMD
- Tyler Shaw, DDS
Brenda Fell, CDA, CDPMA, is the Coordinator of the Dental Occupations Program.Â She has over 30 years of experience in the dental field including clinical assisting, administrative assisting, and dental assisting education. Ms. Fell is a member of the American Dental Educators Association.Â She has served six years on the Board of Trustees of the American Dental Assistants Association and six years on the Board of Directors of the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.Â While on the DANB Board of Directors, she held the office of Secretary, Vice-Chair, and Chair.Â Additionally, Ms. Fell was a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the DALE (Dental Auxiliary Learning and Education) Foundation, including holding the position of President.
Heidi Denson, CDA, comes to the Dental Occupations Program with 17 years of clinical dental assisting experience.Â Her background includes extensive expanded functions experience.Â Ms. Denson is a member of the American Dental Educators Association.Â She also serves as a site visit team member for the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.
Christa Wagstaff, CDA, is a graduate of the tech college Dental Assisting Program with an additional nine years of clinical dental assisting experience and nine years of teaching experience in the program.
Chandra Poll is the newest faculty member in the Dental Occupations Program.Â She comes to the program with 13 years of experience in the dental field including a background and expertise with dental office administration skills and specialty dentistry procedures, specifically, orthodontics.
Program Completion Rates and Additional Information
*Individual choices may influence how long it takes to complete a program, which affects the overall on-time completion rate. For example:
- A student might only attend part-time instead of full-time.
- A student may wish to take additional elective courses.
- A student will progress through coursework at an individual rate in self-paced programs.
- A student could change to a different program before completing the first one.
**The Ogden-Weber tech college offers low tuition and multiple options for financial aid. It does not rely on loan programs so the median loan debt for all programs is zero, enabling students to enter the workforce with no student debt.