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Dental Assistant - CERT

The dental assisting program is a full time, one year program, begins in the fall with sequential classes in the spring and summer semesters. All pre-requisites must be completed before entry into the cohort. Students will complete required non-monetary externship clinical practicum hours in the spring and in the summer, the student is responsible for travel to clinic site and exam fees. Dental assistants perform a growing variety of duties in the dental field: general chairside assisting, laboratory procedures and infection control. Duties include but are not limited to: therapeutic communication, multicultural interaction, psychology, oral health, preventive techniques, nutrition, chair side instrumentation, infection control, equipment safety, equipment maintenance, dental office emergencies and pain/anxiety management. The New Mexico State Board of Dental Health requires Dental Assistants to be certified has implemented new standards that include certification in coronal polishing, topical fluoride and as well as pit and fissure sealants. Students may choose to take national certification through DANB. (Dental Assisting National Board) The assistant is responsible for all preparation of dental office procedures, chair side assisting, and reception activities. The demanding versatility requires a person dedicated to the profession and a commitment to function as a dental health care team member.

Completion of this certificate can be applied toward the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Vocational/Technical Studies.

Degree Requirements

The follow degree requirements are for the 2015-2018 Catalog. For other catalogs, please see Catalogs

Minimum of 52 Credit Hours

Program Requirements (37 credit hours)
DENT103 Dental Materials 5
DENT109 Prevntv Dentistry/Oral Hlth Care 1
DENT118 Dental Assisting 3
DENT119 Dental Terminology 1
DENT128 Community Field Experience 1
DENT145 Bio-Dental Science 3
DENT160 Dental Radiology 4
DENT167 Oral Medicine 2
DENT170 Clinical Training/Practicum I 7
DENT209 Professional Ethics 2
DENT220 Dental Office Management 2
DENT226 Dental Pharmacology 1
DENT233 Laboratory Procedures 2
DENT270 Clinical Training/Practicum II 3

Related Studies (15 credit hours)
AH113 Medical Terminology 3
CSA150 Computer Fundamentals 3
ENG111 Freshman Composition I 3
PSYC101 Introduction to Psychology 3
Choose One (3 credit hours)
AH210 Nutrition 3
BIO217 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
SPCH111 Public Speaking 3
SPCH112 Interpersonal Communication 3

Dental Assistant prerequisite courses of AH113, CSA150, ENG111, MATH075, PSYC101 and SPCH111 or SPCH112 must be completed prior to entrance into the program.

Bloodborne Pathogen Risk Statement

All individuals interested in pursuing the Dental Assistant Certificate should be aware that the dental field does have some risk of occupational hazards. The nature of the occupation could involve contact with infectious diseases, including AIDS and Hepatitis. All students admitted to the program will receive proper instruction in standard precautions and use of personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of blood and body fluid exposures.

Dental Assisting Certificate Curriculum Profile 2015-2018
Dental Assisting Program Student Handbook 2018-2019
Occupational Opportunities