Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2020
Units: 1
Hours: 1 lecture per week (12 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • The student will demonstrate accurate documentation in a patient's treatment record utilizing proper dental terminology and nomenclature.
  • The student will identify the allowable duties of the dental assistant in the State of California under direct supervision & general supervision.


Introduction to Foothill College Dental Assisting Program for the incoming student. Preview of dental practice, including specialties, history, professional and legal responsibilities and the role of the dental auxiliary; HIPAA, patient privacy, Academic Honor Code, student rights and responsibilities, strategies for student success, stress and time management, record keeping, patient communication and office personnel relations. Intended for students in the Dental Assisting Program; enrollment is limited to students accepted in the program.

Course Objectives

The Foothill College Dental Assisting Program is a competency based program. Students taking this course will have expected outcomes under one of the three program competency based statements.
Dental Assisting Theory & Practice Competency
The student will be able to:
A. explain general historical evolution of the dental profession, and explain the sociologic concerns of the profession.
B. cite the dental auxiliaries involved in the practice of dentistry and the educational requirements for each auxiliary.
C. recognize effective and appropriate communication methods when interacting with other dental professionals, patients, or patient families.
D. identify learning style(s) and recognize relevant study skills.
Ethical and Legal Principles Competency
The student will be able to:
A. analyze and apply to the Dental Assisting Program the Academic Honor Code of Foothill College.
B. summarize the basic principles of HIPAA and patient privacy.
C. discuss the relationship of the California State Dental Practice Act and its importance for regulating the practice of dentists and dental auxiliaries.
D. describe in general the duties performed by the dentist and the dental auxiliaries.
E. list the professional and legal requirements for:
1. licensing and certification
2. continuation of registration and certification
3. practice of expanded duties and extended function
F. describe appropriate record keeping and risk management activities to avoid malpractice and liability.
Foothill College Dental Assisting Program Competencies
A. Dental Assisting Theory & Practice: dental assisting students must be competent in applying the theory and practice of dental assisting for persons of all ages and abilities.
B. Infection Control and Hazardous Waste Management: dental assistants must possess the knowledge and abilities to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases.
C. Ethical and Legal Principles: dental assisting students must be competent in understanding ethical/legal principles as applied to the dental office.

Course Content

Dental Assisting Theory and Practice
A. History
1. Timeline
2. Dental professional contributors
B. Overview of the dental profession
1. Professional and educational responsibilities
a. State or regional licensing/credentialing
2. The role of the auxiliary in dentistry
a. The assistant, hygienist, laboratory technician
b. Career alternatives including extended functions licensing
c. Educational requirements for auxiliaries
1) Licensing/certification
2) Maintaining license and re-certification
3) Professional organizations for dentists and auxiliaries
C. Strategies for communication with dental staff, patients and patient family members or significant others
D. Learning styles and study skills
1. Study skills for success in the Dental Assisting Program
Ethical and Legal Practice
A. Academic Honor Code of Foothill College
1. Cheating, plagiarism and other examples of academic dishonesty
2. Consequences of academic dishonesty
B. HIPAA and patient privacy
1. Regulations related to patient privacy at dental school and clinical rotations
2. Security of patient records in the dental office
3. Implications for the dental assisting student
4. Social media issues related to patient privacy regulations at the dental school and clinical rotations
C. State Practice Act
1. Purpose
2. Regulatory agencies
a. Dental Board of California
b. Dental Hygiene Board of California
D. Duties
1. Duties in State Practice Act
2. DA and RDA duties
a. General supervision
1) General
2) Direct
3) Supervision to be determined by the dentist
E. Professional and legal requirements
1. Licensing and certification
a. State licensing
1) Dental Board of California applications
b. Dental Assisting National Board
1) Certified Dental Assistant
2. Renewal of license/certificate
a. Continuing education requirements
b. Other required documents
1) BLS
2) Mandatory infection control course
3) Mandatory dental practice act course
F. Record keeping and risk management
1. Accurate documentation
2. Effective communication
3. Patient advocate

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. When taught via Foothill Global Access, on-going access to computer with email software and hardware; email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Quizzes
B. Examinations
C. Assignments

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Online lecture, workbook assignments, online continuing education short courses
B. Chapter readings from textbook
C. Online discussion forum

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bird, D.L., and D.S. Robinson. Modern Dental Assisting. 12th ed. St. Louis, MO: WB Saunders, 2018. ISBN: 978-0323430302

Bird, D.L., and D.S. Robinson. Student Workbook to Accompany Modern Dental Assisting. 12th ed. St. Louis, MO: WB Saunders, 2018. ISBN: 978-0323430319

Miyasaki, C. Foothill College Dental Assisting Student Policy Manual. 2019.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Chapter readings from textbook

B. Self introduction posted online

C. Netiquette assignment

D. Self-assessment essay

E. online supplemental reading

F. Time management schedule with reflection



Dental Technology