Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 10.5
Hours: 6.5 lecture, 13 laboratory per week (234 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

  • 100% of the students will be able to successfully assemble a Tofflemire retainer with a matrix band.
  • 100% of the students will be able to set up a composite, amalgam, crown prep, or crown cementation tray.


Introduction to chairside assisting; use and care of dental equipment, patient management, instrument identification; overview of common dental procedures, such as composite, amalgam, partials, dentures, root canals, crown and bridge appointments; manipulation of dental materials commonly prepared or used by the dental assistant, including temporary dressings, impression materials, cement bases and liners, topical agents, composites, resins and amalgams. Intended for students in the Dental Assisting Program; enrollment is limited to students accepted in the program.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Dental Assisting Theory and Practice Competency: dental assisting students must be competent in applying the theory and practice of dental assisting for persons of all ages and abilities
    1. Identify all parts and functions of a standard dental treatment room
    2. Identify potential complications, including allergies, medications, acute or chronic conditions, and behavioral complications from medical and dental histories
    3. Accurately take and record an adult patient's vital signs without assistance
    4. Obtain additional pertinent information about a patient's medical history through an oral interview
    5. Recognize the need for a medical consult and/or prophylactic antibiotic premedication prior to dental treatment
    6. Describe the correct dosage and medication for antibiotic prophylactic premedication
    7. Describe and chart G.V. Black's classification for cavities and restorations
    8. Identify, chart, and describe common dental restorations which are placed in the oral cavity
    9. Describe and chart common periodontal assessments which are performed by the dental hygienist or dentist
    10. Demonstrate proper positioning of the patient, the operator, and the assistant
    11. Identify, from a departmental collection, dental instruments, and specifying uses for each; describe the physical principle involved in the function of the various types of instruments; and indicate the working surface of each type
    12. Describe common dental procedures and prepare a complete tray set-up from departmental instrument and supply inventories for:
      1. Restorative procedures
      2. Endodontic procedures
      3. Dental prophylaxis
    13. Describe the treatment sequence for prosthodontic appointment
    14. Transfer instruments to an operator using a variety of tray set-ups and procedural situations
    15. Apply and remove a rubber dam, in any specified region
    16. Perform high volume evacuation on a manikin and patient-partner to effectively remove oral fluids during dental procedures
    17. Describe the use of topical agents and identify the common areas where topical ointment/gel is applied for block injections
    18. List the common local anesthetic nerve block injections and describe the oral tissues which are anesthetized by the specific injection
    19. List the common dental cements and restorative materials and describe their uses, limitations and manipulation
    20. Prepare and mix without assistance at a satisfactory level any of the commonly used dental cements or materials, as allowed and specified by legally defined duties. These procedures include but are not restricted to:
      1. Temporary dressings
      2. Cement bases and liners
      3. Restorative materials for insertion
    21. Select and collect the materials and armamentarium and prepare and/or mix, without assistance, final impression materials so that a satisfactory impression could be obtained
    22. Select and collect the materials and armamentarium and prepare, mix, and pour a dental cast with no large irregularities or faults using at least one of the following materials:
      1. Dental plaster
      2. Dental stone
    23. Prepare, on an adult patient without assistance, acceptable alginate impressions and bite registration of the upper and lower arches, including all teeth, retromolar, and vestibular areas
    24. On prepared teeth on a dental mannikin, select a matrix band of appropriate size, type, and configuration
    25. Place the matrix band on the tooth and place necessary wedges to assure confinement of the filling material and adaptation to marginal areas
    26. Observe and/or assist at chairside in a general practice dental office
  2. Infection Control and Hazardous Waste Management Competency: dental assistants must possess the knowledge and abilities to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases
    1. Perform or describe the proper flushing of dental unit water lines
    2. Perform set-up and breakdown of the dental unit using recommended infection control standards
    3. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment when performing dental assisting duties
    4. Perform or describe how to avoid cross contamination when performing dental assisting duties
    5. Observe, assist, and demonstrate competency in instrument processing and sterilization procedures, including biological monitoring
    6. Dispose sharps and hazardous waste into the appropriate sharps container
  3. Ethical and Legal Principles Competency: dental assisting students must be competent in understanding ethical/legal principles as applied to the dental office
    1. Prepare and/or evaluate complete and accurate patient procedure records
    2. Demonstrate professional behavior and appearance in clinical and laboratory situations
    3. Demonstrate teamwork with assigned student-partner in classroom, laboratory and clinical situations

Course Content

  1. Dental Assisting Theory and Practice Competency
    1. Identify all parts and functions of a standard dental treatment room
      1. Dental equipment and maintenance
      2. Operation and identification of equipment
    2. Infection control procedures
      1. Medical history review
        1. Medical history
        2. Social/personal history
        3. Dental history
    3. Vital signs
      1. Types of vital signs
      2. Armamentarium
      3. Temperature
        1. Types of thermometers
        2. Procedure
      4. Pulse
        1. Procedure
      5. Respiration
        1. Procedure
      6. Blood pressure
        1. Procedure
    4. Dialogue interview
      1. Screening for undiagnosed conditions
      2. Supplemental questions
    5. Medical consultation
      1. Conditions warranting medical consult
        1. Medical conditions
        2. Abnormal vital
    6. Antibiotic premedication
      1. Total joint replacement and bacterial endocarditis
        1. Medication
        2. Dosage
        3. Timing
    7. Cavity classification
      1. Types
      2. Line angles and point angles
    8. Dental charting
      1. Dental restorations
      2. Charting
    9. Periodontal charting
      1. Periodontal conditions
      2. Charting
    10. Patient, operator, and assistant positioning
      1. Ergonomics
      2. Right and left handed operators
      3. Transfer zone
    11. Dental instruments
      1. Types
      2. Function
    12. Tray set-up
      1. Restorative
        1. Armamentarium
        2. Disposable products
        3. Equipment
      2. Endodontics
        1. Armamentarium
        2. Disposable products
        3. Equipment
      3. Dental prophylaxis
        1. Armamentarium
        2. Disposable products
        3. Equipment
    13. Prosthodontic procedures
      1. Removable prosthodontics
      2. Fixed prosthodontics
    14. 4-handed procedures/instrument transfer
      1. Exam/emergency
      2. Prophylaxis
      3. Amalgam
    15. Rubber dam
      1. Armamentarium
      2. Types
      3. Procedure
    16. High volume evacuation
      1. Types
      2. Procedure
    17. Topical anesthetic
      1. Types
      2. Indications
      3. Contraindications
      4. Procedures
    18. Local anesthetic
      1. Trigeminal nerve
        1. Maxillary and mandibular divisions
      2. Nerve blocks
      3. Infiltration
      4. Injection sites
    19. Dental cements and restorative materials
      1. Liners
        1. Calcium hydroxide
        2. Glass ionomer
      2. Temporary cements
        1. Zinc oxide and eugenol
        2. Temp-bond
      3. Permanent cements
        1. Zinc phosphate
        2. Glass ionomer
        3. Resin cements
      4. Crown and bridge impression materials
        1. Polyether
        2. Polysulfide
        3. Vinylpolysiloxane
        4. Bite registration material
          1. Wax bite
          2. Polyvinylsiloxane cartridge and gun dispenser
        5. Composite
    20. Dental cements and material
      1. Temporary dressings
        1. Zinc oxide eugenol temporary restoration
      2. Bases and liners
        1. Mixing procedure
      3. Restorative materials
        1. Mixing procedure
    21. Final impression
      1. Polyvinylsiloxane
        1. Putty-wash technique
        2. 2 gun technique
      2. Pentamix
        1. Armamentarium
        2. Procedure
    22. Mixing study model materials
      1. Plaster
        1. Water and powder ratio
        2. Mixing
      2. Stone
        1. Water and powder
        2. Mixing
    23. Alginate impressions
      1. Types of impression trays
      2. Armamentarium
      3. Mixing process
      4. Impression taking
    24. Matrix band selection
      1. Types
    25. Matrix band placement
      1. Placement
      2. Wedges
    26. Observe or assist at chairside
      1. UCSF Dental School rotation
  2. Infection Control and Hazardous Waste Management Competency
    1. Dental unit water lines
      1. Plaque biofilms
      2. Flushing waterlines
    2. Perform set-up and breakdown of the dental unit
      1. Appropriate PPE
      2. Barrier placement
      3. Flushing waterlines and evacuation system
    3. Personal protective equipment
      1. Gloves
        1. Types
        2. Uses
      2. Masks
        1. Types
        2. Uses
      3. Protective attire
        1. Types
        2. Uses
    4. Cross contamination
      1. Types
      2. Prevention
    5. Instrument processing
      1. Decontamination
      2. Disinfection
      3. Sterilization
    6. Sharps and hazardous waste
      1. Sharps container
        1. Uses
      2. Hazardous waste
        1. Regulated waste
        2. Unregulated waste
  3. Ethical and Legal Principles Competency
    1. Patient records
      1. Documentation protocols
      2. Medical/dental history
      3. Treatment record
      4. Confidentiality
    2. Professional behavior and appearance
      1. Policy and procedures
      2. Ethical code of conduct

Lab Content

  1. Lab orientation
  2. Sizing of alginate trays
  3. Instrument assignments
  4. Clinic equipment identification
  5. Handwashing and PPE
  6. Infection control video
  7. Infection control set-up in clinic
  8. Oral evacuation
  9. Patient/operator positioning in clinic
  10. Basic tray set-up
  11. Local anesthesia syringe set-up
  12. Instrument transfer in clinic
  13. Rubber dam on typodont
  14. Rubber dam in clinic
  15. Introduction to amalgam procedure
  16. Mixing liners/lining cements, bases, and amalgam
  17. Matrix band and wedge(s)
  18. Alginate impressions
  19. Bite registrations
  20. Amalgam fill, carve, and polishing
  21. Instrument transfer for an amalgam procedure in clinic
  22. Crown and bridge preparation and temporization
  23. Mixing temporary cements and final impression materials
  24. Instrument transfer for a crown and bridge prep appointment in clinic
  25. Crown and bridge cementation procedure
  26. Mixing permanent cements
  27. Instrument transfer for a crown and bridge cementation appointment in clinic
  28. Prep study models for trimming
  29. Composite procedure
  30. Instrument transfer for a composite procedure in clinic
  31. Lab final review
  32. Placing topical anesthetic
  33. Lab clean up

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Personal protective equipment and appropriate uniform.
2. Dental operatory demonstration and practice units, laboratory facilities with individual student work areas with air and suction available at each station.
3. Dental instrumentation comparable to that present in private dental offices.
4. Clinical supplies to support demonstration and student practice activities.
5. 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:

Exams (4): multiple choice, short answer, spelling, instrument identification
Lab competencies
1. Lab quizzes
2. Lab skills check-off
1. Study models
2. Medical history assignment
3. Workbook assignments
End of quarter OSCE exam

Method(s) of Instruction

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

Cooperative learning exercises

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bird, D.L., and D.S. Robinson. Modern Dental Assisting, 13th ed.. 2020.

Miyasaki, Cara. D A 51A Lecture Manual. 2022.

Kornegay, Catherine, and Renee Herold. D A 51A Lab Manual. 2022.

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

  1. Chapter readings on restorative, prophylaxis, and endodontic procedures from textbook
  2. Reading and reviewing course lecture/lab manual
  3. Documentation of patient treatment in treatment record, to include vital signs, local anesthetic administration, dental procedures, and patient responses
  4. Log entries of clinic procedures in internship folder


Dental Technology