The Dental Assisting Program is an intensive 10-month sequence of instruction. Graduates will qualify for the California State Registered Dental Assisting (RDA) Licensure Examination. Graduates are also eligible for the Certified Dental Assisting (CDA) Certification Exam administered by the Dental Assisting National Board Exam. The program offers a combination of lecture, laboratory, and clinical courses in general and specialty dental practices, as well as participation in externships at a local dental school, dental offices, and/or clinics. Students will also acquire valuable certification in infection control, dental practice act, coronal polishing, dental x-ray, and pit and fissure sealants as part of the program curriculum. Graduates are in demand and have many different types of job opportunities available to them.
Learn more about the program on the Dental Assisting website.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Graduates will demonstrate entry-level competency skills mandated by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and the Dental Board of California.
- Graduates will value and implement proper radiation safety for patients, self, and others.
Graduates can have direct patient interaction by working as a chairside dental assistant in a general practice dental office or in any of the other specialty practices including periodontics, orthodontics, oral surgery, pedodontics (children's dentistry), endodontics and prosthodontics. In addition, dental assistants can work in the front office as a receptionist and/or office manager. Other job opportunities include public health educator or administrator, sales representative, continuing education coordinator and/or consultant.
- AS = Associate in Science Degree
- CA = Certificate of Achievement
- Major: 57
- Certificate(s): 57
Admittance to this program is through an application process. Program information, admission criteria details, and applications can be found at the Dental Assisting Program website.
- High school diploma, GED or equivalent.
Associate Degree Requirements
|Select one of the following:|
|ENGL 1A||COMPOSITION & READING||5|
|ENGL 1AH||HONORS COMPOSITION & READING||5|
& ENGL 1T
|INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING|
and INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
|Select one of the following:|
|MATH 105||INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA||5|
|MATH 180||QUANTITATIVE REASONING||5|
|or any MATH course approved for Foothill GE Area V, Communication & Analytical Thinking|
A minimum of 90 units is required1 to include:
- Completion of one of the following general education patterns: Foothill General Education, CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
- Core courses (57 units)
Additional elective course work may be necessary to meet the 90-unit minimum requirement for the associate degree.
Note: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, a grade of "C" or better is required for all core courses used for the degree or certificate.
Core and Support Courses
|D A 50||ORIENTATION TO DENTAL ASSISTING||1|
|D A 51A||INTRODUCTION TO CHAIRSIDE DENTAL ASSISTING||10.5|
|D A 53A||INTRODUCTION TO RADIOGRAPHY I||3|
|D A 58||SPECIALTY PRACTICE PROCEDURES||1|
|D A 62A||DENTAL SCIENCES I||2|
|D A 71||INFECTION CONTROL & HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT||1.5|
|D A 51B||INTERMEDIATE CLINICAL DENTAL ASSISTING||3|
|D A 53B||DENTAL RADIOGRAPHY II||2|
|D A 56||DENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION||1|
|D A 57||OFFICE EMERGENCY PROCEDURES||2|
|D A 60A||DENTAL OFFICE BUSINESS PRACTICES I||2|
|D A 62B||DENTAL SCIENCES II||2|
|D A 73||DENTAL ASSISTING SUPERVISED CLINIC||5.5|
|D A 100||LAW & ETHICS FOR THE DENTAL ASSISTANT||1|
|D A 51C||ADVANCED DENTAL ASSISTING SKILLS||3.5|
|D A 53C||DENTAL RADIOGRAPHY III||1|
|D A 60B||DENTAL OFFICE BUSINESS PRACTICES II||3|
|D A 62C||DENTAL SCIENCES III||2|
|D A 63||SPECIAL PATIENT POPULATIONS||1|
|D A 74||DENTAL ASSISTING CLINICAL PRACTICE||5.5|
|D A 85||RDA REVIEW||2|
|D A 88||PIT & FISSURE SEALANTS||1.5|
Certificate of Achievement in Dental Assisting
- Units: 57
The certificate of achievement is awarded upon completion of the core courses (general education courses are not required) and the following:
- Proof of Current Basic Life Support Provider Certification from the American Heart Association
Note: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, a grade of "C" or better is required for all core courses for the certificate.