The Dental Assisting accredited program prepares students for employment in a variety of positions in today’s dental offices.The Dental Assisting program provides learning opportunities which introduce, develop, and reinforce academic and occupational knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for job acquisition, retention, and advancement. Graduates of the program receive a Dental Assisting diploma and are eligible to sit for a national certification examination. The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements”. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.
Nature of the Work
Dental assistants perform a variety of patient care, office, and laboratory duties.They sterilize and disinfect instruments and equipment, prepare and lay out the instruments and materials required to treat each patient, and obtain and update patients’ dental records.Assistants make patients comfortable in the dental chair and prepare them for treatment. During dental procedures, assistants work alongside the dentist to provide assistance.They hand instruments and materials to dentists and keep patients’ mouths dry and clear by using suction hoses or other devices.They also instruct patients on postoperative and general oral healthcare.
Dental assistants held about 295,300 jobs in 2008.About 93 percent of all jobs for dental assistants were in offices of dentists.A small number of jobs were in the Federal, State, and local governments or in offices of physicians.
Employment is expected to grow 36 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. In fact, dental assistants are expected to be among the fastest growing occupations over the 2008–18 projection period. Population growth, greater retention of natural teeth by middle-aged and older people, and an increased focus on preventative dental care for younger generations will fuel demand for dental services. Older dentists, who have been less likely to employ assistants or have employed fewer, are leaving the occupation and will be replaced by recent graduates, who are more likely to use one or more assistants. In addition, as dentists’ workloads increase, they are expected to hire more assistants to perform routine tasks, so that they may devote their own time to more complex procedures.
Median annual wages of dental assistants were $32,380 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $26,980 and $38,960.The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,270, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $46,150.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Dental Assistants, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos163.htm
Albany Technical College’s Dental Assisting Program adheres to ADA, CDC, and OSHA regulations regarding bloodborne pathogens and infection control. A copy of the ATC Exposure Control Plan is available for review upon request at the reception desk.
|ENGL 1010||Fundamentals of English I|
|MATH 1012||Foundations of Mathematics|
|PSYC 1010||Basic Psychology|
|COMP 1000||Introduction to Computers|
|ALHS 1040||Introduction to Health Care|
|DENA 1010||Basic Human Biology|
|ALHS 1011||Structure & Function of the Human Body|
|DENA 1050||Microbiology and Infection Control|
|DENA 1080||Dental Biology|
|DENA 1340||Dental Assisting I: General Chairside|
|DENA 1030||Preventive Dentistry|
|DENA 1070||Oral Pathology and Therapeutic|
|DENA 1350||DentAss II: Dental Spec& EFDA|
|DENA 1390||Dental Radiology|
|DENA 1460||Dental Practicum I|
|DENA 1090||Dental Assisting National Board Examination Preparation|
|DENA 1400||Dental Practice Management|
|DENA 1470||Dental Practicum II|
|DENA 1480||Dental Practicum III|
*All program information subject to change without notice.
Program Admission InformationHigh school diploma or GED Required for admission.