Dental Assisting

The Dental Assisting Curriculum prepares individuals to assist the dentist in delivering dental treatment and to function as integral members of the dental team while performing chair-side and related office and laboratory procedures.

Course work includes instruction in general studies, biomedical sciences, dental sciences, clinical sciences, and clinical practice. A combination of lecture, laboratory, and clinical experiences provide students with detailed knowledge in infection/hazard control, radiography, dental materials, preventive dentistry, and clinical procedures.

Graduates will be classified as a Dental Assistant II (DAII). A Dental Assistant II, as defined by the Dental Laws of North Carolina, can perform all legal expanded functions prescribed by a NC licensed dentist. Some of the many expanded functions a DA II can legally perform are: apply sealants, insert matrix bands and wedges, place cavity bases and liners, place and/or remove rubber dams, place and remove temporary restorations, take wax bites, remove sutures, expose radiographs, and perform coronal polish. (Further listing of DA II expanded functions can be found on NC State Board of Dental Examiners website www.ncdentalboard.org.)

Graduates may be eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board Examination to become Certified Dental Assistants (CDA).

CODA Accreditation

The Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association (ADA), 211 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, 1-800-621-8099. www.ada.org

Employment Opportunities

Upon completion graduates may seek employment in private general practices, public health clinics, specialty practices, hospital dental clinics and other related areas.

Gainful Employment

Gainful Employment information is required  to  be  disseminated  to  current  and future students for selected programs due to federal regulations. Additional in- formation regarding the regulation can be found on the College’s website: www.alamancecc.edu/about-acc-site/gainful-employment-program-disclosures/ or at the following U.S. Department of Labor website: www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319091.htm.

Admission – Dental Assisting Program

Dental Assisting is a limited enrollment program, which means students must compete for a seat in the program. There are specific admission criteria, a separate admission application, and ranking processes that determine who will be admitted to the program. The details of these requirements and processes are covered in the mandatory Dental Assisting Information Session. Students who are admitted to the Dental Assisting program must be full-time students and follow the semester-by-semester curriculum plan. 

Pre-Dental Assisting

Students are admitted under the Associate in General Education Degree until they have met admissions requirements and are ready to apply and compete for a seat in the Dental Assisting program. Faculty members advise students as to the courses they need to take to meet the requirements for the program and to be competitive in the selection process. All developmental requirements may need to be completed before registering for some courses.

Admission – Pre-Dental Assisting

The following requirements must be completed to be admitted as a Pre-Dental student:

  • ACC Admission Application
  • High School Transcript or equivalent
  • Official transcripts of all post-secondary education
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0 on previous college work
  • Placement Testing or approved waiver
  • Attend Mandatory Dental Assisting Information Session

Phase I–General Admission

Spaces in the Dental Assisting program are limited. It is a selective program where students compete academically for a seat in the program. To be considered, a student must first complete the admission steps listed below.

  • Complete an ACC Admission application
  • High School Transcript or equivalent
  • Official transcripts of all post secondary education
  • Minimum GPA of 0 on previous college work
  • Attend a mandatory Dental Assisting information session. Refer to the Dental Assisting page on the ACC College website to reserve a

Students who are admitted to the Dental Assisting program must follow the semester-by-semester curriculum plan. Reference the day and evening curriculum plans  on the following pages. After attending the mandatory Dental Assisting information session, students will meet with a Health Science Advisor for their initial advising appointment to review the admission requirements and to develop an academic plan. For more specifics on admissions criteria contact the department head or the Student Success office.

Phase II–Ranking/Selective Process

In order to academically compete for a seat in the Dental Assisting program, a student must complete the Dental Assisting Selective Admission Application. This application will be made available at the front desk in the Admissions Office after November 1 for the January 31 Dental Assisting application deadline. All minimum requirements listed in Phase I must be successfully completed before a student can apply and compete for a seat in the program. The details of this process and the criteria used to rank a student will be covered in detail at the mandatory Dental Assisting information session.

Please note that high school students seeking admission must meet the same criteria as a non-high school student.

2022 Dental Assisting Application – January 31, 2022 deadline 

Progression/Readmission

Specific progressions and re-admission criteria are in the Dental Assisting Program handbook that will be given to students upon entry into the program. For questions contact the department head or admissions coordinator. Students must maintain a minimum grade of “C” and satisfactory completion of all skills to remain in the program.

Clinical sites may require a criminal records check, drug testing or other requirements before students are allowed to participate at their facility.

Technical Standards

Students entering the program must meet specific emotional, behavioral, physical, and cognitive standards. This information is found in the admissions office and in the program handbook.

Students qualifying for special accommodations to these standards must contact the Coordinator for Special Needs and Counseling at 336-506-4130 for more specific information.

*Core major courses or any course with a DEN prefix can only be taken by students currently enrolled in the Dental Assisting Program.

Dental Assisting (Evening Option)

Students admitted in the evening option are subject to the same admission and progression criteria as a day schedule student. This seven-semester option is part time and flexible, but students MUST be able to take the required clinical rotation courses (semesters 6 and 7) during daytime hours.

 

Dental Assisting (UNC Option)

ACC Dental Assisting at UNC logo
Students admitted to the UNC option are subject to the same admissions and progression criteria as all dental assisting cohort students.  This one-year diploma program will begin in January and finish in December. 

Courses for this cohort will be taught on the UNC Adams School of Dentistry campus. 

 

 

Dental Assisting Third Party Comments (PDF)

print Dental Assisting (Day Option) • Semester by Semester

Course
Number
Course
Title
contact
hours
Credit
hours
ACA-111 College Student Success 1 1
ACA-111   College Student Success PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course introduces the college's physical, academic, and social environment and promotes the personal development essential for success. Topics include campus facilities and resources; policies, procedures, and programs; study skills; and life management issues such as health, self-esteem, motivation, goal-setting, diversity, and communication. Upon completion, students should be able to function effectively within the college environment to meet their educational objectives.

Register for this class
DEN-100 Basic Orofacial Anatomy 2 2
DEN-100   Basic Orofacial Anatomy PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • ENG 090 RED 090 DMA 010, 020, 030

This course provides a basic introduction to the structures of the head, neck, and oral cavity. Topics include tooth morphology, head and neck anatomy, histology, and embryology. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of normal structures and development and how they relate to the practice of dental assisting.

Register for this class
DEN-101 Preclinical Procedures 10 7
DEN-101   Preclinical Procedures PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course provides instruction in procedures for the clinical dental assistant as specified by the North Carolina Dental Practice Act. Emphasis is placed on orientation to the profession, infection control techniques, instruments, related expanded functions, and diagnostic, operative, and specialty procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in clinical dental assisting procedures.

Register for this class
DEN-111 Infection/Hazard Control 2 2
DEN-111   Infection/Hazard Control PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course introduces the infection and hazard control procedures necessary for the safe practice of dentistry. Topics include microbiology, practical infection control, sterilization and monitoring, chemical disinfectants, aseptic technique, infectious diseases, OSHA standards, and applicable North Carolina laws. Upon completion, students should be able to understand infectious diseases, disease transmission, infection control procedures, biohazard management, OSHA standards, and applicable North Carolina laws.

Register for this class
DEN-102AB Dental Materials 3.5 2.5
DEN-102AB   Dental Materials PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course provides instruction in identification, properties, evaluation of quality, principles, and procedures related to manipulation and storage of operative and specialty dental materials. Emphasis is placed on the understanding and safe application of materials used in the dental office and laboratory. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the laboratory and clinical application of routinely used dental materials.

Register for this class
DEN-112AB Dental Radiography 2.5 1.5
DEN-112AB   Dental Radiography PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course provides a comprehensive view of the principles and procedures of radiology as they apply to dentistry. Topics include techniques in exposing, processing, and evaluating radiographs, as well as radiation safety, quality assurance, and legal issues. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the production of diagnostically acceptable radiographs using appropriate safety precautions.

Register for this class
PSY-150 General Psychology 3 3
PSY-150   General Psychology PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • ENG 080 and RED 080 or DRE-097

This course provides an overview of the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include history, methodology, biopsychology, sensation, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, abnormal behavior, personality theory, social psychology, and other relevant topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the science of psychology.

Register for this class
Semester Total 24 19
Course
Number
Course
Title
contact
hours
Credit
hours
DEN-102BB Dental Materials 3.5 2.5
DEN-102BB   Dental Materials PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course provides instruction in identification, properties, evaluation of quality, principles, and procedures related to manipulation and storage of operative and specialty dental materials. Emphasis is placed on the understanding and safe application of materials used in the dental office and laboratory. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the laboratory and clinical application of routinely used dental materials.

Register for this class
DEN-103 Dental Sciences 2 2
DEN-103   Dental Sciences PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • DEN-100

This course is a study of oral pathology, pharmacology, and dental office emergencies. Topics include oral pathological conditions, dental therapeutics, and management of emergency situations. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize abnormal oral conditions, identify classifications, describe actions and effects of commonly prescribed drugs, and respond to medical emergencies.

Register for this class
DEN-104 Dental Health Education 4 3
DEN-104   Dental Health Education PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • DEN-101 DEN-111;

This course covers the study of preventive dentistry to prepare dental assisting students for the role of dental health educator. Topics include etiology of dental diseases, preventive procedures, and patient education theory and practice. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in patient counseling and oral health instruction in private practice or public health settings.

Register for this class
DEN-105 Practice Management 2 2
DEN-105   Practice Management PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • DEN-100;

This course provides a study of principles and procedures related to management of the dental practice. Emphasis is placed on maintaining clinical and financial records, patient scheduling, and supply and inventory control. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate fundamental skills in dental practice management.

Register for this class
DEN-112BB Dental Radiography 2.5 1.5
DEN-112BB   Dental Radiography PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course provides a comprehensive view of the principles and procedures of radiology as they apply to dentistry. Topics include techniques in exposing, processing, and evaluating radiographs, as well as radiation safety, quality assurance, and legal issues. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the production of diagnostically acceptable radiographs using appropriate safety precautions.

Register for this class
Semester Total 14 11
Course
Number
Course
Title
contact
hours
Credit
hours
BIO-106 Intro to Anatomy/Physiology/Microbiology 4 3
BIO-106   Intro to Anatomy/Physiology/Microbiology PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • DMA-010 DMA-020 DMA-030

This course covers the fundamental and principle concepts of human anatomy and physiology and microbiology. Topics include an introduction to the structure and function of cells, tissues, and human organ systems, and an overview of microbiology, epidemiology, and control of microorganisms. Upon completion, students should be able to identify structures and functions of the human body and describe microorganisms and their significance in health and disease.

Register for this class
DEN-107 Clinical Practice II 13 5
DEN-107   Clinical Practice II PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • DEN-106 DEN-112

This course is designed to increase the level of proficiency in assisting in a clinical setting. Emphasis is placed on the application of principles and procedures of four-handed dentistry and laboratory and clinical support functions. Upon completion, students should be able to combine theoretical and ethical principles necessary to perform entry-level skills including functions delegable to a DA II.

Register for this class
Semester Total 17 8
TOTAL CREDITS 38

print Dental Assisting (Evening Option) • Semester by Semester

Course
Number
Course
Title
contact
hours
Credit
hours
DEN-100 Basic Orofacial Anatomy (1st 8 weeks) 2 2
DEN-100   Basic Orofacial Anatomy PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • ENG 090 RED 090 DMA 010, 020, 030

This course provides a basic introduction to the structures of the head, neck, and oral cavity. Topics include tooth morphology, head and neck anatomy, histology, and embryology. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of normal structures and development and how they relate to the practice of dental assisting.

Register for this class
DEN-101AB Preclinical Procedures 4 3
DEN-101AB   Preclinical Procedures PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course provides instruction in procedures for the clinical dental assistant as specified by the North Carolina Dental Practice Act. Emphasis is placed on orientation to the profession, infection control techniques, instruments, related expanded functions, and diagnostic, operative, and specialty procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in clinical dental assisting procedures. This course is restricted to diploma and/or certificate programs.

Register for this class
DEN-111 Infection/Hazard Control (2nd 8 weeks) 2 2
DEN-111   Infection/Hazard Control PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course introduces the infection and hazard control procedures necessary for the safe practice of dentistry. Topics include microbiology, practical infection control, sterilization and monitoring, chemical disinfectants, aseptic technique, infectious diseases, OSHA standards, and applicable North Carolina laws. Upon completion, students should be able to understand infectious diseases, disease transmission, infection control procedures, biohazard management, OSHA standards, and applicable North Carolina laws.

Register for this class
ACA-111 College Student Success 1 1
ACA-111   College Student Success PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course introduces the college's physical, academic, and social environment and promotes the personal development essential for success. Topics include campus facilities and resources; policies, procedures, and programs; study skills; and life management issues such as health, self-esteem, motivation, goal-setting, diversity, and communication. Upon completion, students should be able to function effectively within the college environment to meet their educational objectives.

Register for this class
PSY-150 General Psychology 3 3
PSY-150   General Psychology PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • ENG 080 and RED 080 or DRE-097

This course provides an overview of the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include history, methodology, biopsychology, sensation, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, abnormal behavior, personality theory, social psychology, and other relevant topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the science of psychology.

Register for this class
Semester Total 12 11
Course
Number
Course
Title
contact
hours
Credit
hours
DEN-112 Dental Radiography 5 3
DEN-112   Dental Radiography PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course provides a comprehensive view of the principles and procedures of radiology as they apply to dentistry. Topics include techniques in exposing, processing, and evaluating radiographs, as well as radiation safety, quality assurance, and legal issues. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the production of diagnostically acceptable radiographs using appropriate safety precautions.

Register for this class
Semester Total 5 3
Course
Number
Course
Title
contact
hours
Credit
hours
DEN-102AB Dental Materials 3.5 2.5
DEN-102AB   Dental Materials PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course provides instruction in identification, properties, evaluation of quality, principles, and procedures related to manipulation and storage of operative and specialty dental materials. Emphasis is placed on the understanding and safe application of materials used in the dental office and laboratory. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the laboratory and clinical application of routinely used dental materials.

Register for this class
DEN-105 Practice Management 2 2
DEN-105   Practice Management PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • DEN-100;

This course provides a study of principles and procedures related to management of the dental practice. Emphasis is placed on maintaining clinical and financial records, patient scheduling, and supply and inventory control. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate fundamental skills in dental practice management.

Register for this class
BIO-106 Intro to Anatomy/Physiology/Microbiology 4 3
BIO-106   Intro to Anatomy/Physiology/Microbiology PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • DMA-010 DMA-020 DMA-030

This course covers the fundamental and principle concepts of human anatomy and physiology and microbiology. Topics include an introduction to the structure and function of cells, tissues, and human organ systems, and an overview of microbiology, epidemiology, and control of microorganisms. Upon completion, students should be able to identify structures and functions of the human body and describe microorganisms and their significance in health and disease.

Register for this class
Semester Total 9.5 7.5
Course
Number
Course
Title
contact
hours
Credit
hours
DEN-101BB Preclinical Procedures 6 4
DEN-101BB   Preclinical Procedures PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course provides instruction in procedures for the clinical dental assistant as specified by the North Carolina Dental Practice Act. Emphasis is placed on orientation to the profession, infection control techniques, instruments, related expanded functions, and diagnostic, operative, and specialty procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in clinical dental assisting procedures. This course is restricted to diploma and/or certificate programs.

Register for this class
DEN-102BB Dental Materials 3.5 2.5
DEN-102BB   Dental Materials PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • NONE

This course provides instruction in identification, properties, evaluation of quality, principles, and procedures related to manipulation and storage of operative and specialty dental materials. Emphasis is placed on the understanding and safe application of materials used in the dental office and laboratory. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the laboratory and clinical application of routinely used dental materials.

Register for this class
Semester Total 9.5 6.5
Course
Number
Course
Title
contact
hours
Credit
hours
DEN-103 Dental Sciences 2 2
DEN-103   Dental Sciences PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • DEN-100

This course is a study of oral pathology, pharmacology, and dental office emergencies. Topics include oral pathological conditions, dental therapeutics, and management of emergency situations. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize abnormal oral conditions, identify classifications, describe actions and effects of commonly prescribed drugs, and respond to medical emergencies.

Register for this class
Semester Total 2 2
Course
Number
Course
Title
contact
hours
Credit
hours
DEN-107 Clinical Practice II 13 5
DEN-107   Clinical Practice II PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • DEN-106 DEN-112

This course is designed to increase the level of proficiency in assisting in a clinical setting. Emphasis is placed on the application of principles and procedures of four-handed dentistry and laboratory and clinical support functions. Upon completion, students should be able to combine theoretical and ethical principles necessary to perform entry-level skills including functions delegable to a DA II.

Register for this class
DEN-104 Dental Health Education 4 3
DEN-104   Dental Health Education PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES • DEN-101 DEN-111;

This course covers the study of preventive dentistry to prepare dental assisting students for the role of dental health educator. Topics include etiology of dental diseases, preventive procedures, and patient education theory and practice. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in patient counseling and oral health instruction in private practice or public health settings.

Register for this class
Semester Total 17 8
TOTAL CREDITS 38

Upon completion graduates may seek employment in private general practices, public health clinics, specialty practices, hospital dental clinics and other related areas.