Dental Assisting

   Program Description

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. Additionally, the program provides opportunities to upgrade present knowledge and skills or to retrain in the area of dental assisting.

   Program Advisors

Liza Charlton Dental Assisting Program Director Dental Assisting
Work Phone: 770-533-7000 Ext: 6935
Vanessa Goff Dental Assisting Lab Technician,Academic Affairs Dental Assisting
Work Phone: 770-533-7000 Ext: 7042


Frequently Asked Questions

   When is the next Information Session?

Information sessions will be held on the following dates/times:

Date Time Location
Monday, August 17, 2020 12:00 pm Webex
Wednesday, September 15, 2020 2:00 pm Webex
Wednesday, October 20, 2020 5:00 pm Webex
Monday, November 17, 2020 10:00 am Webex
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 3:00 pm Webex

All students who are interested in applying for the Dental Assisting program must attend one of the mandatory information sessions. Students will receive a Dental Assisting program application at the completion of the information session. Information sessions are offered April through December for each new class.  Students compete for a spot in the program at the end of fall semester.  Therefore, students who do not attend an information session by December will have to wait an additional year to get into the program.

The information sessions will be held online.  Students who wish to attend an information session should follow the WebEx link next to each date at the regularly scheduled meeting time. Students do not need to contact the program director to attend the meeting. All attendees must arrive on time to the session that they wish to attend.  Late arrivals will not be permitted.  Information sessions will last one hour.

Please feel free to email the Program Director if you have any questions.

Program Director:  Mrs. Charlton            E-mail: lcharlto@laniertech.edu

 

Yes, some orthodontic offices will hire graduates upon completion of the program.

Most dental assistants work full time. However, nearly 1 in 3 assistants worked part time in 2016. Some may work evenings or weekends. -Statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

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 are often exposed to blood and saliva as they perform their duties as a dental assistant. Since dental assistants perform their duties inside a patient’s mouth, and may be exposed to patient blood, they are encouraged to have the Hepatitis B vaccination before performing patient care.

Dental assistants may prepare materials for impressions and restorations, and process dental x rays as directed by a dentist. They also may remove sutures, apply topical anesthetics to gums or cavity-preventive agents to teeth, remove excess cement used in the filling process, and place dental dams to isolate teeth for treatment. Many States are expanding dental assistants’ duties to include tasks such as coronal polishing and restorative dentistry functions for those assistants who meet specific training and experience requirements.

Dental assistants with laboratory duties make casts of the teeth and mouth from impressions, clean and polish removable appliances, and make temporary crowns. Those with office duties schedule and confirm appointments, receive patients, keep treatment records, send bills, receive payments, and order dental supplies and materials.

Dental assistants must work closely with, and under the supervision of, dentists. Additionally, dental assistants should not be confused with dental hygienists, who are licensed to perform a different set of clinical tasks.

Dental assistants work in a well-lighted, clean environment. Their work area is usually near the dental chair so that they can arrange instruments, materials, and medication and hand them to the dentist when needed. Dental assistants must wear gloves, masks, eyewear, and protective clothing to protect themselves and their patients from infectious diseases. Assistants also follow safety procedures to minimize the risks associated with the use of x-ray machines.

Program accreditation information can be found in the Catalog and Student Handbook.  View the Dental Assisting Diploma page for more information.