Dental Assistants are the heart of the dental team.
Behind the scenes of a successful dental practice, dental assistants help ensure quality care for their patients. As a key member of the dental team, a dental assistant's responsibilities include exposing x-rays, placing sealants, polishing teeth, preparing dental materials, placing temporary restorations, and assisting dentists as they care for patients. Dental assistants also know how to sterilize instruments; inventory, prepare procedural trays; and instruct patients on post-operative and preventative oral health care. If you like to help others, work well in team settings, and have good eye-hand coordination, dental assisting may be the perfect career for you. You'll be embarking on a career that is an exciting blend of technical expertise and people-to-people contact.
Individuals graduating from the program may be hired by specialized or general dental practices as an expanded duty assistant, hygiene assistant, dental receptionist, or traditional chairside assistant. Employment opportunities are high and well distributed throughout the United States. In Washington State dental assistants have the opportunity to become licensed as Expanded Function Dental Auxiliaries (see below). Successful students completing the dental assisting program will be able to seek employment as confident, knowledgeable and skillful Registered Dental Assistants.
What You'll Do Here
South Puget Sound Community College's Dental Assisting program is designed to help students meet their educational goal of becoming a Certified Dental Assistant. You will learn in the classroom, dental lab, radiography lab, and in the Campus Dental Clinic, where patients receive dental services from local dentists and hygienists. Your training will emphasize becoming proficient in expanded functions such as taking x-rays and placing temporary fillings.
The program emphasizes individual attention and teamwork. You’ll work with your peers for five quarters while you learn about dental procedures, instrumentation, restorative materials, dental sciences, infection control, patient education, radiography and office assistant procedures.
You’ll rotate into the campus dental clinic and work directly with patients from the community under the expert direction of dentists and highly trained program staff. When you finish the program, you'll have more than 250 hours of actual hands-on chairside assisting experience and the ability to perform necessary skills effectively and independently.
The South Puget Sound Community College Dental Assisting Program has been nationally accredited through the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation since 1969.
Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary Certification (EFDA)
In Washington State, Registered Dental Assistants (RDA) with more than 3 years of dental assisting experience in restorative procedures have the opportunity to become licensed as Expanded Function Dental Auxiliaries. An EFDA can perform selected duties without the close supervision of a dentist and they can place composite and amalgam fillings under close supervision. The EFDA certification program at South Puget Sound Community College prepares students, in conjunction with their sponsoring dentists, for the successful completion of exams required for licensure. Please see EFDA Application Information for more details.