Health Technology Building (HT), Room 206
Health Admissions Office
Health Technology Building (HT), Room 205
Career and Program Description
The dental assistant is a member of the dental team, working with and assisting the dentist and hygienist during clinical procedures. Traditional duties and responsibilities include: exposing and developing dental radiographs, mixing dental materials, organizing and preparing treatment rooms, passing dental instruments and materials to the dentist, taking impressions, preparing, placing and removing rubber dams, placing topical anesthetic, fluoride and desensitizing agents, sterilizing instruments, disinfecting dental equipment, comforting patients during dental procedures and educating patients on various dental procedures. Graduates are also prepared to perform the following expanded duties: polish teeth and restorations, fabricate and cement temporary crowns, remove cement, place temporary restorations, place and remove matrix retainers, place sealants, and temporary denture relines and perform various orthodontic duties.
Computer skills are an important asset to a dental assistant. Dental computer programs are learned in the office procedures courses.
The Dental Assisting program is a limited entry program with restricted enrollment. The program is limited to 45 students. Applications are accepted from October 1 to April 15. Application forms may be obtained from the Health Admissions Office or at www.pcc.edu/da and should be submitted along with high school and college transcripts to:
Health Admissions Office
Sylvania Campus, (HT) Room 205
Portland Community College
P.O. Box 19000
Portland, Oregon 97280-0990
Candidates will be notified of their admission status by mid to late May. For information call 971-722-4795 or 971-722-4236, or check the website www.pcc.edu/da.
Degrees and Certificates Offered
Accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
Prerequisites and Requirements
All aspects of the Dental Assisting Program are continually assessed to provide on-going excellence and continuing improvement, and are subject to change.
- High school or college transcripts showing a minimum 2.0 GPA, or GED.
- Completion of the following courses or their equivalents, with a C or better, is required to be considered for application to the Dental Assisting Program.
- WR 115 or higher level writing course (Placement into WR 121 can substitute for the WR 115 course)
- Approved college level health or nutrition course. Recommended classes include HE 250, HE 295 and PE 295, or FN 225.
- Placement into MTH 20 or higher.
Approved college level Psychology course. PSY 101 is recommended.
Applicants should plan to have all courses complete by the end of winter term. Courses planned for spring term may not be considered. Pass/No Pass grades are not acceptable in prerequisites. It is the applicant’s responsibility to update their information by providing final grades of courses which are in progress at the time of application.
- All students are required to be immunized against Hepatitis B as well as evidence of immunity to measles, tetanus immunization and current tuberculin skin test (TST). Test must be within previous 12 months. Positive TST will require evidence of normal chest x-ray (supply upon acceptance).
- A Valid CPR card.
Criminal Background Check
All PCC students enrolled in a health care or child care program, including Dental Assisting, with requirements for practical experience of field training must pass a Criminal History Check (CHC) as a condition of their acceptance into a medical or other facility for training.
Students who do not pass the CHC are not eligible to complete training at affiliated practicum sites, to sit for licensure or certification exams; or be hired for some professional positions. If you believe that your past history may interfere with your ability to complete the program of study or to obtaining licensure, or certification in your chosen field, you should contact the appropriate state board or program director.
The Dental Assisting Certificate prepares the student for job entry with State and National certification in dental radiology, basic dental assisting and expanded function dental assisting.
Students enrolled in the Dental Assisting Program perform exposure prone procedures and are required to wear safety glasses, gloves, face masks and protective clothing during all laboratory and clinic activities that produce airborne particulate matter, or expose students to patients during dental procedures. An exposure prone procedure is one in which there is an increased opportunity for the exchange of blood borne pathogens between the patient and the dental health care provider because of the kind of procedure being performed.
Safety policies, procedures and protocols are taught and followed according to OSHA regulations and CDC Standards to provide a safe learning and patient care environment. The program policies on blood borne pathogens and infectious disease are available to applicants upon request. Upon acceptance to the program, extensive training in this area will occur.
Applicants who have an infectious disease or who are carriers of an infectious disease should seek counsel from their physician and the program director prior to application. The college follows CDC suggested work restrictions for health-care personnel infected with or exposed to major infectious diseases in health care settings, from the CDC’s Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Healthcare Settings–2003 available at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5217a1.htm, Table 1, attached to and incorporated by this reference to this policy.
Dental Assisting One-Year Certificate
Minimum 45 credits. Students must meet certificate requirements.
Dental Assisting Certificate Credit Summary
Course of Study
The coursework listed below is required. The following is an example of a term-by-term breakdown.
|DA 110||Clinical Procedures I||3|
|DA 111||Clinical Procedures I (Lab)||2|
|DA 120||Dental Radiology I||2|
|DA 121||Dental Radiology I (Lab)||2|
|DA 130||Dental Materials I||1|
|DA 131||Dental Materials I (Lab)||2|
|DA 140||Integrated Basic Science I||3|
|DA 160||Dental Pharmacology||1|
|DA 112||Clinical Procedures II||1|
|DA 113||Clinical Procedures II (Lab)||3|
|DA 118||Expanded Duties I||1|
|DA 122||Dental Radiology II||1|
|DA 123||Dental Radiology II (Lab)||2|
|DA 132||Dental Materials II||1|
|DA 133||Dental Materials II (Lab)||2|
|DA 142||Integrated Basic Science II||2|
|DA 150||Dental Office Procedures I||2|
|DA 114||Clinical Procedures III||1|
|DA 115||Clinical Procedures Lab III||5|
|DA 119||Expanded Duties II||1|
|DA 125||Dental Radiology III (Lab)||2|
|DA 135||Dental Materials III (Lab)||2|
|DA 152||Dental Office Procedures II||2|
|DA 156||Ethics and Jurisprudence||1|
DA 110. Clinical Procedures I. 3 Credits.
Introduction to clinical dental assisting including operatory preparation, sterilization/disinfection procedures, dental equipment, tray set-ups and restorative dental procedures.
DA 111. Clinical Procedures I (Lab). 2 Credits.
Laboratory training and experience in basic dental assisting functions and responsibilities. Students progress to assisting dentists in the dental clinics.
DA 112. Clinical Procedures II. 1 Credit.
Intermediate clinical dental assisting with instruction in oral examination, charting and other procedures. PREREQ: DA 110.
DA 113. Clinical Procedures II (Lab). 3 Credits.
Continued clinic and laboratory experience. Students spend 1 (one) day per week assisting dental students at the Oregon Health Sciences University Dental School.
DA 114. Clinical Procedures III. 1 Credit.
Advanced clinical dental assisting with instruction in dental specialty procedures.
DA 115. Clinical Procedures Lab III. 5 Credits.
Advanced clinical experience, including dental specialty procedures. Students spend three days per week in dental office internships.
DA 118. Expanded Duties I. 1 Credit.
Study of the function and procedures beyond the scope of general dental assisting as allowed by the Oregon Dental Practice Act. Includes amalgam polishing and margination, rubber dam placement and removal.
DA 119. Expanded Duties II. 1 Credit.
Continued study of expanded duties to include coronal polishing, cement removal, and other areas needed to meet changes in the field.
DA 120. Dental Radiology I. 2 Credits.
Introduction to the uses of radiographic images in dentistry, including the history, physical and chemical properties, biological effects and safety principles.
DA 121. Dental Radiology I (Lab). 2 Credits.
Practices radiographic techniques on manikins and correlate activities to the DA 120 lecture.
DA 122. Dental Radiology II. 1 Credit.
Continued study of the philosophy and principles of dental radiography with review and preparation for National and State certification examinations.
DA 123. Dental Radiology II (Lab). 2 Credits.
Continued experience with radiographic techniques on manikins and clinic patients under direct supervision.
DA 125. Dental Radiology III (Lab). 2 Credits.
Advanced x-ray clinical experience to include extra-oral and x-rays for children and edentulous patients. Radiographic experience during private practice internships.
DA 130. Dental Materials I. 1 Credit.
Basic physical and chemical properties of dental materials including resins, gypsum products, impression materials, waxes, cements and bases.
DA 131. Dental Materials I (Lab). 2 Credits.
Lab activities prepare students in the proper handling and manipulation of the materials studied in DA 130 lecture.
DA 132. Dental Materials II. 1 Credit.
Continued study of dental materials to include those used specifically in the processes of crown and bridge construction.
DA 133. Dental Materials II (Lab). 2 Credits.
Students continue to develop skills in the handling and manipulation of dental materials as described in the DA 132 lecture.
DA 135. Dental Materials III (Lab). 2 Credits.
Advanced laboratory activities designed to improve proficiency and efficiency in the handling and manipulation of dental materials. Students apply knowledge and skills in dental office internships.
DA 140. Integrated Basic Science I. 3 Credits.
Fundamental principles of human anatomy and physiology, plus study of tooth form and function. Introduction to dental embryology, microbiology and pathology included.
DA 142. Integrated Basic Science II. 2 Credits.
Specialized study of the structures of the head and neck with emphasis on the oral cavity.
DA 150. Dental Office Procedures I. 2 Credits.
Overview of procedures associated with reception desk responsibilities and dental office management.
DA 152. Dental Office Procedures II. 2 Credits.
Comprehensive course that includes oral and written communication, computer skills and job search techniques. All study is related to dentistry. Recommended: typing/keyboarding skills.
DA 156. Ethics and Jurisprudence. 1 Credit.
Covers ethical standards established by the dental professions and legal responsibilities of the dental assistant and the dentist as established by the Oregon Dental Practice Act. The legal responsibilities and obligations of the dental assistant and the dentist are also taught.
DA 160. Dental Pharmacology. 1 Credit.
Become familiar with medications and drugs used by the dentist in treating patients.
DA 9406. Dental Assisting Practicum. 1-5 Credit.
Upgrading for dental assistants who have been out of the field for a prolonged period of time, or who feel their skills are out of date.