Dental Assistant (Diploma)

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As the population grows and ages, dentists’ workloads are expected to increase, driving a need for dental assistants with the skills to perform routine tasks so dentists may devote more time to complex procedures. In fact, dental assisting is projected to be among the fastest-growing occupations in the nation through the year 2022.* At Kaplan College, you could acquire the relevant education and hands-on training to help start your career in dental assisting.

If you want to become part of a dental practice, our Dental Assistant Diploma program can provide you with the relevant training, knowledge, and skills. You could develop the skills to perform duties such as instrument sterilization, tray setups, four-handed dentistry, equipment maintenance, impressions, model trimming, charting, and dental reception duties. We offer flexible class schedules so you could meet the demands of your family, work, and education. At Kaplan College, you can get the education and hands-on training to help start your career in dental assisting.

Dental Assistant Diploma Program Features

Our curriculum offers hands-on training to help you develop the skills to succeed on the job as soon as you graduate. In addition to office management and communications, records management and ethics, and an introduction to basic computer skills, study includes the following:

  • Chairside assisting, including handling dental instruments, controlling infection, and planning treatment in the eight specialty areas of dentistry
  • Handling dental emergencies, such as an abscessed tooth, alveolitis, or a broken tooth or prosthesis
  • Identifying structures of the oral cavity, the different types of teeth, and universal codes for each tooth
  • Preventive dentistry

Dental Assistant Education & Training

Kaplan College is proud to offer a Dental Assistant Diploma program that is market-driven with curriculum designed to serve local employment needs. When you earn your diploma at Kaplan College, you have the opportunity to gain not only dental assistant knowledge and skills, but also professional skills that you could apply to your everyday life. The objective of the dental assistant program is to prepare you to pursue positions as a member of a dental health team and to perform chairside assisting and related office and lab procedures under the direct supervision of a dentist. Before you graduate, you will be required to complete an externship at a general dental office, clinic, or other dental facility where you can actively participate in patient care.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

The duties of a dental assistant are diverse, designed to support the dentist, and include performing a range of daily activities such as the following:

  • Caring for patients in the treatment room 
  • Taking impressions of patients' teeth
  • Demonstrating preventive dentistry to patients
  • Assisting with oral surgery
  • Performing oral evacuations
  • Infection control and sterilization

Administrative Skills Training

Dental assistants often perform administrative responsibilities to help maintain an efficient, productive dental office. Your training will include classes in dental office procedures such as taking inventory, managing patient records, and communicating verbally and through written correspondence.

Potential Dental Assistant Career Opportunities

As a graduate of the dental assistant program at Kaplan College, you may apply for an entry-level positions in dental group practices, public health institutions, clinics, dental insurance agencies, and for dental product distributors. Dental assistants can continue to grow in their careers and become office managers, enter dental sales positions, or obtain positions at research facilities or insurance companies.

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, Dental Assistants, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm (accessed January 2014). Expected national growth rate through the year 2022. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

† The School cannot guarantee a student's eligibility either to take any exam or become certified, registered, or licensed. A student's eligibility may depend on his or her work experience, completion of high school (or its equivalent), not having a criminal record, meeting other licensure or certification requirements, or the program or School itself having appropriate accreditation or licensure. Externship sites may themselves require a criminal background check or medical examination. Please refer to the Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams section of the relevant campus catalog for further guidance.

Campus Locations

The Dental Assistant program is available at the following Kaplan College locations:

California  

    Certifications

    Certification or licensure can provide an additional credential for obtaining employment in the field; in some instances, certification or licensure may be required for employment in certain locations. Successful completion of this program may enable graduates to take a certification or licensure examination. Upon completion of the program, students may be eligible to sit for the following:

    • The California Registered Dental Assistant exam offered by The Dental Board of California (DBC). A license is not required to work as a Dental Assistant in California. To become a Registered Dental Assistant it is necessary to pass the three examinations issued by the Dental Board of California. For additional details, visit www.dbc.ca.gov.

    California students: RDA examination pass rates are available at http://www.dbc.ca.gov/formspubs/wpfs01_14.pdf.

    Certification or licensure examinations vary by location. Please see the campus course catalog or click on the campus name above to determine which certification or licensure exam(s) may be available to graduates from that location.

    Campus Catalogs

    Please review the Academic Programs section of the course catalog for your campus to find details about specific program outcomes and offerings. 

    Tuition and Fees

    You can find current tuition information in the course catalog for your campus under Financial Information > Tuition and Fees.

    † The School cannot guarantee a student's eligibility either to take any exam or become certified, registered, or licensed. A student's eligibility may depend on his or her work experience, completion of high school (or its equivalent), not having a criminal record, meeting other licensure or certification requirements, or the program or School itself having appropriate accreditation or licensure. Externship sites may themselves require a criminal background check or medical examination. Please refer to the Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams section of the relevant campus catalog for further guidance.

    Gainful Employment Disclosures

    Access gainful employment information for this program, including program length, tuition costs, financing options, and success rates:

    California