Dental assistants perform many tasks, ranging from direct patient care during dental procedures and taking x-rays, to record-keeping and scheduling appointments. COCC’s Dental Assisting program trains students in the broad range of clinical skills including assisting the dentist during a variety of procedures, performing radiographic imaging, fabricating temporary crowns, maintaining medical records, patient scheduling, disinfection and instrument processing procedures, and many others. Since the Dental Assisting program at COCC is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, graduates obtain the Expanded Functions Dental Assistant certification. Graduates are also prepared for the Dental Assisting National Board examinations to become Certified Dental Assistants. The Dental Assisting program prepares graduates for the rewarding profession of dental assisting.
Health Careers Center, Bend Campus
Department: Allied Health
Department Chair: Deborah Malone
Career and Technical Education
DA 110 Basic Dental Assisting (4 Credits)
General overview of the Dental Assisting profession through lecture, discussions, demonstrations, laboratory activities and on-site clinic visitation. Includes examining dentistry as a profession, charting and data collection, taking and recording vital signs, four-handed dentistry and equipment use and maintenance. Laboratory portion gives students initial skills for the clinical experience in the areas of instrument identification and transfer, oral-evacuation and use of the air-water syringe. Infection control protocols established by OSHA, the Oregon Board of Dentistry and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be implemented. See DA 115 for Dental Assisting program prerequisites.
DA 115 Dental Science (5 Credits)
Explores the following areas of study: basic anatomy and physiology, head and neck anatomy, dental embryology, oral histology, anatomy of the face and oral cavity and tooth morphology.
DA 120 Advanced Dental Assisting (4 Credits)
Prerequisites: DA 110.
Continuation of DA 110 and furthers student's knowledge of the dental assisting profession. Includes lecture, power point presentations, videos, discussions, demonstrations and lab participation. Covers the advanced dental assisting skills of dental dam placement and procedures involved with the dental specialties of endodontics, periodontics and oral surgery. Also covers expanded functions such as coronal polishing, suture removal and pit and fissure sealants in accordance with the Oregon Board of Dentistry.
DA 125 Dental Infection Control (3 Credits)
Covers the principles of infection control related to the dental office, including an introduction to microbiology, along with cross-contamination and hazard control. The course covers OSHA Standards of Hazard Communication and Blood-borne Pathogens. Aseptic techniques and infection control procedures will be applied in the laboratory setting and assessed through competencies. The management of Safety Data Sheets and labeling of hazardous material will be addressed. See DA 115 for Dental Assisting program prerequisites.
DA 130 Dental Materials I (4 Credits)
Examines the properties of amalgam and composite materials. Provides skills in chairside assisting during the placement of Tofflemire matrices, amalgam restorations, and composite restorations on a dexter. Offers lecture and laboratory experiences manipulating materials such as, alginate impression materials to take impressions, and gypsum products to pour casts. Includes the fabrication of custom methylmethacrylate impression trays, light cured trays, and vacuum formed bleach trays. Covers pouring models, trimming for diagnostic casts, and taking bite registrations. See DA 120 for second term Dental Assisting program prerequisites.
DA 131 Dental Materials II (4 Credits)
Prerequisites: DA 130.
Provides a fundamental knowledge of the materials commonly used in dental practice, including the physical, chemical, and manipulative characteristics of cements, bases, cavity liners, cavity varnishes, composites, and resins. The laboratory component offers experience in the correct manipulation of these materials. Covers the skills of cleaning and polishing removable prostheses, and the fabrication of several types of provisional restorations. The didactic portion examines restorative options such as crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, full dentures, and partial dentures.
DA 134 Dental Radiology I (3 Credits)
Explores the basic principles of radiography, the history of radiation and an introduction to the physics of radiation. Also covers the biological effects of radiation for both the safety and comfort of the patient and the operator. Introduces the radiographic unit and dental x-ray film. See DA 115 for Dental Assisting program prerequisites.
DA 135 Dental Radiology II (4 Credits)
Prerequisites: DA 134.
Focuses on the integration of knowledge and skills acquired during DA 134 – Dental Radiology I as the student transitions from the didactic study of radiography to the lab and clinical application. Performance of diagnostic exposure techniques using a variety of image receptors to a predetermined level of competency on both lab manikins and clinical patients. Interpretation of radiographic images for exposure and technique errors, anatomic landmarks, restorations, dental materials and diseases. Focuses on clinical patient management, using interpersonal skills and patient education, while adhering to appropriate infection control protocols.
DA 145 Preventive Dentistry (3 Credits)
Covers the components of preventive dentistry including oral hygiene instruction, plaque control, fluoride therapy, dental sealants and dietary considerations for the dental patient. Clinical skills include the completion of a coronal polish sequence and fluoride tray therapy on both a manikin and a fellow student patient. Identifies the pros and cons of Fluoride Varnish and Silver Nitrate therapies used in dental practices. Includes a discussion of the operation and procedures associated with Pediatric Dentistry. A capstone Service Learning project, related to the topic of Preventive Dentistry, will be selected, completed and presented to the class. See DA 115 for Dental Assisting program prerequisites.
DA 150 Intro to Dental Office Management (3 Credits)
Covers key competencies related to office practices and administrative responsibilities of the dental assistant as identified by the American Dental Association. Covers dental record preparation and maintenance, applicable computer applications, legal issues, general office management principles and professionalism in the dental office. Provides related instruction in computation. Teaches cover letter and resume writing, interviewing skills and HIPAA regulations. See DA 131 for third term Dental Assisting program prerequisites.
DA 151 Dental Computing (2 Credits)
Computers are an integral part of today's dental offices. They have become the method of choice for managing patient dental records, appointment scheduling, charting, processing insurance claims and establishing financial arrangements. Computer systems allow for the generation of reports, patient statements, professional and patient correspondence, treatment plans, and fees for service. This course is designed to give students the training necessary to successfully complete these front-office tasks. See DA 120 for second term Dental Assisting program prerequisites.
DA 160 Oral Medicine (3 Credits)
Part one is an introduction to the study of Oral Pathology and Dental Pharmacology. Part two focuses on the role of the dental assistant when caring for compromised patients and in dealing with dental/medical emergencies in the dental office. See DA 131 for third term Dental Assisting program prerequisites.
DA 180 Co-op Work Experience Dental Assisting (1-4 Credits)
Prerequisites: Instructor approval.
Provides experience in which students apply previous classroom learning in an occupational setting. Credits depend on the number of hours worked. P/NP grading.
DA 181 Dental Seminar I (1 Credit)
Discusses the various aspect of practicum I. Guest speakers representing dental specialties and alternative dental employment possibilities will be scheduled. Students will share work-related experiences with the instructor and their peers. Addresses employment opportunities, completing job applications, and interviewing skills. See DA 120 for second term Dental Assisting prerequisites. P/NP grading.
DA 182 Dental Seminar II (1 Credit)
Seminar discussions on various aspects of spring term practicums in local dental offices. Guest speakers representing dental specialties and alternative dental employment possibilities will be scheduled. Students will share work-related experiences with the instructor and their peers. Covers employment opportunities, resume writing, completing job applications, and interviewing skills. Student will also prepare for the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) General Chairside Exam. See DA 131 for third term Dental Assisting program prerequisites. P/NP grading.
DA 188 Special Studies: Dental Assisting (1-4 Credits)
Explores topics of current interest in the discipline.
DA 190 Dental Assisting Practicum I (1-5 Credits)
A supervised, unpaid learning experience which takes place on-site at the COCC Dental and Radiology Clinics and at various community outreach facilities. Provides students with the opportunity to perform clearly identified competencies within the clinical setting. Each credit is equivalent to 30 hours in the clinical setting. See DA 120 for second term Dental Assisting program prerequisites. P/NP grading.
DA 191 Dental Assisting Practicum II (1-8 Credits)
Prerequisites: DA 190.
A supervised, unpaid learning experience which takes place on site at a minimum of two prearranged clinical facilities. Provides students with the opportunity to perform clearly identified competencies within the clinical setting. Each credit is equivalent to 30 hours in the clinical setting. P/NP grading.
DA 199 Selected Topics: Dental Assisting (1-4 Credits)
This course is in development.
DA 298 Independent Study: Dental Assisting (1-4 Credits)
Prerequisites: Instructor approval.
Recommended preparation: prior coursework in the discipline.
Individualized, advanced study to focus on outcomes not addressed in existing courses or of special interest to a student. P/NP grading.