- About Dental Assisting
- Getting Started: Requirements
- Dental Assisting at SRJC
- Program Goals
- Program Competencies
- Program Cost
- Application Process
- Program of Study
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Career Opportunities
ABOUT DENTAL ASSISTING
The dental assistant takes on significant responsibility as a member of the dental
health-care team. Registered Dental Assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dentist in the delivery of quality oral health care and are valuable members of the dental care team. The duties of a registered dental assistant are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office. They perform many tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills.
- assisting the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures;
- taking dental radiographs;
- reviewing a patient’s medical history and taking their vital signs;
- serving as an infection control officer;
- developing infection control protocol and preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment;
- helping patients feel comfortable and confident, before, during and after dental treatment;
- providing patients with instructions for oral care following surgery or other dental treatment procedures, such as the placement of a restoration (filling);
- teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health; (e.g., toothbrushing, flossing and nutritional counseling); and
- taking impressions of patients’ teeth for study models.
In addition to clinical responsibilities, those who prefer the business office can have administrative functions, such as a scheduling coordinator, an insurance processor, treatment and financial coordinator and as an office manager.
GETTING STARTED: Requirements
In addition to applying for the Dental Assisting (DA) Program by completing the application, please speak to a Health Science counselor to have your prerequisite classes for the program requirements evaluated. The Health Science counselor will help you develop an educational plan. 707 527-4451
The program starts each fall semester. A computerized (fillable) application is available on this website. The application period is from January 17, 2018 to April 3, 2018 for the Fall 2018 semester. Applications postmarked after this date will not be accepted. It is the responsibility of applicants to make sure that files are complete by April 3, 2018.
1. Have a High School, GED or Equivalency
2. Not be on academic probation or progress probation.
3. Be informed: In accordance with state law, the Dental Board of California (DBC) may deny licensure for crimes substantially related to the practice of dental assisting. This includes convictions involving sex crimes, drug crimes (including DUI), and crimes of violence. It is the responsibility of the applicant to present sufficient evidence of rehabilitation to the BDE prior to licensure application. Questions that students may have related to possible denial for licensure should be referred to: Dental Board of California, 2005 Evergreen Street - Suite 1550, Sacramento, CA 95815.
4. Must be substance abuse free for a minimum of two years as substantiated by Rehabilitation Center attending physician.
5. Must be able to read, write, and comprehend English to effectively communicate with patients, faculty and staff.
- Psych 1A – General Psychology and
- Anat 140 or BIO 10 and
- FDNT 10 or FDNT 62
A. CIS 101A Personal Computers for New Users
B. Health Care 160 Medical Terminology - HLC160
Contact: Carol Hatrick, Director of Dental Programs, at (707) 527-4583 or email@example.com for specific questions regarding your application. Contact SRJC Health Science Counselor for all prerequisite course questions.
IMPORTANT: Make an appointment with a Health Sciences Counselor by calling (707-527-4451). If you are returning to school after several years, please call the Reentry Office at (707) 527-4375 to access information and support services.
1. Applicants who have completed all three courses required by the American Dental Association (Psych 1A, Anat 140 or Bio 10, FDNT 10 or FDNT 62) will be given preference for acceptance over applicants who have not completed all three courses.
2. Applicants who have completed two of the courses will be given preference over those who have completed one of the courses.
3. Applicants who have completed one course will be given preference over those who have completed none of the courses.
4. In the event that there are more qualified applicants than spaces available in the class, students will be randomly selected by computer.
5. All prerequisites must successfully completed before beginning the program.
Letters of acceptance/non-acceptance into the Dental Assisting Program will be emailed to applicant approximately six weeks after the application deadline. Acceptance/non-acceptance information will not be given out over the phone.
Students who are accepted into the program are expected to attend the Dental Programs orientation session scheduled in June to discuss program requirements, health requirements, uniforms and instrument kits.
Clinical Site Requirements
1. Complete physical examination form. (Must use and submit a SRJC form). A physician or nurse practitioner must complete the physical within one year prior to entering the program.
2. Positive rubella and rubeola titer or positive antibody screen or MMR vaccine. (**)
3. Second measles vaccine or MMR (minimum 4-6 weeks after initial MMR) for students born after 1957 or proof of immunity.(**)
4. Proof of negative PPD (TB test) (**). The Health Sciences Department now requires the two-step PPD. You need to get the first PPD between June 1 and August 1 and the second PPD one to three weeks from the first shot. If positive PPD, documentation of a baseline chest x-ray (radiology report) taken within the last year must be produced. A symptom-free form completed by an MD or FNP will need to be filled out one year after the chest x-ray.
5. First Hepatitis B vaccine MUST be completed by the first day of Fall semester classes (*).
6. Tetanus or tetanus/diphtheria (Tdap) documented within the last 10 years (*).
7. Copy of current CPR card, including adult, child, and infant. Required: American Heart Association Health Care Provider or BLS or American Red Cross BLS
8. Evidence of immunity to varicella (see chickenpox status statement) (*)
(*) SRJC Student Health Services offers these immunizations for a fee.
(**) Can be obtained through SRJC Student Health Services or Public Health at little, or no cost. Students will need to bring in their own photocopies of the required documentation, due to the Dental Programs Director or designee on the first day of Fall semester classes.
Students who have a high school diploma or college degree from a school outside the United States must contact the Dental Programs Administrative Assistant in the Health Sciences office.
DENTAL ASSISTING at SRJC
The SRJC Dental Assisting Program is located in the beautiful new state-of-the-art William B Race Health Sciences Building on the Santa Rosa Campus.
The Dental Assisting program is an intensive 11-month, full-time sequence of instruction. The program can also be taken on a part-time basis and completed in 22 months. Twenty-four full-time students and four part-time students are admitted in the program each fall. The program admits students once a year in the fall semester.
The Dental Assisting Program has an excellent reputation within the local dental community. Graduates of the Dental Assisting Program rank among the highest in the state in passing the California Registered Dental Assisting Examination.
The majority of the dental assisting classes are a combination of science-oriented lectures and skill development laboratories. During the lectures, students learn theory about oral anatomy, dental radiology, dental materials, chairside dental assisting, oral health information, and management of dental and medical emergencies. In the labs, students develop the skills necessary to become competent in the procedures they will expected to perform in their clinical experiences.
During the fall and spring semesters, the 11-month full-time students should plan for classes to be scheduled from 8 AM to 5 PM, four days a week. There may be times when a class will be held before 8 AM or later than 5 PM. Summer semester clinical is 6 hours a day for 4 days per week, with hours varying from 7 AM to 7 PM, depending on the clinical site. There is a one-hour seminar, usually Tuesday evening from 6-7PM.
Dental Assisting students in the 22-month program will attend classes 2-3 days a week. Approximately 7 hours of outside study each week is required.
Students are expected to provide their own transportation to and from the clinical sites.
The Allied Dental Programs curriculum creates an environment in which students are stimulated to learn, to grow personally, to develop decision making, ethical, and problem solving skills, and to stimulate creative and independent thinking. Students will achieve professional and personal growth through application of classroom knowledge in clinical, laboratory and community settings.
To provide an education that reflects academic excellence and which serves the variety of needs and abilities of our students.
• Graduates will apply evidence based knowledge and skills as they assume the responsibilities of a registered/certified dental assistant.
• Assisting students to succeed in meeting their educational goals by providing comprehensive instructional and student support services.
• Prepare graduates to assume responsibility for continued professional growth, high professional standards and to meet the challenges of oral health care delivery.
• To prepare students to pass the Certified Dental Assisting Examination and California State Registered Dental Assisting licensure examination.
Upon successful completion of this certificate, the student will be able to:
• Graduates of the dental assisting program will be able to make ethical decisions, and demonstrate problem-solving abilities through independent and critical thinking; and
• Graduates will be able to assist a dentist in all phases of diagnosis and treatment of patients, including restorative and cosmetic procedures, endodontic procedures, orthodontic, pediatric, and surgical procedures.
Program costs are approximate and do not include the California State Registered Dental Assisting examination and licensing fees. Costs may vary depending on costs associated with books, health requirements and tuition costs for students. Additional travel costs to UCSF or to clinical sites have not been included in these approximate costs.
Instrument kits/including typodont
Textbooks – 2 years
Scrubs, lab coat, shoes, masks and gloves
Health Requirements for the program
Registration and Malpractice Insurance Fees for 2 years
Application 2018 (January 17, 2018 - April 2, 2018)
Downloadable: Application Form
PROGRAM OF STUDY
For Dental Assisting 11-Month Certificate: Official college website: Program of Study
For Dental Assisting 22-Month Certificate: Official college website: Program of Study
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I am interested in pursuing a career in Dental Assisting, how do I get started?
A. It is recommended that you start by reviewing the information on the Dental Assisting web page. Go to the SRJC main page and use the pull down menu under Academics, go to certificates programs on the left side, then pull down the menu select certificate, and select dental assisting. Here you will find information on the program and can continue to explore specific questions by clicking on “more information”. Make an appointment with a Health Sciences Counselor by calling (707) 527-4451.
Q. Do I need to apply to the College and the Dental Assisting Program?
A. If you are not already a student at SRJC, you must complete an application for admission to the College. The Dental Assisting Program also requires you to complete a separate application. The program application must contain all the required documentation and be submitted to the Health Sciences Department before the deadline.
Q. What are the prerequisite classes required for the Dental Assisting Program?
A. The prerequisite classes include:
- Psych 1A – General Psychology and
- Anat 140 or BIO 10 and
- FDNT 10 or FDNT 62
Recommended Preparation includes: CS 5 or CS 101A and Health Care 60 and English 100/ESL100 or eligibility for English 1A.
Q. Do I need to have all my prerequisites classes completed before applying to the program?
A. Applicants who have completed all three courses required by the American Dental Association (Psych 1A, Anat 140 or Bio 10, FDNT 10 or FDNT 62) at the time of application will be given preference for acceptance over applicants who have not completed all three courses.
Applicants who have completed two of the above prerequisite courses at the time of application will be given preference over those who have completed one of the courses.
Applicants who have completed one of the above prerequisite courses at the time of application will be given preference over those who have completed none of the courses. In the event that there are more qualified applicants than spaces available in the class, students will be randomly selected by the computer.
Note: all prerequisite classes must be successfully completed before the student will be allowed to begin the program.
Q. How many students will be accepted?
A. 24 students will be accepted each fall into the 11-month program and 4 students are accepted into the 22-month program.
Q. Is there any actual dental office experience?
A. In the beginning of the spring semester, students have internship experience one day a week for 5 weeks as a Dental Assistant at the University of California, School of Dentistry. Following the UCSF experience, dental assisting students are assigned internship experience one day a week in a private general dentistry practice for 10 weeks. During the summer session, students are assigned to a general dentistry practice for 4 days a week for 5 weeks, and then are assigned to a specialty dental office for a 4 days a week, 5-week session.
Q. Can I take individual courses in the program without applying to the program?
A. No, you must be enrolled in the entire program (11-month or 22-month). The Community Education Program at SRJC offers some short courses for employed dental assistants.
Q. Is the Dental Assisting Program accredited?
A. The American Dental Association, Commission of Dental Accreditation, hereafter referred to as the "Commission," accredits the SRJC Dental Assisting Program. The Commission is a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the Council on Post Secondary Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.
Q. How hard is the program?
A. Each year many students mention that the program was a lot harder than they anticipated. Quizzes in multiple classes can be given on the same day. Cumulative midterm and final exams are given for each class. The faculty is very committed to helping students succeed.
Q. Does the program do job placement?
A. The program does have a job board where dentists may place ads. The Dental Assisting program has an excellent reputation in the dental community and SRJC graduates do not usually have trouble finding jobs. Often students are offered jobs during their clinical rotations.
Q. Are there any scholarships or financial aid available?
A. Yes, there are scholarships through SRJC's Scholarship Office specifically for dental assisting students, and financial aid may be available through the Financial Aid Office.
The Registered Dental Assistant is able to find employment in various settings depending on their particular interest. Whether it be in a general office setting, a specialty office, a hospital, a community dental clinic, or in a dental school. There are many opportunities to learn and grow as a team member in these settings. Being a licensed dental professional allows the RDA to wear many hats with the possibilities not quite limitless allowing them to work in positions such as a dental product salesperson, an office manager, scheduling coordinator, insurance clerk, a consultant or as a teacher in the community college setting. Graduates of community colleges are in great demand and are often hired even before they finish the dental assisting program. Students are encouraged to further their knowledge, skills and education opening many more doors and opportunities for advancement in the field. Looking to the future they can pursue their Registered Dental Assistant in Expanded Functions 2 (RDAEF2) license by completing additional schooling through a dental school or completing prerequisites and applying to attend dental hygiene or dental school.
Accreditation and Licensure
After successfully passing the California state RDA exam, the RDA is licensed in California by the Dental Board of California. Upon completion of the dental assisting program graduates may also become a Certified Dental Assistant, which requires the applicant to take and pass an exam administered by the Dental Assisting National Board. This certification is recognized throughout the United States.
The Dental Assisting Certificate program at Santa Rosa Junior College is accredited by the American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation, and is granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements." The program has received full accreditation status during each cycle of accreditation. The commission is a specialized accreditation body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The Commission of Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611.
In accordance with state law, the Dental Board of California (DBC) may deny licensure for crimes substantially related to the practice of dental assisting. This includes convictions involving sex crimes, drug crimes (including DUI), and crimes of violence. It is the responsibility of the applicant to present sufficient evidence of rehabilitation to the DBC prior to licensure application.
Carol Hatrick, Director, Dental Programs
Phone: (707) 527-4583