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Dental Assisting (with Certificate Option) (AAS-DAT)

Program Location:  Bay Minette Campus

Nursing and Allied Health Division

Length: Five Semesters (A.A.S. Degree); Three Semesters (Certificate)

This program prepares individuals to assist with the care of dental patients under direct supervision of a dentist. Dental assistants help with the provision of patient care, business office administration and laboratory procedures. Dental assistants hold a vital role in the dental healthcare team. Responsibilities include recording patient’s dental and health history, taking and recording vital signs, patient reassurance, treatment and instrument preparation, mixing and transferring dental materials, processing and sterilizing instruments, maintaining infection control, maintaining inventory control, exposing and processing radiographs, dental equipment maintenance, and providing patients pre-op, post-op, and oral hygiene instructions.

Students are required to take the Dental Assisting National Board Infection Control Exam, the Radiation Health and Safety Exam, and General Chairside Exam.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:
  1. Meet all the general admission requirements of Coastal Alabama.                                           
  2. Eligibility for ENG 101 and MTH 116/098 according to ACT or placement exam scores, if courses have not already been completed. 
  3. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.3 for the last 24 credit hours of college coursework, or minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 high school without college coursework. The GED equivalent is 2.5.
  4. Submit official transcripts from all colleges attended and high school, or GED to admissions before July 15.
  5. Submit Dental Assisting Program application with unofficial transcripts to program director by July 15 at close of business.                                
  6. Upon acceptance and no later than the scheduled Dental Assisting Program orientation, the completed Dental Assisting form and Immunization form must be submitted. No blue cards accepted. Also, a copy of a current healthcare provider CPR card and consent to random drug testing and background check must be provided at mandatory Dental Assisting Program orientation. *Note: Students desiring to obtain BLS CPR certification at Coastal may enroll in EMS 100 during the first semester of the Dental Assisting Program.
  7. Submit required form for observation of a dental assistant completing duties at a dental office.

SELECTION:
There are 24 available spaces. If over 24 qualified applications are received, in addition to the above, points will be awarded for ENG 101, MTH 116 (or higher level Math), PSY 200, and SPH 106 or 107. In the event of a tie, additional points will be awarded for a Fine Arts Elective, CIS 146, BIO 103, and SOC 200.

DEGREE:
A certificate is awarded upon completion of the DAT courses, ENG 101, MTH 116 (or higher level Math), PSY 200, and SPH 106 or 107 for a total of 48 credit hours. Students may work as dental assistants after successful completion of the certificate. Additional requirements for the Associate of Applied Science Degree are a Fine Arts elective, CIS 146, BIO 103, and SOC 200.

This is a career program designed for students to go directly into the labor market upon completion. Although some of the courses in this program will transfer to four-year institutions, this program is not designed to be a transfer program of study; therefore, it is not subject to the terms and conditions of Alabama Transfers state transfer and articulation reporting system.

Coastal Alabama Community College’s Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and has been grated accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements.” The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (800) 232-1608 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission’s web address is: https://coda.ada.org/

SEMESTER ONE

ORI 101 may not be required for those with prior college coursework. MTH 100, 112, 113 or a higher level math may be substituted for MTH 116. SPH 106 may be taken in place of SPH 107.  The courses listed for this semester are required for the Dental Assisting Associate Degree and Dental Assisting Certificate.  

Item # Title Credits
ENG 101 English Composition I 3
ORI 101 Orientation to College 1
PSY 200 General Psychology 3
MTH 116 or more advanced + 3
SPH 106 or SPH 107 + 3
Sub-total Credits 13

SEMESTER TWO

The courses listed for this semester are required for a Dental Assisting Associate Degree, and are not required for a certificate. 

Item # Title Credits
BIO 103 Principles of Biology I 4
CIS 146 Computer Applications 3
SOC 200 Introduction to Sociology 3
Humanities and Fine Arts Elective (I) + 3
Sub-total Credits 13

SEMESTER THREE

DAT 101 and DAT 102 procedures are taught to laboratory competence.  

EMS 100 is an optional course for DAT students to pursue CPR certification for the healthcare provider.

Item # Title Credits
DAT 100 Introduction to Dental Assisting 2
DAT 101 Pre-Clinical Procedures I 3
DAT 102 Dental Materials 3
DAT 103 Anatomy and Physiology for Dental Assisting 3
DAT 104 Basic Sciences for Dental Assisting 2
EMS 100 Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation I 1
Sub-total Credits 14

SEMESTER FOUR

DAT 112 procedures are taught to clinical competence.  

Item # Title Credits
DAT 111 Clinical Practice I 5
DAT 112 Dental Radiology 3
DAT 113 Dental Health Education 2
DAT 116 Pre-Clinical Procedures II 3
Sub-total Credits 13

SEMESTER FIVE

Item # Title Credits
DAT 121 Dental Office Procedures 3
DAT 122 Clinical Practice II 4
DAT 126 Dental Assisting Seminar 3
Sub-total Credits 10

GRAND TOTAL CREDITS 63

*Depending on the program or course, a student may also be required to purchase certain necessary tools and supplies.

Dental Assisting

Dental Assisting Files
Name File Type
2023 - 2024 Dental Assisting Program Handbook
Coastal Alabama Community College Dental Assisting Accreditation
Dental Assisting Program Observation Form
Dental Assisting Program Outcomes 2022

Dental Assisting

Dental assistants provide patient care, take x rays, keep records, and schedule appointments. Dental hygienists examine patients for signs of oral diseases, such as gingivitis, and provide preventive care, including oral hygiene. Coastal Alabama currently offers a Dental Assisting program.

Fall semester each year (August).

July 15

No, only after acceptance and prior to DAT orientation.

If you are a first-time college student, it is recommended that you take English 101, Psychology 200, Math 100 or higher, and Speech 107 prior to entry. The courses to acquire an Associate Degree may be taken up to one year after the successful completion of the certificate.

Community doctors and assistants typically notify program instructors when employment opportunities are open. There are several dental Facebook sites that post jobs as well.

The average hourly entry wage in our area is $15.00 - $17.00 an hour, depending on your level of expertise and recommendations.

Anticipated Expenses

The following is an approximation of expenses for completion of the dental assisting program.

Item Cost
In-State Tuition and Fees - Certificate (3 semesters + core) 49 Credit Hours $8,134
In-State Tuition and Fees - AAS (5 semesters + core) 62 Credit Hours $10,292
Liability Insurance includes ADAA membership (Online purchase) $45
Clinical Lab Coat, Uniform, and Shoes (Need generics for class) $265
Materials Supply Kit (Through designated dental supply co) $650
Textbooks and workbooks (For DAT program only) $900
Immunizations and Physical (From Physician’s office) $250
CPR Instruction (Must be hands-on Healthcare Provider) $50
Background Check (To be paid online in the Fall) $70
Drug Testing x1 (More if tests if + results to be paid in Fall) $35
DALE Foundation Practice Tests (on-line purchase) $309
Other (Dental Assisting Nat’l Board Test) $800
Graduation Fees (optional) $25
Total Certificate $11,354
Total Associate in Applied Science $13,512

In-state tuition/fees are 166.00 per credit hour.

*Please note: Students are responsible for all expenses during clinical externship.

The Coastal Alabama Community College program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements." The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission's web address is: https://coda.ada.org.

Coastal Alabama Community College Dental Assisting Program Goals

Program Goal #1: Students will be proficient in knowledge and skills required for effective chairside assisting and dental office business procedures (Determined by results of clinical evaluations and results of DANB General Chairside Exam).

Program Goal #2: Students will be proficient in knowledge and skills required for effective radiation exposure, operator and patient safety (Determined by results of clinical evaluations and results of DANB Radiation Health and Safety Exam).

Program Goal #3: Students will be proficient in knowledge and skills required for infection control management, patient, community, and operator safety (Determined by results of clinical evaluations and results of the DANB Infection Control Exam).

Program Goal #4: 90% of students who are seeking employment in dental assisting will be employed within 9-12 months of graduation.

Program Goal #5: At least 75% of the dental assisting students admitted to a cohort will graduate.

Dental Assisting Program Student Learning Outcomes

ROLE AS A PROVIDER OF CARE

Demonstrates cognitive competence by assuming responsibility for own learning, by obtaining and applying theoretical knowledge to clinical practice, and by applying concepts of beginning or basic problem solving to clinical decision making.

Demonstrates psychomotor competence through appropriate, skillful use of basic equipment and manual technique to provide therapeutic interventions and therapies according to established ADA standards.

Demonstrate psychosocial competence through interactions/relationships that promote achievement of goals yet affirm the worth of all individuals involved. Establishes effective verbal and nonverbal communication with patients, families, and health care progessionals and function according to the professional code of legal and health care professionals and function according to the professional legal and ethical standards.

Applies the dental assisting process by assessing basic physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, socio-cultural, educational and environmental needs of patients to establish a data base and identify common, well defined dental health problems.

Contributing to the identification of dental health care needs, diagnoses and outcomes, based on the identified health problems of individual patients.

Under the supervision of a licensed dentist, organizes a plan for dental care based on the priority of the patient’s needs/problems, principles of safety, level of prevention and delivery setting.

With guidance, evaluates outcomes based on patient progress. Uses basic problem solving skills and collaborates with other members of the health care team in the revision of such outcomes.

ROLE AS A DENTAL HEALTH CARE MANAGER

Demonstrates role recognition by differentiation between roles and responsibilities of members of the dental care team in various dental specialties.

Demostrates basic organizational skills by planning and by utilizing time appropriately and by acting efficiently in a goal directed manner.

Demonstrates beginning personnel management skills by understanding human limitations (both personal and professional), managing conflict, communicating to colleagues and other health personnel, committing to team work by helping others to provide care when necessary.

Demonstrates collaborative approach by working with the doctor and other members of the dental health care team to assess, plan, deliver and evaluate the quality of care. Interacts appropriately and respectfully with others from varying cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds; recognize the need for assistance and request/follow advice of well considered authority.

ROLE AS A MEMBER OF DISCIPLINE

Demonstrates responsibility and accountability by honoring schedules and assignments, by promoting cost containment, by awareness of potential safety and/or legal concerns, and by reporting and intervening to alleviate problems when possible. Works as a member of the dental health care team by actions which promote the goal of the dental health care setting.

Advocate for the patient, when necessary, for basic care needs and safety concern.

Assumes responsibility for personal improvement by identifying strengths and weaknesses, and seeks education and/or help as needed.

Assumes responsibility for professional growth and improvement by identifying educational opportunities and consideration of career mobility.

Supports the purpose and goals of professional organizations and works to promote dental assisting and dental health care through political, economic, and societal activities.

Complies with the rules and regulations set forth by the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners Act and the guidelines as a student set forth by the American Dental Association Accreditation Board.

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FINANCIAL AID

Financial Aid is Available

Locations:

Bay Minette Campus

1900 Highway 31 South
Bay Minette, AL 36507