Academic Catalogs

Dental Assisting - Registered, Certificate of Achievement

Financial Aid Eligible
Banner Code: 1_CT_DENA
Control Number: 22420

Dental assisting is a challenging field requiring skills in chairside assisting, which includes manual dexterity, dental radiology, preventive therapy, patient management, receptionist duties, expanded functions and office management.

Qualified dental assistants find employment opportunities in a variety of settings such as private dental offices, specialty practices, federal or state dental programs and dental schools.

The Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of approval. 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 program is also approved by:

The State of California Department of Consumer Affairs, Dental Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1550
Sacramento, CA 95815

RDA functions are taught to laboratory competency and clinical competency where applicable. A list of laboratory and clinical competencies are available upon request.

Program application process is accomplished by taking program prerequisite, Allied Health A010. This short-term course is mandatory for all prospective program applicants. See current class schedule for specific course meeting times. The Dental Assisting Registered program starts only in the fall semester of every school year.

This program is a sequential program. All fall semester courses must be taken concurrently in the fall semester. All spring semester courses must be taken concurrently in the spring semester.

Program Outcomes

  1. The outcome of the program is to meet the needs of the local health care community by preparing students for employment as a professional and competent registered dental assistant.

Certificate Requirements

Orange Coast College offers two types of certificate awards in career programs designed to prepare the graduate to enter a particular field of employment. At least 3 units in an advanced course from the certificate must be completed at OCC.

  1. Certificate of Achievement - 8 units or more in a state-approved program.  Certificates of Achievement are not automatically awarded. A petition must be filed in Enrollment Services or online at the beginning of the semester in which the student will be completing his or her final requirements.  The petitioning periods are listed in the Graduation Requirements section of this catalog. 
  2. Certificate of Specialization - 16 units or less in a locally approved program.  Certificates of Specialization are not automatically awarded, not printed on official academic transcripts, and there is no acknowledgment of completion given at graduation.  Please contact the division for details regarding the submission of petitions as procedures for each division vary.  Most division offices prefer that students complete all of the required courses and then provide a copy of the transcript while some divisions allow petitions for Certificates of Specialization before finishing.

Minimum Grade Requirement
In order to be awarded a certificate, students are required to obtain a grade of “C” or better in all program-required courses. Grades of “CR” or “P” will be accepted whereas “CR” or “P” meets the equivalency of a “C” or better. A list of certificate programs can be found in the Programs A-Z section of this catalog. Check with a counselor to determine the requirements for completion.

Required Prerequisites

Course Title Units
ALH A010Health Occupations0.5
ALH A111Medical Terminology3
Total Units3.5
Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
ALH A115 Patient Care 2.5
DA A100 Dental Anatomy 2
DA A110 Chairside Techniques 1 3
DA A120 Dental Materials 3
DA A130 Preventive and Community Dentistry 1
DA A140 Dental Radiography 1 3
DA A160 Clinical Experience 1 1
DA A115 Chairside Techniques 2 2
DA A125 Expanded Functions 2
DA A145 Specialized Practices 2
DA A150 Biomedical Sciences 2
DA A163 Clinical Experience 2 1
DA A165 Clinical Experience 3 2.5
DA A168 Clinical Experience 4 1
DA A175 Principles of Business and Practice Management 1.5
 Total Units29.5

Dental Assisting — Registered Suggested Electives

Course Title Units
CIS A100Introduction to Computer Applications3
CMST A100Interpersonal Communication3
CMST A110Public Speaking3
COUN A105Strategies for College Success3
ENGL A100Freshman Composition3
PHIL A120Ethics3
PSYC A100Introduction to Psychology3

Program approved by the American Dental Association. Graduates are eligible to take the California Registered Dental Assistant Exam and the National Certification Exam upon program completion and qualify for their State radiation license and coronal polishing, pit and fissure sealant and ultrasonic scaling for cement removal certificates.