Academic Catalogs

Dental Assisting - Registered, Certificate of Achievement

Banner Code: 1_CT_DENA

Control Number: 22420

Financial Aid Eligible


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 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 or Allied Health A012. 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 Outcome

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 of Achievement Requirements

The Certificate of Achievement is a state-approved career program that requires a minimum of eight units and is designed to prepare the graduate to enter a particular field of employment.  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.  At least 3 units in an advanced course from the certificate must be completed at OCC at the department’s discretion.  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 their final requirements.  The petitioning periods are listed in the Graduation Requirements section of this catalog.  Check with a counselor to determine the requirements for completion.

A list of certificate programs can be found in the Programs A-Z section of this catalog.  

Course Title Units
Required Prerequisites
ALH A010Health Occupations0.5
or ALH A012 Health Occupations for Dental and Medical Assisting
ALH A111Medical Terminology3
Required Courses
DA A100Dental Anatomy2
DA A101Patient Care for Dental Assistants2
DA A110Chairside Techniques 13
DA A115Chairside Techniques 22
DA A120Dental Materials3
DA A125Expanded Functions2
DA A130Preventive and Community Dentistry1
DA A140Dental Radiography 13
DA A145Specialized Practices2
DA A150Biomedical Sciences2
DA A163Clinical Experience 21
DA A160Clinical Experience 11
DA A165Clinical Experience 32.5
DA A168Clinical Experience 41
DA A175Principles of Business and Practice Management1.5
Total Units32.5

Dental Assisting — Registered Suggested Electives

CIS A100 Introduction to Computer Applications
CMST A100 Interpersonal Communication
CMST A110 Public Speaking
COUN A105 Strategies for College Success
ENGL A100 Freshman Composition
PHIL A120 Ethics
PSYC A100 Introduction to Psychology

Program approved by the American Dental Association. Graduates are eligible to take the California Registered Dental Assistant 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.

Program Sequence

These sequences at Orange Coast College are curriculum maps for students to finish all requirements for the certificate. There may be advisories, prerequisites, or time requirements that students need to consider before following these maps. Students are advised to meet with an Orange Coast College Counselor for alternate sequencing.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Semester 1Units
ALH A010
Health Occupations
or Health Occupations for Dental and Medical Assisting
0.5
ALH A111 Medical Terminology 3
 Units3.5
Year 2
Semester 1
Acceptance into the OCC Dental Assisting Program Required (Cohort Restriction)  
DA A100 Dental Anatomy 2
DA A101 Patient Care for Dental Assistants 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
 Units15
Semester 2
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
 Units14
 Total Units32.5