As a member of the dental care team, Dental Assistants are responsible for helping prepare patients for dental procedures, and often assist with the procedures themselves. Depending on the type of dental office, the dental assistant may even be involved in laboratory or surgical procedures. However, regardless of the specialty, the dental assistant is responsible for providing direct patient care while working alongside the dentist. This course will provide you with the information and skills necessary to serve in this capacity. You will learn how to prepare patients for treatment, including taking X-rays and preparing the necessary equipment for each procedure. You will also learn about the various dental specialties and the specific responsibilities of the dental assistant in each area of specialization.
Curriculum Developer Biography:
Willow Nolland is an expert in education and eLearning, with more than ten years of experience in curriculum development and instructional design. She has worked in higher education for over twelve years, and has developed numerous courses and has been involved in curriculum development across disciplines. She has experience with academic program development and coordination, curriculum development, student learning outcomes, educational partnerships, and student development. In addition, she has developed and administered professional development programs for various groups, including teachers, counselors, healthcare workers and members of private industry. She is a certified Quality Matters Reviewer and has taken graduate courses in online course development. She designs and teaches online courses at the college level and is proficient in a variety of course management systems. She has helped educators redesign their courses to transition them from a face-to-face format to an online format, and has provided course editing assistance to others. As a freelance instructional designer and curriculum developer, her projects have included course editing and redesign of online continuing education courses for nurses, CEU curriculum development for healthcare workers and teachers, and course review and editing for various colleges and universities.
Lesson 1: Introduction to Dental Assisting
In this lesson, participants will learn about the role of a Dental Assistant. They will receive an overview of the job duties of a dental assistant, as well as the ethical and legal requirements of the profession. In addition to this, learners will also learn about the history of dentistry and how it has evolved into what it is today. The importance of effective communication and multicultural interaction in dental care is the next topic on the board to review and comprehend. Upon completion of this lesson, participants will have a thorough understanding of the role of the dental assistant and the ethical and legal requirements of the profession.
Lesson 2: Prevention and Nutrition
In the second lesson of the course, participants will learn about oral health and prevention techniques. They will also learn about the role of proper nutrition in dental health. Dental Assistants in the dental office have an important role in preventive dentistry. Dentistry is about preventing oral disease, such as dental decay, and preventing and caring for periodontal disease. Nutrition affects the entire body as well as the oral cavity. Knowledge of nutrition provides the individual with the information to make sound decisions.
Lesson 3: Basic Dental Sciences
In this lesson, you will learn the basics of dental science. The specific topics that will be covered include general anatomy and physiology, head and neck anatomy, embryology and histology, and tooth morphology. Upon completion of this lesson, participants will have a solid understanding of the dental sciences so that you are better prepared to provide quality care in a dental office.
Lesson 4: Preclinical Dental Skills – Part 1
The fourth lesson of the course begins a comprehensive review of preclinical dental skills a professional in the industry needs to comprehend fully to be successful. The fourth part of the text is split into two (2) parts with this one focusing on the following content areas: microbiology, infection control and the importance of having clean and sanitized facilities, and the management of hazardous materials.
Lesson 5: Preclinical Dental Skills – Part 2
The next lesson in the course concludes the comprehensive review of preclinical dental skills a professional in the industry needs to comprehend fully to be successful. This lesson focuses on the remaining four (4) chapters of this portion of the text and includes the following topics of focus: preparation for patient care, dental charting, pharmacology, and emergency management.
Lesson 6: Clinical Dental Procedures
In this lesson, participants will learn about clinical dental procedures. The first two sections of this lesson will provide an introduction to the dental office and basic chairside assisting, including information on basic chairside instruments and tray systems. The remaining sections of this lesson will focus on instrument transfer and operating field maintenance, as well as anesthesia and sedation. Upon completion of this lesson, one will have a solid understanding of the primary components of clinical dental procedures and will be better prepared to provide chairside care to dental patients.
Lesson 7: Dental Radiography
In the seventh lesson of the course, participants will learn about concepts focused on dental radiography. The first section provides an introduction to dental radiography and equipment. From there, participants will learn about the production and evaluation of dental radiographs. In the final chapter, you will receive an overview of extraoral and digital radiography. Upon completion of this lesson, one will have a thorough understanding of dental radiography and will be able to apply this understanding to the dental practice.
Lesson 8: Dental Specialties – Part 1
The eighth lesson of the course begins a set of four (4) lessons that focus on various dental specialties that assistants must have a strong understanding of in order to be successful in the profession. This lesson focuses specifically on endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and dental implants. Topics provided here are building blocks for the remaining lessons in this part of the text so one can confidently comprehend those topics more easily.
Lesson 9: Dental Specialties – Part 2
Continuing the comprehensive review of Dental Specialties, this lesson focuses more intently on specifics of practicing dentistry itself. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of oral pathologies, orthodontics, and pediatric dentistry. It is important to note much like the previous lesson that topics provided here are building blocks for the remaining lessons in this part of the text so one can confidently comprehend those topics more easily.
Lesson 10: Dental Specialties – Part 3
The third section of the Dental Specialties portion of the textbook and course, participants will gain an understanding of appliances and related items that may be used to aid in the healing and maintenance of a patient’s dental composition. Topics that are covered in depth here include enamel sealants, periodontics, and coronal polish. It is important to note much like the previous lesson that topics provided here are building blocks for the remaining lessons in this part of the text so one can confidently comprehend those topics more easily.
Lesson 11: Dental Specialties – Part 4
The final part of the course focuses on technologies and techniques that can be used in preventive maintenance programs patients may receive as part of a long-term solution. Chapter topics that are covered in-depth for this part of the course include the following: fixed prosthodontics and gingival retractions, computerized impression and restorative systems, cosmetic dentistry and teeth whitening, and removable prosthodontics.
Lesson 12: Restorative and Laboratory Materials and Techniques
In this lesson, participants will learn about restorative and laboratory materials and techniques. The lesson will be broken into three topics, with each topic focusing on a different aspect of restorative and laboratory materials and techniques. The first topic in this lesson will cover dental cements, bases, liners, and bonding agents. From there, you will learn about restorative materials, the dental dam, matrix, and wedges. In the final chapter of this lesson, you will learn about laboratory materials and techniques. Upon completion of this lesson, one will have a solid understanding of restorative dentistry and the laboratory materials and techniques involved. As a result, participants will be better prepared to work with patients in a restorative capacity.
Lesson 13: Dental Practice Management
The final lesson of the course focuses on strategies, techniques, and procedures dental assistants must be aware of when helping run a practice. Unlike previous lessons in this course, this lesson will not focus on clinical components of dental assisting. Instead, this lesson will provide information on dental office management and employment strategies. This information will help prepare participants to work in a dental office and secure employment as a dental assistant.