Offered for 10th, 11th, and 12th graders, the Dental Occupations program prepares students for entry-level employment as a dental assistant and a strong foundation for continuing to post-secondary education. This program incorporates lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on experience in a variety of dental-related subjects. The students will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe practices by following OSHA standards. Course work will include introduction to healthcare, infection control, safety and emergency procedures, ethical/legal responsibilities, patient care and procedures, office procedures, radiology, operative dentistry, dental materials, and dental laboratory procedures. Upon completion of this program, the students will be well prepared for a career in the dental field. Dental assistants assist the dentist during examination and treatment of the patients. Students will be able to apply what they have learned to real-world settings such as: Preparing a treatment room, sterilizing instruments, preparing and making dental impressions for study models, exposing and processing dental radiographs, and providing chairside assistance for the dentist.
Dental assistants increase the efficiency of the dentist in the delivery of care. Dental assistants perform a variety of patient care, office procedures, laboratory duties, and work chair-side as dentists examine and treat patients. They make patients as comfortable as possible in the dental chair, prepare them for treatment, and obtain their dental records.
Dental assistants work directly under the supervision of dentists and could also include working with dental hygienists. They work in a clean, well-lit environment. Dental assistants sit at the chair with the dentist helping him/her with minor or major procedures. Dental assistants work includes extensive patient interaction, so they will need to wear personal protective clothing, such as mask, safety glasses and gloves, to protect themselves and patients from infectious diseases. They must also learn and follow safety procedures associated with x-ray machines. Dental assistants may work evenings and/or weekends depending on the hours of operation at the dental office.
United States Jobs
Projected Job Openings
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Dental Assistants,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm (visited September 14, 2016).
POST SECONDARY EDUCATION:
Harcum Junior College
Northhampton Community College
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Montgomery County Community College
To view the Dental Occupations' Program of Study, as put forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please click here.