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Degrees, Certificates, &Transfer Programs

Biological and Health Sciences Division   (650) 949-7351

Dental Assisting 2013-2014

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The Foothill College Dental Assisting Program is an intensive 10-month sequence of instruction. Students who complete the program successfully will qualify for the Registered Dental Assisting Examination of the State of California and the Dental Assisting National Board exam. The program offers a combination of lecture, laboratory, and clinical courses in general & specialty dental practices. Students will also acquire valuable certification in coronal polishing, dental x-ray, pit and fissure sealants as part of the program curriculum. Students who graduate from the program are in demand and have many different types of job opportunities available upon completion of the program.

Program Learning Outcomes:

• Graduates will demonstrate entry-level competency skills mandated by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and the Dental Board of California.
• Graduates will value and implement proper radiation safety for patients, self, and others.

Career Opportunities:

Graduates of the program can have direct patient interaction by working as a chairside dental assistant in a general practice dental office or in any of the other specialty practices including periodontics, orthodontics, oral surgery, pedodontics (children’s dentistry), endodontics & prosthodontics. In addition, dental assistants can work in the front office as a receptionist and/or office manager. Other job opportunities include public health educator or administrator, sales representative, continuing education coordinator and/or consultant.

Units required for Major: 48

Units required for Certificate: 48

Degree Requirements:

• English proficiency: ENGL 1A, 1AH, 1S & 1T, ESLL 26 or equivalent.
• Mathematics proficiency: MATH 57, 105, 108 or equivalent.
A minimum of 90 units is required* to include:
• All Foothill General Education requirements (30 Units)
• Core courses (48 Units)

*Additional elective course work may be necessary to meet the 90-unit minimum requirement for the associate degree.

NOTE: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, a GPA of 2.0 or higher is required in all core and support courses for the degree or certificates. All courses must be completed with a grade "C" or higher.

AS = Associate in Science Degree.
CA = Certificate of Achievement.

Additional Information:

• High school diploma or equivalent.
• A GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Applications are available year-round at Student applications are evaluated on a first come, first served basis. Complete applications received prior to June 15th will be given priority for the Fall class, space permitting. Applications will be accepted until the upcoming class is filled.

• Transcripts: One official copy of the high school transcript and one official copy of college transcripts for all colleges attended are required for all applicants.

Program information can be found at the Dental Assisting Program website:
For more information, please contact Kerry West at (650) 949-7538 or by e-mail at
Counseling is available by contacting the Counseling appointment desk at:

NOTE: Physical examinations and immunizations are required for clinical internships. Background screening including possible felony convictions, social security number verification, and drug testing may be required by clinical facilities. Positive results could impact a student's chances of attending clinics, completing the program requirements or gaining a license to practice upon graduation. The cost of required physical examinations, background screenings and drug tests will be paid by the student. Students accepted into the program will be provided with specific details.

Core Courses (48 units)

Fall Quarter
AHS 50 Introduction to Allied Health Programs (1 unit)
D A 50 Orientation to Chairside Dental Assisting (2.5 units)
D A 51A Introduction to Dental Assisting (8.5 units)
D A 62A Dental Sciences I (2 units)
D A 53A Introduction to Radiography I (3 units)
D A 58 Specialty Practice Procedures (1 unit)
D A 71 Infection Control & Hazardous Waste Management (1.5 units)

Winter Quarter
D A 51B Intermediate Clinical Dental Assisting (2 units)
D A 57 Office Emergency Procedures (2 units)
D A 62B Dental Sciences II (2 units)
D A 53B Dental Radiography II (2 units)
D A 56 Dental Health Education (1 unit)
D A 60A Dental Office Business Practices I (2 units)
D A 73 Dental Assisting Supervised Clinic (2 units)

Spring Quarter
D A 51C Advance Dental Assisting Skills (3 units)
D A 53C Dental Radiography III (1 unit)
D A 62C Dental Sciences III (2 units)
D A 60B Dental Office Business Practices II (3 units)
D A 63 Special Patient Populations (1 unit)
D A 74 Dental Assisting Clinical Practice (2 units)
D A 85 RDA Review (2 unit)
D A 88 Pit & Fissure Sealants (1.5 units)

Certificate of Achievement in Dental Assisting (48 Units)

The Certificate of Achievement is awarded upon completion of the Core courses (general education courses are not required) and the following:
• Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Certificate (Health Care Provider, American Heart Association or Professional Rescuer American Red Cross).
• Eligibility for ENGL 110 or ESLL 25 or equivalent.
• Completion of MATH 230 or equivalent on the Foothill College Math Assessment Test.

A student must have a High School Diploma or a valid G.E.D. Certificate and be able to read and write proficiently in English and perform mathematical computations at the at the High School graduate level.

Control Information:
2013-2014 | Status: Approved | Modified: 2013-07-03 08:01:24 | Dept Code: D A