The Bristol-Plymouth Post-Secondary Dental Assisting Program is divided into three terms:
Term I: Dental Assisting Basics—Infection Control Concentration
In Term I students will be taught to obtain patient information, perform an oral assessment, learn the foundations of clinical four-handed dentistry, principles of oral health patient education, manipulation of dental materials, dental terminology, and effective communication skills. Based on OSHA and CDC guidelines, this course will address the potential routes of transmission for pathogens, the chain of infection and how infection can be prevented in the dental setting by the use of personal protective equipment, immunizations, instrument processing, and the treatment of clinical contact and housekeeping surfaces. Students learn the safe handling and processing of instruments, dental unit water lines and impressions.
At the completion of Term I, the student is prepared to take the DANB Infection Control Examination for Infection Control Certification.
Term II: Dental Assisting Chairside—Dental Radiography Concentration
In Term II, the focus is on the fundamental concepts of dental radiography. Using a digital radiograph unit, students will learn the proper techniques of positioning patients and the radiography equipment. Students will expose and process dental radiographs to ensure that diagnostic quality radiographs are produced. At the completion of Term II, the student is prepared to take the DANB Radiation Health and Safety Examination for Radiography Certification. Students begin orienting into their clinical internship sites during this Term.
Term III: Clinical Internships
In Term III, students focus on their clinical internships at area dental facilities. These internships will allow students to refine their skills in the clinical setting and provide students with the experiences necessary to succeed in the field of dental assisting. Students are prepared to function effectively as an integral member of the dental health team by performing comprehensive chair-side assisting and office and laboratory procedures, including procedures of various dental specialties.