The Dental Assisting Program trains students in clinical and administrative tasks that can be used in dental offices, group practices and dental suppliers. An Associate in Applied Science as well as a certificate are available for the program taught on Gadsden State’s Valley Street Campus.
The new Dental Assisting Program at Gadsden State can lead students to an in-demand career with good income potential. Admission to the program is competitive with the number of students being limited by the number of faculty and clinical facilities available. Meeting minimal requirements does not guarantee acceptance.
- Must be in good standing with the College.
- Must maintain a C or better on all general and Pre-DAT courses. If courses are repeated, the highest grade for the course is used.
- Students must have at least a 2.0 GPA on general education courses.
- Students must pass a criminal and consumer background check and drug test.
- Applicants must meet the essential functions required by the DAT Program.
- The following must also be on final in the Gadsden State Admissions Office:
- Application to the College
- All official college transcripts
- Official high school transcripts
• Show patients to exam rooms
• Prepare patients for procedures and/or surgeries
• Assist with procedures, such as fillings, crowns and extractions
• Make dental impressions
• Sterilize dental tools and equipment
• Perform post-procedure clean-up
• Assist dentists and hygienists chairside as needed
• Answer phones and schedule appointments
• Update and maintain patient dental records
• Oversee patient check-in procedures
• Code and prepare insurance forms
• Schedule referral and test appointments
• Perform general office administration
Students enrolled in the dental assisting program are required to successfully complete both academic and clinical requirements. The purpose of the Eligibility Criteria is to delineate the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills deemed minimally necessary for admission, progression, and graduation, and for the provision of safe and effective client care as a dental assistant. The Alabama Community College System endorses the Americans with Disabilities Act. Prior to enrollment in the Dental Assisting program, students are provided the Eligibility Criteria. If a student cannot demonstrate the following skills and abilities, it is the responsibility of the student to request appropriate reasonable accommodations through the Student Disability Services Office.
Dental assisting students are expected to have the ability to:
- Be independently mobile, with or without assistive devices, and be able to stand, bend, twist, stoop, squat and sit.
- Work in a confined space and remain in one location for an extended period of time.
- Lift, push and/or pull 20 pounds.
- Reach and position overhead equipment.
- Sustain repetitive movements.
- Demonstrate the physical stamina to work a minimum of an 8-hour day.
- Grasp small objects.
- Coordinate eye and hand movements to satisfactorily manipulate instruments, supplies, and equipment with speed, dexterity and proficiency. Perform instrument transfer using only fingers, wrist, and elbow.
- See with 20/40 visual acuity and possess sufficient peripheral vision to anticipate needs of the dentist and patient while working chair side.
- Distinguish colors and discern variation in shades and tone.
- Hear high and low frequency sounds within a normal range or otherwise distinguish conditions by equivalent visual signals.
- Understand muffled communication without visualization of the speaker’s mouth and lips.
- Smell body and environmental odors.
- Communicate effectively, including written documentation.
- Correctly perform simple mathematical computations.
- Be free of reportable communicable diseases and substance abuse.
- Work in a clinical environment which involves exposure to persons with physical and mental disabilities, pain, stress, and communicable disease, blood and body fluids, hazardous substances / materials, odors, and irritating particles.
- Carry out detailed, simple to complex, written or oral instructions.
- Show problem-solving aptitude sufficient to organize and complete tasks safely, accurately and within an assigned time frame.
- Assimilate and apply knowledge acquired from multiple learning experiences and make decisions which display good judgment.
- Seek supervision and consultation in a timely manner.
- Work with a diverse population including persons of various ages, ethnic, racial, religious, alternative lifestyle, and socioeconomic background without prejudice.
- Readily adapt to a changing environment by demonstrating poise, flexibility, positive coping skills, and effective responses, including emergency situations.
Safety is paramount in all health programs. Students shall not pose a direct threat to themselves or others. Direct threat is defined as a substantial risk of harm based on facts and that cannot be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level through reasonable accommodation. A direct threat also includes an individual who knowingly engages in unsafe practices or disregards safety rules or procedures which results in a substantial risk of harm to themselves or others or in a substantial risk of damage to property.