Online Courses in Dental Assistant Studies
Listed below are descriptions of some commonly offered online certified dental assistant courses.
- Dental Materials Course: Students in an online dental assistant course learn about the materials used in dentistry. They identify the various tools and how to use and apply them in laboratory and restoration procedures. They also study the general composition of cements, impression materials and gypsum products.
- Dental Terminology Course: Students are introduced to the terminology used in dentistry, as well as the function and structure of teeth and the parts of an oral cavity. Lessons cover restorative terms and how to read and mark dental charts.
- Chairside Operative Dentistry Course: This course covers the preparation of patient and treatment rooms. Participants learn about their role as the chairside assistant to the dentist. They examine the care and use of dental equipment, and they're exposed to techniques associated with operative procedures. They also learn to recognize medical emergencies.
- Infection Control in Dentistry Course: Dental assistants may be exposed to blood-borne and infectious diseases during the course of their work. This course helps them understand how diseases are transmitted, precautionary methods, and solutions for disinfection or sterilization. Students learn how to protect the patient and dental team by following infection control procedures.
- Dental Radiology Course: Students are taught how to take x-rays of patients' teeth, which is vital to identifying cavities and other dental problems. Online courses teach individuals about radiation production and how to take and process x-rays of the mouth. They also learn how to read and assess radiographs.
- Dental Office Procedures and Management Course: This course teaches individuals how to manage the business side of a dental office. This training includes scheduling appointments, processing insurance claims, managing records and performing other clerical duties. Students learn to use dental office computer software to improve efficiency.
- Basic CPR for Health Care Providers Course: Dental assistants must be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) following the standards of the American Heart Association. Students learn how to recognize medical emergencies, clear obstructed airways in adults and children, administer automatic defibrillators and use resuscitation equipment.
- Diagnostic Assisting Course: This course expands upon some of the topics introduced in the Chairside Dentistry course, such as anesthesia and handling patient charts. Students review how to use relevant computer programs and brush up on educational and professional presentation basics. Students also learn how to assist a dentist in diagnosing problems a patient may have, as well as how to properly handle and maintain dental tools and materials.
- Cavity Classification and Charting Course: This class focuses on Black's system of cavity classification, as well as the charting process. Students may also learn how to identify adult and baby teeth, and other dental assistant basics.
- Dental Law and Ethics Course: Students in this course will be introduced to the rules and ethics of dentistry. Malpractice, HIPAA, privacy and security may all be covered.
Dental assistant programs, generally provided at the certificate or diploma level, instruct students how to perform a variety of roles within a dental practice, including working alongside a dentist, managing appointments, managing billing, prepping dental instruments and helping to calm anxious patients. As with most careers in the medical field, students should check their state's requirements concerning dental assisting and make sure their program of choice will allow them to meet these requirements.
Online courses in dental assisting are commonly available as part of certificate programs. Topics covered will include dental terminology, office procedures and infection control.