Dental assistants are responsible for assisting dentists and dental hygienists with patient care as well as providing certain administrative support to the office. The following list of frequently asked questions can help you learn more about the field and help you determine whether dentistry is right for you.
- Ensure that patients are comfortable in the dental chair
- Prepare patients and the work area for treatments and procedures
- Sterilize dental instruments
- Help dentists by handing them instruments during procedures
- Keep patients’ mouths dry by using suction hoses and other equipment
- Instruct patients in proper oral hygiene
- Process x-rays and complete lab tasks, under the direction of a dentist
- Keep records of dental treatments and schedule patient appointments
- Work with patients on billing and payment
Prior to the start of the course, attend the Dental Assistant Information Session.
Enroll in the Dental Assistant program by visiting the Continuing Education office on the main campus in Glen Ellyn. The campus is located at 425 Fawell Ave. and the office is in the Student Resource Center (SRC), Suite 1110. Visit the Registration Desk when you arrive.
The Dental Assistant program costs $2,999 plus the cost of books, supplies and BLS CPR certification.
A current list of textbook(s) will be provided before the start of the program. Textbook(s) are available for purchase at the College bookstore.
- Notebook paper, index cards, highlighter, pocket journal, 3-ring binder
- Four-colored click pen
- Clean (white) shoes dedicated to the Dental Assisting Program-minimal neon stripes/color
- Medical Scrubs - scrubs are to be worn on clinic days and externships
- Medical Scrub Jacket - Button/snap at the neck area & sleeve cuffs fitted at the wrist.
- Safety glasses with side shields
- 120 hours of didactic
- Classroom/lab - Held at COD, Attendance Policy, Midterm & Final Exam
- 30 hours online - Completed using Blackboard
- 120 hours of externship
- 7 weeks to complete/approx.18 hours a week - Placement provided by COD, Expectations, Attendance Policy, Resume, BLS CPR certification
Due to the inherent requirements of the profession as a dental assistant, students must possess additional non-academic skills. Psychomotor skills (hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity), visual acuity (normal or corrected vision) sufficient for safe practice of dental assistant duties and communication skills (ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing, with patients, doctors and other personnel, and the ability to follow written and verbal directions).
Essential Functions are generally required for all College of DuPage Health Career Programs. If the ability to perform these essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations result in the inability to meet identified student learning outcomes, the student may be at risk of not successfully completing the course and/or program.
The college will provide students with a list of potential externship sites for students to rank. Students can review sites based on specialty, location, hours, size of office, etc. The college will place a student at one of their preferred locations, provided a student successfully interviews with the site.
You cannot complete your externship at your place of employment. You will be assigned to a clinic and you must complete your clinical hours at this clinic in order to pass the course.
- Hair to be worn back or up
- No visible tattoos
- No piercings other than in ears
- No strong perfumes or cigarette smell on clothes
- Short clean nail. Clear or light colored polish – without chips - is allowed.
The job outlook for dental assistants is excellent. Employment in this field is expected to grow 25% by 2022. Salaries will vary depending on hours, certification, experience and location, but may range between $23,540 and $47,850.
We do not have a formal job placement program; however, we do receive job opening notices from local employers interested in hiring our graduates and we pass that along to students who have completed the course. Also, students are occasionally hired at the location where they completed their externship experience.
Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1110
Fax: (630) 942-3785