Step 2 of 2
By submitting this form, I am giving express written consent to be contacted by Vista College using the information provided.
Dental assistants work side-by-side with dentists to ensure a smooth patient experience. Their responsibilities include keeping patients comfortable, making dental impressions, and exposing radiographs. With booming demand, practices are seeking experienced dental assistants. Students working toward the Dental Assistant Diploma at Vista College receive real experience built into this career training program, making them great candidates for great jobs.
We’ve designed COE-accredited dental assistant training that gets you Day 1 Ready in under 11 months*, focusing on the skills employers seek. You’ll emerge from our program with dental office experience, prepared for the DANB certification exam. Our instructors are professionals who give hands-on instruction with real equipment.
Because job preparation goes beyond classes, Vista College’s personalized career services focus on all aspects of career readiness, from finding the right jobs to resume building to interview prep. We even offer exam preparation and pay fees for your certification, going above and beyond what you’ll find at most other accredited dental assisting schools. If you are ready to put your new skills to work, we’re ready to help.
*Based on successful, full-time enrollment
Learn the workings of a dentist’s office and get practical experience in the environment. Brush up on proper use and maintenance of equipment, including cleaning tools and x-ray machines. You’ll also study sterilization, and procedures to prevent cross-contamination.
The Dental Assistant program has been redesigned to utilize our new Blended learning model at our College Station, El Paso, Fort Smith, Las Cruces and Longview campuses. Blended learning provides an optimal combination of both traditional and digital learning, in a format that allows you enhanced schedule flexibility. It uses a combination of faculty-led online classes, independent learning activities and on-campus lab hands-on training overseen by experienced instructors.
Our Killeen campus will continue to use a traditional on-campus learning model, using in-person training to deliver hands-on career education in an atmosphere conducive for personalized instruction.
Course is offered in either a Traditional or our new Blended learning format, which combines flexible online classes with hands-on lab work.
Please select a campus
Vista College’s Dental Assistant (Distance Education) program uses a blended learning model that combines the best of both worlds: the convenience of online courses with all the advantages of hands-on, on-campus labs to provide a unique educational experience. Blended learning — sometimes also referred to as hybrid learning — builds on the strengths of multiple education models with the aim of providing an optimal combination of both traditional and digital, in a format that allows you both flexibility and independence.
Our blended learning model utilizes a combination of faculty-led online classes, at-home learning activities, and in-person lab training overseen by experienced instructors. Each course in the program is 90 hours and taught over a 5-week period. We cap off our Dental Assistant (DE) program with an externship that gives you practical experience in a real work setting. To learn more about how Vista College’s blended learning model works, read the Frequently Asked Questions.
With the traditional learning model, Vista College’s Dental Assistant (Traditional) diploma program utilizes the tried-and-true methods of in-person training in order to effectively deliver the kind of hands-on career education that has successfully prepared our students for new job opportunities for decades. We’ve always kept our dedication to being student-focused and convenient, with an atmosphere conducive for learning and sharing ideas. We keep our class sizes small, with low student-to-teacher ratios so that you can take full advantage of the personalized attention and professional, experienced instructors so vital to the classroom learning process.
Our traditional Dental Assistant program caps off with an externship in the workplace. This allows you become an active and contributing member of your community, in your chosen field, even before you graduate.
(On-Campus and Online)
|Location/ Content Delivery Method||Traditional face-to-face on-campus theory and lab instruction.||Combination of on-campus and online.||Online courses that may be accessed from anywhere.|
|Meeting Times||Classes take place on scheduled days and times.||Portions of the course are live real-time virtual instruction with other students at specific days/times. Other portions are independent activities that may be completed at any time each week. Most laboratory portions of the course must be completed at the campus.||Portions of the course are live real-time remote instruction with other students at specific days/times. Other portions are independent activities that may be completed at any time each week. Most laboratory segments are completed online.|
|Labs||On-campus labs allow for hands-on learning with experienced instructors and your peers.||On-campus labs allow for hands-on learning with experienced instructors and your peers.||Most practice labs are completed online, enabling real-world experience.|
(Healthcare programs only)
|Students are required to complete an externship in an applicable healthcare workplace environment.|
|Canvas Learning Management System||The Canvas LMS provides students 24/7 access to all course materials and information. Students will access assignments as well as submit work through Canvas. Students will also be able to view course schedules, access grades, and have student-to-student or student-to-teacher conversations.|
|Components||Distance Education – Blended Schedule|
|Theory||4 hours per week - 2 hours twice weekly Synchronous/Scheduled in Zoom|
|Lab||9 hours per week - 4.5 hours twice weekly Synchronous/Scheduled|
|Independent Student Learning Activities||5 hours per week - Work time determined by the student outside of class time, Monday – Friday at 4:00 p.m. (CT) Asynchronous/Unscheduled|
|Total Weekly Attendance||18 hours|
Graduates of the Dental Assistant Diploma program prepare for the DANB national certification exam. With this certification, they may seek employment as a dental assistant in dental offices. Many dental assistants hope to further advance their career by studying to become a hygienist.
Potential Job Titles: Dental Assistant
|Introduction to Dentistry||7.5|
|Practical Infection Control||6|
|Preventive Dentistry *||6|
|Dental Radiography *||6|
|Dental Office Management *||6|
|Dental Procedures *||4.5|
|Dental Assistant Externship *||6|
Students are instructed in the history, ethics, legalities, duties and responsibilities of the dental health team; knowledge of professional organizations; and proper conduct and grooming of the dental assistant. Students also will be exposed to the basic theories of psychology which enable the dental assistant to gain a better understanding of the dental patient and dental health staff.
Students receive instruction in general anatomy and physiology principles of all body systems. The anatomy of the head and neck, as well as the face and oral cavity will be covered in depth. Oral embryology and histology as well as the formation of teeth are discussed. Methods of dental charting and common oral diseases will be covered.
Students will be instructed in the basic concepts of microbiology and the relevance of sterilization. OSHA Regulations (including the hazard communication standard and how compliance is accomplished) will also be emphasized.
Students will be instructed in the fundamentals and properties of various dental materials such as irreversible hydrocolloid impression materials and dental cements, and manipulation of gypsum products, discuss final impressions for crown and bridge along with other cosmetic reconstructive procedures. The student will be exposed to the proper uses, applications and the safe handling procedures according to OSHA compliance and the FDA for dental amalgam, and composites, cements, bases and liners.
Students will be instructed in Philosophy of Preventive Dentistry. The course provides students with the knowledge necessary to understand the importance of oral health, identifying dental caries, methods for caries intervention, identifying periodontal disease, preventative dental techniques, nutrition, and oral pathology.
Students will be instructed in dental radiology, radiographic equipment and safety protocol, dental film processing, radiographic techniques, legal issues, quality control, infection control, and the foundations of extra-oral and intra-oral radiology.
Students will be instructed in telephone etiquette and communication, guidelines for better interpersonal relations, methods for effective appointment control, dental bookkeeping systems and practices, business writing and techniques for collecting.
This course is an introduction to dental operative procedures, charting, instrumentation, infection control, care and maintenance of equipment and utilization of dental materials. The student will become familiar with the function and use of various instruments and accessories used in the dental office.
Students learn from hands-on dental assisting experiences in clinical, laboratory, and administrative duties. The externship is completed in a dental office, under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. The externship program has been designed to provide the student with supervised practical work experience. Externship is for students who have completed classroom training and is a requirement for graduation. Externship hours vary and may be scheduled from 20 to 40 hours per week.
By submitting this form, I agree that Vista College may use this information to contact me by methods I provided and consented, including phone (both mobile or home, dialed manually or automatically), social media, email, mail and text message.