Common Searches

Smile. Dental Assistant jobs have great potential for growth.

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

What You’ll Learn

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.

Fast Facts

Next Start Date
May 24

Course Length: 11 Months *
Class Hours:
Lab Hours:
Clinical Hours:

* Based on successful, full time enrollment

Career Opportunities for Graduates

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

Why Vista College?

The Right Skills for Real Jobs

Vista College designs its healthcare programs around the real skills that employers seek, getting you Day 1 Ready for jobs that are hiring today.

Course Title Credits
Introduction to Dentistry 7.5
Dental Sciences 9
Practical Infection Control 6
Dental Materials 6
Preventive Dentistry * 6
Dental Radiography * 6
Dental Office Management * 6
Dental Procedures * 4.5
Dental Assistant Externship * 6

Introduction to Dentistry


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.

7.5 credits
60 theory hours
30 lab hours

Dental Sciences


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.

9 credits
90 theory hours

Practical Infection Control


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.

6 credits
30 theory hours
60 lab hours

Dental Materials


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.

6 credits
30 theory hours
60 lab hours

Preventive Dentistry


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.

6 credits
30 theory hours
60 lab hours

Dental Radiography


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.

6 credits
30 theory hours
60 lab hours

Dental Office Management


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.

6 credits
30 theory hours
60 lab hours

Dental Procedures


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.

4.5 credits
90 lab hours

Dental Assistant Externship


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.

6 credits
180 externship hours

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