The New York State license-certified dental assistant is a vital member of the dental health care team. Primarily trained to assist the dentist during chair-side procedures, a licensed dental assistant may also perform a variety of supportive services under direct supervision of the dentist. In addition to clinical duties, assistants are also trained in laboratory and administrative procedures.
The Dental Assisting Certificate Program curriculum satisfies state and national requirements through coursework in biomedical sciences, dental sciences, clinical and laboratory procedures and practice administration. Dental Assisting students learn head and neck anatomy, dental instruments, equipment and procedures, manipulation of dental materials, x-ray techniques, disinfection and sterilization procedures, management of medical and dental emergencies and laboratory fabrication of dental products. Administrative coursework includes business office skills and basic computer operations, ethical and legal aspects of dentistry and communication skills. Clinical externships are provided through local dental health care facilities to gain hands-on experience under the direct supervision of licensed professionals.
Licensure and/or registration requirements vary per state and each graduate must verify the requirements for the state or province in which they will be practicing. Graduates who wish to apply for New York State licensure must successfully complete the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Radiation Health and Safety Exam, the DANB Infection Control Exam, the New York Professional Dental Assisting Exam, and current certification for BLS Healthcare Provider. Graduates are encouraged to seek national board certification, join their local, state and national dental assisting organizations, and volunteer in community dental health projects.
Eligibility for the Dental Assisting Certificate Program is based upon the following criteria:
- high school graduates with a minimum cumulative average of 90 percent;
- college students/transfer students with a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or above;
- transfer credits or general education credits required for the dental assisting curriculum must have a grade of "C" or above;
- English and math placement tests must be at the EN 110 or MT 006 levels; and
- developmental courses indicated by placement tests must be completed prior to admission to DS courses.
- Entrance into the Dental Assisting Program occurs only in the Fall semester and courses must be taken in the prescribed sequence.
- Preference is given to applicants who have already completed EN 100 (or EN 110) and BI 147.
- A current physical exam and immunization report is required prior to the start of clinical externship.
- Hepatitis B immunization is strongly recommended for the dental assisting profession.
- Students must participate in clinical practice activities as a clinician and as a patient.
- Students are responsible for providing transportation to off campus assignments.
- Membership in the American Dental Assistants Association and malpractice insurance are required.
- Students must purchase a lab coat, clinical uniforms and shoes, protective eyewear, books, and any necessary school supplies.
- C- is the minimum passing grade in all required courses in the Dental Assisting curriculum (D is the minimum passing grade for DH courses).
- Students must successfully complete all first-semester courses prior to admission to the second semester.