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Dental Assisting

Two Pathways to a Dental Assisting Career

Announcements

2021-2022 Dental Assisting Application is Open for classes starting Fall 2021—Apply Now!

Complete the Online Application Process for the Dental Assisting Program by following these three easy steps:

  1. Complete online Application for Admission to Foothill College
  2. Complete the online Dental Assisting application form in Myportal. TO START, do you have a Student ID (CWID)?  To access the online Dental Assisting Application form, you need your 8-digit Student CWID (Campuswide ID) to log in to MyPortal.
    1. If you HAVE applied for admission to Foothill (even if you have never taken classes), you already have a CWID number.
    2. If you have NEVER applied for admission to Foothill College,  you will need to FIRST complete the FOOTHILL COLLEGE ADMISSION APPLICATION before starting the Dental Assisting application process.
  3. Questions? Get help with the application.

    Please Contact program director Cara Miyasaki  at miyasakicara@fhda.edu.

Dental Assisting Instruction During COVID-19

Due to the continued issues around COVID-19 that has resulted in limited campus presence for faculty/staff/students and the need for primarily online modality of instruction, we have made a determination to defer the start of the full-time program to Fall 2021.

Course Offerings for Fall 2020-Spring 2021

The program will be offering 1-2 online classes for this academic year (September 2020-June 2021).  There are openings for Winter 2021 (Jan to March).  DA 56 Dental Health Education (1 unit) is about how to keep the teeth and gums healthy using a variety of oral hygiene aids.  DA 57 Medical Emergencies in the Dental Office (2 units) is about how to recognize and manage common medical emergencies in the dental office.  Please contact the program director, Cara Miyasaki at miyasakicara@fhda.edu, to register for one or both of these classes. 

 View Side-by-Side Comparison

Program Details

PROGRAM EDUCATIONAL PATHWAY with full-time course load APPRENTICESHIP PATHWAY with paid dental office work experience
PROGRAM LENGTH

9 Months

15 Months
First inaugural class — students costs paid by Grant funded by California Dental Association

UNITS

57 quarter units (Certificate)

90 quarter units (A.S. Degree)

23 quarter units (Certificate)

START DATE

Starts third week of September 2021

Starts third week of September 2021

NUMBER OF STUDENTS ADMITTED

24

24

PREREQUISITES

DA 200L

DA 200L

REQUIREMENTS UPON ADMISSION

Statement of acceptance

Background check

Drug testing

Physical exam including current vaccinations

CPR/BLS from American Heart Association

Purchase uniform 

Purchase dental assisting kit

Costs paid by student

Statement of acceptance

Background check

Drug testing

Physical exam including current vaccinations

CPR/BLS from American Heart Association

Purchase uniform 

Purchase dental assisting kit

Costs paid by student

TUITION

$31.OO per quarter unit

Free Enrollment Fee

OTHER COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROGRAM

Basic fees: appx. $60.00/quarter

Parking permit:  $30.00/quarter

Books:  $450.00 total

Books:  $450.00 total

Parking permit:  $30.00/quarter

 

CLASS SCHEDULE

Lectures, labs, clinic sessions held M/Tu/W/Th/F

Synchronous, asynchronous, virtual, face-to-face

8/9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

View Class Schedule

Lectures, labs, clinic sessions held F/Sat

Synchronous, asynchronous, virtual, face-to-face

Friday/Sat classes

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

View Class Schedule

INTERNSHIPS

Unpaid internship

300 hours 

Employed by dental office 

Paid on the job training ​starting at minimum wage

2000 hours

INTERNSHIP DATES

Tu/Thu for January to June 

M/Tu/W/Th for 15 months

DEGREES & CERTIFICATES

A.S. DEGREE

Certificate of Achievement

Infection Control Certification

Dental Practice Act Certification

Radiology License

Coronal Polishing Certification

Pit & Fissure Sealant Certification

Certificate from California Department of Apprenticeship Standards

Certificate of Achievement

Infection Control Certification

Dental Practice Act Certification

Radiology License

Coronal Polishing Certification

Pit & Fissure Sealant Certification

Course Schedule

TERM EDUCATIONAL PATHWAY APPRENTICESHIP PATHWAY
FALL

D A 50 Orientation to Dental Assisting (1 unit)

D A 51A Introduction to Chairside Dental Assisting (10.5 units)

D A 53A Introduction to Radiography I (3 units)

D A 58 Specialty Practice Procedures (1 unit)

D A 62A Dental Sciences I (2 units)

D A 71 Infection Control & Hazardous Waste Management (1.5 units)

D A 200L Guide for Success:  A Dental Assisting Prerequisite Class

DA 65 Dental Assisting Apprenticeship Clinical Skills I 

D A 71 Infection Control & Hazardous Waste Management (1.5 units)

WINTER

D A 51B Intermediate Clinical Dental Assisting (3 units)

D A 53B Dental Radiography II (2 units)

D A 56 Dental Health Education (1 unit)

D A 57 Office Emergency Procedures (2 units)

D A 60A Dental Office Business Practices I (2 units)

D A 62B Dental Sciences II (2 units)

D A 73 Dental Assisting Supervised Clinic (5.5 units)

D A 100 Law & Ethics for the Dental Assistant (1 unit)

DA 66 Dental Assisting Apprenticeship Clinical Skills II 

D A 67 Radiation Health and Safety for Apprenticeship

D A 57 Office Emergency Procedures (2 units)

SPRING

D A 51C Advanced Dental Assisting Skills (3.5 units)

D A 53C Dental Radiography III (1 unit)

D A 60B Dental Office Business Practices II (3 units)

D A 62C Dental Sciences III (2 units) 
D A 63 Special Patient Populations (1 unit)

D A 74 Dental Assisting Clinical Practice (5.5 units)

D A 85 RDA Review (2 units)

D A 88 Pit & Fissure Sealants (1.5 units)

D A 56 Dental Health Education (1 unit)

D A 51C Advanced Dental Assisting Skills (3.5 units)

SUMMER Coursework completed

D A 100 Law & Ethics for the Dental Assistant (1 unit)

D A 88 Pit & Fissure Sealants (1.5 units

FALL Coursework completed

D A 85 RDA Review (2 units)

Timeline for Completion 

To start, you'll apply for admission to either Dental Assisting pathyway with a single application.

9-MONTH EDUCATIONAL PATHWAY 15-MONTH APPRENTICESHIP PATHWAY

Register and complete prerequisite DA 500L (1 unit) in spring quarter or summer session.

 

Complete these requirements before admission

  • Statement of acceptance
  • Background check
  • Drug testing
  • CPR/BLS from American Heart Association
  • Purchase uniform
  • Purchase dental assisting kit

Complete these requirements before admission

  • Statement of acceptance
  • Background check
  • Drug testing
  • CPR/BLS from American Heart Association
  • Purchase uniform
  • Purchase dental assisting kit

Fall Quarter 19 Units

Fall Quarter 6 Units

  • Register for and complete prerequisite DA 500L (1 unit) first six weeks
  • Interview and secure internship office
Winter Quater 18.5 Unites Winter Quarter 7 Units
Spring Quarter 19.5 Units

Spring Quarter 4.5 Units

Graduation

Apply to take RDA written licensing exam

Summer Session 3.5 Units

 

Fall Quarter 2.0 Units

 

Graduation

Apply to take RDA written licensing exam

A Demand for Dental Assistants

large group of graduates

View and download photos from the 2019 Dental Assisting graduation ceremony.

The demand for qualified dental assistants is high—to work with dentists, dental hygienists and dental technicians, to deliver dental care in a caring and skilled manner. Plus, the technology field of dentistry is always changing. Digital dental x-rays can be seen on a computer monitor within seconds of the exposure. Titanium implants can be used to replace missing teeth, which are stronger and more stable than dentures or removable partials.

What You'll Learn

Whichever pathway you choose, the Foothill College Dental Assisting Program offers a balance of academic, laboratory and clinical courses to prepare our students to work in this rapidly changing field. You'll learn extended functions of coronal polishing and pit and fissure sealants as well as earn an x-ray certificate.

Students who complete the entire program in a satisfactory manner will

  • Be awarded a Career Certificate in Dental Assisting
  • Qualify for the California State Registered Dental Assisting Examination.

Dental Assisting Opportunities

Dental assistants can work for a general dentist or in any of the other dental specialties, including oral surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, children's dentistry, and prosthodontics.

Other job opportunities for qualified Dental Assistants

  • Public health educators
  • Private industry consultants or sales representatives
  • Dental assisting instructors
  • Dental office managers
  • Consultants for dental insurance companies

Application Process

Only 24 full-time students are admitted into each pathway program each fall. This includes an expanded 48 seats total for fall 2021 to train new dental assistants!

Upon applying, all qualified students will be contacted for an orientation and notified of their acceptance. Review the application process.

Degree & Program Types

Check out this list for a quick view of our dental assisting programs. For program requirements and full course listings, view degrees and certificates information.

Questions?

Thank you for looking into our Foothill dental assisting program. Our program faculty have many student success stories and would be happy to share them with you or to answer any questions that you may have.

Apply for Fall 2021 Dental Assisting Program

Dental Assisting Quick View
Program: Dental Assisting
Degree/Cert: AS/Yes
Length: 9 months and 15 months

FT/PT: Full-time and Part-time
Number Accepted: 24 for each pathway
Program Application Deadline: Opened until filled, contact program director for questionsApprox. Cost of Program: $3,500
National Lic./Cert.: Yes
State Lic.Cert.: Yes
Estimated Annual Salary: $40,000-$60,000
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Questions?
We're Here to Help!

Cara Miyasaki, RDHEF, MS , Department Chair

650.949.7351


miyasakicara@foothill.edu


DENTAL ASSISTING PROGRAM CONTACTS
Office: Building 5200, Room 5211 
Cara Miyasaki, RDHEF, MS, Director
miyasakicara@foothill.edu
Ram Subramaniam, Division Dean
subramaniamram@fhda.edu
To meet with the dean, contact the Student & Faculty Support Center.
Biological & Health Sciences Division



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