Dental Assisting (DA) Training Program

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Dental Assistant
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Unitek College's Dental Assisting program is perfect for any student that loves working with their hands. This program fully prepares Dental Assisting students with the in-depth knowledge and technical skills required to excel at the dental assisting position. The dental assistant focuses on providing direct patient care while simultaneously focusing on patient comfort.Unitek College provides a strong foundation for learning the skills and gaining the experience needed to succeed in a career as a Dental Assistant, combining in-class instruction, hands-on skills lab and a supervised externship.


Dental Board of California - Registered Dental Assistant Education Provider

All Unitek College campuses offering the Dental Assisting program have stand-alone course approval from the California Board for Radiation Safety, Coronal Polishing, Pit and Fissured Sealants and Radiology Safety. Theses approvals allow Unitek College to issue these certificates, independent of RDA Education Provider Approval.
The Dental Assisting program at the Unitek College Sacramento campus is an Approved Educational Program by the Dental Board of California for Registered Dental Assistant Applicants. The campus received provisional approval in December 2015.
The Unitek College Dental Assisting program curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of an RDA Education Provider. The Dental Board of California reviews the application of each campus location individually. At this time, the Concord and San Jose campus locations are applicants for approval and have site visits pending.
If a campus does not receive RDA program approval by the Dental Board of California, graduates of the Dental Assisting program can still request to apply 36 weeks (9 months) of the program toward the required 15 months of work experience, which qualifies the student to sit for the RDA exam after they have gained 6 month of work experience as a Dental Assistant.

Benefits of becoming a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

It is not necessary to be a Registered Dental Assistant to be employed as a Dental Assistant in California. Registered Dental Assistants are permitted to carry out additional direct patient procedures which allows the Dentist to see more patients per day and improves the production of their dental practice.

Benefits of Graduating from RDA Approved Dental Assisting programs

Gives graduates the fastest route to meeting the requirements for taking the licensure exam...

To Qualify for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) examinations in California, you must meet one of the requirements below:

  1. Graduate from a Board-approved RDA educational program of a minimum of 800 hours (approximately 8 months); or
  2. Complete at least 15 months of satisfactory (1,280 Hours) paid work experience as a dental assistant with a dentist licensed in one of the states in the United States; or
  3. Complete a California Department of Education approved 4-month educational program, and 11 months of work experience with a dentist(s) licensed in one of the states of the United States.

*Foreign education and/or experience is not accepted.

Enrollment Process

To obtain admission in the Unitek College Dental Assisting certificate program, a potential student must follow the process outlined below:

  • Discuss program with an Admissions Representative
  • Submit proof of education, must be a minimum of a High School Diploma or GED
  • Pass the Admissions Assessment
  • Complete financing arrangements
  • Complete enrollment agreement
  • Meet all tuition requirements

Job Outlook

Employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 25 percent from 2012 to 2022. (Source – Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm#tab-6). This growth is attributed to the large population of baby-boomers and the tendency to maintain their teeth better than previous generations. The increased maintenance and care is what is driving the Dental Assisting work force. Increased patient numbers are driving dentists to hire more dental assistants to handle routine tasks and administration duties, so the dentist can focus their time on more complex procedures.

Educational Objectives

Graduates receive a certificate of completion, and are prepared to:

  • Gain employment as entry level Dental Assistants in a dental office, clinic, or lab environment
  • Function as Dental Assistants to licensed Dentists
  • Utilize current industry standard dental software
  • Work with digital dental technology

Duties and Responsibilities

Dental assistants typically do the following:

  • Ensure that patients are comfortable in the dental chair
  • Prepare patients and the work area for treatments and procedures
  • Assisting with Oral Surgeries
  • Sterilize dental instruments; Help dentists by handing them instruments during procedures
  • Evacuating Oral Cavities and Keep patient's mouths dry by using suction hoses and other equipment
  • Making Dental Impressions
  • Instruct patients in proper oral hygiene
  • Take and Process dental X-Rays and complete lab tasks, under the direction of a dentist
  • Installing Fixed Prosthodontics
  • Maintaining Inventory for Dental Practices
  • Schedule patient appointments
  • Work with patients on billing and payment

Dental assistants are allowed to perform the following procedures in some states (including CA):

  • Coronal polishing - Removing soft deposits such as plaque, gives teeth a cleaner appearance.
  • Sealant application - The dental assistant paints a thin, plastic substance over teeth that seals out food particles and acid-producing bacteria to keep teeth from developing cavities.
  • Fluoride application - In which fluoride is put directly on the teeth, is another anti-cavity measure.
  • Topical anesthetic application - Some dental assistants may be qualified to apply topical anesthetic to an area of a patient’s mouth, temporarily numbing the area to help prepare a patient for procedures.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

There are no Gainful Employment and State disclosures related to this program yet since this is a new program. Dental Assisting Program Gainful Employment Disclosure page.

If you qualify for the Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Sub & Unsub), please be aware that the federal government charges a loan fee. The Federal Direct Stafford Loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options, including, but not limited to, income-based repayment (IBR) and income-contingent repayment (ICR) plans, and loan forgiveness benefits, which other student loans are not required to provide; and Federal Direct Stafford Loans are available to students regardless of income.

Private student loans are not federal student loans. Private loans are credit based and may have, either, a variable or fixed interested rate. Private student loans can offer variable interest rates that can increase or decrease over time, depending on market conditions. Private student loans have a range of interest rates and fees; students should determine the interest rate of, and any fees associated with the private student loan before accepting the private loan. The student should contact the lender of the private student loan if they have any questions about the private student loan. The private student loan interest rate may depend on the borrower's credit rating. The student has the ability to choose any lender.

*Financial Loans available for those who qualify.