At Akron Institute we are focused on providing our students with marketable skills that will help them attain their career objectives. Our programs are designed to ensure that the skills and knowledge we teach our students parallel those in demand in the workplace. The best way to get more information about our programs is to visit our campus to meet with one of our admissions representatives.
The goal of the dental assistant program is to train the student to become a productive member of the dental health team. This includes preparing the student for a variety of duties performed by the dental assistant in the contemporary dental office, including chairside assisting, laboratory procedures, administrative duties and expanded functions. Our ultimate goal is to prepare students to successfully gain entry-level employment as a Dental Assistant.
Upon completion of their program, the student should be able to:
1. Identify and prepare instruments, materials and treatment rooms for a variety of dental procedures as well as perform chairside techniques utilizing current concepts of dental assisting.
2. Demonstrate the ability to perform expanded functions and expose, process and evaluate radiographs with knowledge appropriate for an entry-level position as a registered dental assistant.
3. Demonstrate the knowledge to perform laboratory procedures and operate dental equipment utilized in a laboratory setting.
4. Demonstrate effective communication skills utilizing dental terminology, as it is related to patient care, and apply the knowledge required to maintain records and handle general business office procedures.
5. Demonstrate the knowledge of concepts of first aid and proper management techniques as applied to medical emergencies in the dental practice.
6. Demonstrate ethical conduct and moral attitudes and principles essential for gaining and maintaining trust of professional associates, the support of the community and confidence of the patient.
7. Demonstrate knowledge of expanded functions, radiology health.
8. Think critically both conceptually and by using mathematical analysis; write and speak effectively; use basic computer applications; and understand human behavior in the context of the greater society.
Potential Job Position Titles
Potential entry-level job position titles include Chairside Dental Assistant, Dental Front Desk, and Dental Office/Reception.
The average length of time for a student taking a full course load is 4.5 semesters.
A minimum of 64 semester credit hours are required for graduation.
All courses, 41 semester credit hours, are required.
DS 101 Chairside Assisting I
This course introduces the student to dental terminology, oral anatomy and morphology that will be utilized in patient charting. The student will be introduced to the fundamentals of working in a dental office as a chairside assistant. It introduces concepts and techniques of basic equipment, four-handed dentistry, oral evacuation, and instrument identification and proper use. The course provides an introduction to the psychology of patient management skills necessary for effective interaction with patient. Students will utilize oral communication skills to instruct patients in proper oral hygiene and preventive dentistry. It also will provide the students with basic nutritional concepts and their practical applications. 4.0 credit hours. Prerequisite: None.
DS 102 Pre-Clinical Dental Assisting
This course will introduce the student to the health and safety considerations for basic infection control, dental emergencies and the disease process, including infectious diseases and disease transmission. Topics include occupational safety, personal protection, exposure control, infection control, sterilization and disinfection techniques, Hazard and Bloodborne pathogens standards, and waste disposal as defined by government guidelines. Government guidelines follow OSHA, CDC, and EPA standards. This course will also discuss the prevention and treatment of medical emergencies commonly found in the dental office. The student will have a basic understanding of the classification, administration, use and effects of drugs commonly used in a dental office. 4.0 credit hours. Prerequisite: None.
DS 107 Dental Materials
This course is designed to provide the student with the knowledge of dental materials commonly utilized in the dental office. Emphasis is placed on chemical and physical properties of individual dental materials. Topics include the uses, types and applications for gypsum products, impression materials, waxes, cements, temporary and permanent restorative materials, resins and bleaching trays. Students will become familiar with laboratory procedures that are commonly performed in the dental office. Practical experience will be gained by manipulating various dental materials and working with dental equipment. 3.0 credit hours. Prerequisite: None.
DS 108 Dental Science
This course provides an overview of basic normal body structure and functions including an understanding of the common disease process and pathological conditions. Emphasis will be given to a comprehensive overview of oral anatomical structures, functions and the development of the oral cavity as well as the structures of the head and neck and their functions. Special attention will be given to the nervous system and its relation to anesthesia. 4.0 credit hours. Prerequisite: None.
DS 110 Expanded Functions I
This course will prepare the student to perform the expanded functions that may be required of a registered dental assistant. This course covers didactic and laboratory training in the following: placement and removal of rubber dam, taking impressions for casts and appropriate bite registrations, removing excess cement, placing and removing periodontal dressings, drying root canals with paper points and placing cotton pellets and temporary restorative materials into endodontic openings, and etching appropriate enamel surfaces and applying and adjusting pit and fissure sealants. Orthodontic expanded functions that will be cover in the classroom as well as the lab include: removing excess bonding with rotary instruments, placement and removal of ligature ties, preselecting orthodontic bands, placing and removing separators, cutting arch wires, and removal of loose bands or brackets. Various stains are covered as well as the application of bleaching agents and the fabrication, adjusting, cementation, and removal of temporary crowns/bridges. 4.0 credit hours. Prerequisite: None.
DS 111 Expanded Functions II
This course is a continuation of Expanded Functions I and will prepare the student to perform the expanded functions that may be required of a registered dental assistant. This course covers didactic and clinical training in the following: mechanical polishing, application of topical fluoride and medications, and administration of nitrous oxide analgesia. The student will also perform the following expanded functions on patients: placement and removal of rubber dam, taking impressions for casts and appropriate bite registrations, placing and removing periodontal dressings, removing excess cement, placing and removing separators, and etching appropriate enamel surfaces and applying and adjusting pit and fissure sealants. This course will also cover concepts of taking vital signs, including pulse and respiration rates and blood pressure. 4.0 credit hours. Prerequisites: DS 101 Chairside Assisting, DS 102 Pre-Clinical Dental Science, DS 108 Dental Science, DS 110 Expanded Functions I, and CPR.
DS 116 Radiology
This course will provide the student with the necessary background knowledge of ionizing radiation including the following: history of dental radiography, image and xray production, radiation safety, patient and operator protection and quality assurance. Paralleling and bisecting techniques used in exposing intraoral radiographs, advantages and disadvantages of these techniques and errors in technique will be discussed. Students will identify anatomy of the oral cavity region that appear radiographically. Students will expose, process, mount and evaluate dental radiographs on a variety of patients for their diagnostic value. Extraoral accessory films utilized in dental offices and the procedural techniques for exposing them will be discussed. 5.0 credit hours. Prerequisites: DS 101 Chairside Assisting I, DS 102 Pre-Clinical Dental Assisting, DS 108 Dental Science, DS 110 Expanded Functions, and CPR.
DS 151 Chairside Assisting II
In this course, the student will be introduced to the different specialties in dentistry, specifically: endodontics, oral surgery, prosthodontics, periodontics and pediatric dentistry. Through lecture and instrument identification, the student will become familiar with the procedures and instruments used in each specialty. Current concepts of chairside assisting in general dentistry as well as dental specialties are presented with emphasis on the utilization of the dental assistant. Chairside Assisting II includes a clinical rotation where each student is introduced to a general office for observation and practical experience in chairside assisting. The rotation will provide the student with the opportunity to experience and participate in the duties of a dental assistant in a clinical setting. 4.0 credit hours. Prerequisites: DS 101 Chairside Assisting, DS 102 Pre-Clinical Dental Assisting, DS 108 Dental Science, and DS 110 Expanded Functions.
DS 206 Dental Management
In this course, the student will be introduced to the responsibilities of office management and administrative assistant, including scheduling and appointment control, records management, recall systems, financial transactions, telephone technique, dental insurance, inventory control, and application of dental practice management software. Information regarding the patient rights and privacy under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) will also be discussed. 3.0 credit hours. Prerequisites: DS 101 Chairside Assisting, DS 102 Pre-Clinical Dental Assisting, DS 108 Dental Science, and DS 110 Expanded functions.
DS 207 Dental Ethics and Jurisprudence
This course provides information on the ethical, legal and professional experiences and obligations of the dental assistant as a member of the dental healthcare team. Content includes legal terminology, laws involving the practice of dentistry as well as patient rights and responsibilities. Professional conduct including rules and statutes as published by the Board of Dentistry will be covered. Students may be required to successfully complete a state exam to become a registered dental assistant. 2.0 credit hour. Prerequisite: DS 101 Chairside Assisting, DS 102 Pre-Clinical Dental Assisting, DS 108 Dental Science, and DS 110 Expanded functions.
DS 295 Internship
During the internship clinical phase of training, the student will experience various aspects of working in a private dental office, group dental practice, or specialty dental office. The internship will provide the student with the opportunity to experience and participate in the duties of a dental assistant in a clinical setting. Areas such as treatment room preparation, infection control procedures, fourhanded dentistry, front office procedures, laboratory procedures, and expanded functions will be emphasized. Students will learn by observing experienced dental office personnel and participating in a clinical setting under close supervision of trained health care professionals.
4.0 credit hours, 180 clock hours. Prerequisites: All didactic course work with GPA of 2.0 and CPR.
General Education Requirements
Students enrolled in associate degrees must complete a minimum of 21 semester credit hours in general education.
EN 104 English Composition I
This course introduces the principles and practices of developing effective communications by using reflective critical thinking in the writing and reading processes. Topics include understanding the writing process; applying essay development patterns; using research techniques; and writing essays, summaries, reports, and research papers. 3.0 credit hours. Prerequisite: None.
EN 106 Information Literacy
This course introduces the principles and practices of information literacy by using reflective critical thinking in the research and writing processes. Topics include understanding the research process; evaluating resources; using research techniques; outlining, providing in-text citations; understanding APA style, and using appropriate voice in writing formal research papers. 1.0 credit hours. Prerequisite: None.
EN 116 Speech
The course is designed to provide the student the opportunity to develop speaking and presentation skills in a variety of situations. Topics include the elements and structure of speeches, researching topics and developing presentation materials, analyzing and responding to audience characteristics, learning effective speech techniques, and delivering different types of speeches. Microsoft PowerPoint is used as a presentation tool. 3.0 credit hours. Prerequisite: None.
IS 102 Computers and Application Software
This course provides an introduction to operating systems, browsers, and email as well as word processing, presentation, spreadsheets, and database applications. 4.0 credit hours. Prerequisite: None.
MA 107 College Algebra
This course focuses on the concepts and applications of algebra. Topics include an arithmetic review; operations with algebraic expressions; solving linear and quadratic equations; factoring algebraic expressions; and using exponents, powers, roots, ratios, and proportions to solve problems. 4.0 credit hours. Prerequisite: None.
PS 101 Psychology
This course introduces psychology that focuses on understanding human behavior. Topics include the scope of psychology; biological foundations and the brain; the concepts of sensation, perception, conditioning, and learning; the nature of memory; motivation and emotion; states of consciousness; personality theories; dealing with health and stress; developing coping strategies; and social psychology. 3.0 credit hours. Prerequisite: None.
HU 101 Critical Thinking
This course is designed to introduce the theories and application of critical analysis with emphasis on developing sequential reasoning skills. Topics include the foundations of arguments, value assumptions and ethical decision making, reality assumptions and deductive arguments, inductive arguments and generalizations, reasoning errors, the power of language, the impact of media power, and persuasive speaking. 3.0 credit hours. Prerequisite: None.
Personal Development Courses
A minimum of two semester credit hours is required.
PD 100 Student Success Skills
This course provides instruction in the both theory and practice of personal growth that lead to successful life experience. Topics include research in critical self-analysis of student habits and attitudes; and psychological impediments to successfully setting and achieving personal goals. 1.0 credit hour. Prerequisite: None.
PD 120 Personal Financial Management
This course deals with the concepts of personal financial planning and financial control. Topics center on critical self examination of student planning techniques through analysis and research of personal financial legal documents, checking accounts and banking services; income tax procedures; savings methods; investment planning; risk management and insurance; and credit records, credit law, and the cost of credit. 1.0 credit hour. Prerequisite: None.
PD 150 Client Services
This course provides a critical examination of issues embedded in the practice of providing client service. Topics include research about best practice in customer service and communication techniques; psychologically based methods for dealing with the management of customer complaints; and the roles of a customer service employee and supervisor within ethical boundaries and common business practice. 1.0 credit hour. Prerequisite: None.
PD 200 Career Development Seminar
This seminar provides an opportunity for the student to apply critical self-examination techniques and processes for developing a career path and an awareness of the need to embed life-long learning into career management. Topics include career planning research, job searching, developing career search documents, and refining interview and communication skills within an awareness of psychological boundaries implicit in this process. Successful completion of this course requires the creation of a professional resume suitable for e-mail. 1.0 credit hour. Prerequisite: None.