Dental Assistant Diploma

As dentists try to keep up with a growing and aging population and increased need for dental care in the United States, dental assistants are expected to be in demand. In fact, employment of dental assistants is expected to grow 18 percent through 2024, which is much faster than the average of all occupations.* At Kaplan University, you can get the education and hands-on training required to start your career in dental assisting. 

If you want to become an integral part of a dental practice, our Dental Assistant Diploma is designed to provide you with the relevant training, knowledge, and skills. You can learn how to perform duties such as radiographs, instrument sterilization, tray setups, four-handed dentistry, equipment maintenance, impressions, model trimming, charting, and dental reception duties. We offer classes both in the mornings and afternoons so you have the flexibility to meet the demands of your family, work, and education.

Dental Assistant Diploma Program Highlights

Our comprehensive curriculum offers hands-on training to help you develop the skills required to succeed on the job as soon as you graduate. In addition to office management and communications, records management and ethics, and an introduction to basic computer skills, you will have the opportunity to master skills in:

  • Chairside assisting, including handling dental instruments, controlling infection, and planning treatment in the eight specialty areas of dentistry
  • Handling dental emergencies, such as an abscessed tooth, alveolitis, or a broken tooth or prosthesis
  • Identifying structures of the oral cavity, the different types of teeth, and universal codes for each tooth
  • Performing dental radiology (if certified) and safety procedures
  • Preventive dentistry, including coronal polishing and fluoride

Dental Assistant Education

Kaplan University is proud to offer a Dental Assistant Diploma program that is market-driven, with specific curriculum that best serves local employment needs. When you earn your diploma at Kaplan University, you not only learn how to become a dental assistant, you learn skills that you can apply to your everyday life. The objective of the dental assistant program is to prepare you to work as an integral member of the dental health team and to perform chairside assisting and related office and lab procedures under the direct supervision of a dentist. Before you graduate, you will be required to complete an externship at a general dental office clinic, hospital, or other dental facility where you can actively participate in patient care.

Accreditation

The Dental Assistant Program offered onsite in Omaha is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of Approval (without reporting requirements). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312.440.4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission's web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda.

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What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

The duties of a dental assistant are diverse, all designed to support the dentist. Thus, at Kaplan University you will have the opportunity to learn to perform a broad range of daily activities including:

  • Caring for patients in the treatment room
  • Taking dental x-rays
  • Taking impressions of patients' teeth
  • Teaching preventive dentistry to patients
  • Assisting with oral surgery
  • Performing oral evacuation
  • Infection control and sterilization
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Higher Education at the Highest Standards

Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and committed to the highest standards. Our specific programs hold additional industry-relevant approvals and accreditations.

What are the Career Opportunities?

When you graduate from Kaplan University with your Dental Assistant Diploma, you could apply for an entry-level position in dental group practices, public and private hospitals, public health institutions, clinics, dental insurance agencies, and for dental product distributors. Dental assistants can continue to grow in their careers and become office managers, enter a dental sales position, or obtain a position at a research facility or insurance company.

How Do I Get Started?

Multiple Program Start Dates Available: Kaplan University offers multiple start dates to give our students greater flexibility when planning their education, life, and work schedules.

27

Feb

Campus Start Date

February 27, 2017

03

Apr

Campus Start Date

April 03, 2017

01

May

Campus Start Date

May 01, 2017

30

May

Campus Start Date

May 30, 2017

03

Jul

Campus Start Date

July 03, 2017

31

Jul

Campus Start Date

July 31, 2017

28

Aug

Campus Start Date

August 28, 2017

Curriculum: All Tracks

  • Diploma Requirements

    Total Diploma Requirements Credits: 56

    Total Program Credits: 56

    • DA B170: RADIOLOGY Change

      The Radiology module focuses on one of the dental assistant's key areas of competence. This module focuses on the tasks associated with x-ray equipment, the nature of x-rays, film placement, angulation of x-rays, mounting, and developing techniques. This module is also designed to develop professional skills and proactive career management.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      DA K151, DA W151, DA Y151, and DA G151

    • DA G151: PATIENT INTERACTION Change

      The Patient Interaction module, one of the four prerequisite modules for the Dental Assistant Diploma program, includes an overview of academic strategies and a review of fundamental math concepts. In addition, emphasis is placed on the types and physical characteristics of microorganisms and their method of study, the most common diseases found in the oral cavity, the prenatal development of teeth, the development of structures of the surrounding tooth, and tissues of the oral cavity. Students practice prophylaxis procedures, instrument exchanges, and other core dental assisting skills. Additionally, students are introduced to appointment book entries, telephone techniques, filing, insurance forms, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and dental office management software. This module is also designed to develop professional skills and proactive career management. (Omaha campus only)

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      None
    • DA K151: FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS FOR DENTAL ASSISTING Change

      The Foundational Skills for Dental Assisting module is one of the four prerequisite modules for entering dental assistant students. This module includes an overview of academic strategies; general concepts of nutrition, law, and ethics; math fundamentals; an introduction to pharmacology, infection control, and vital signs; and complementary and alternative medicine. Also included is a focus on dental anatomy and basic setup and instrumentation. This module is also designed to develop professional skills and proactive career management. (Omaha campus only) 

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • DA O170: OPERATIVE ASSISTING Change

      The Operative Assisting module includes an overview of general dentistry and chairside assisting. This module focuses on the tasks associated with working with the dentist, equipment, instruments, tray setups, patient seating, four-handed dentistry, charting, anesthetic, amalgams, resins, and various other chairside procedures. This module also focuses on passing instruments correctly and the operation and maintenance of dental equipment, in addition to fundamental skills such as oral evacuation, placing rubber dams, syringe assembling, handling, and passing, and assembling the matrix band. (Omaha campus only)

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      DA G151, DA K151, DA W151, and DA Y151 

    • DA P170: DENTAL MATERIALS Change

      The Dental Materials module includes an overview of the properties and proper uses of dental materials. The lab portion of this module focuses on mixing materials, taking impressions, pouring and trimming study models, and fabricating custom trays and temporary crowns. This module is also designed to develop professional skills and proactive career management. (Omaha campus only)

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      DA K151, DA W151, DA Y151, and DA G151

    • DA R170: CHAIRSIDE SPECIALTIES Change

      The Chairside Specialties module focuses on the specialty practices such as periodontal surgery, root canal treatment, extractions, orthodontics, crown preparations, assisting with a child patient, assisting with crown and bridge procedures, and the process of fabricating a denture or partial. Students are taught critical regulation issues in law and ethics. This module is also designed to develop professional skills and proactive career management. (Omaha campus only) 

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      DA G151, DA K151, DA W151, and DA Y151 

    • DA V190: SPECIALTY DENTISTRY EXTERNSHIP Change

      The Specialty Dentistry Externship module is designed to provide practical on-the-job experiences that augment the student's in-class experiences. Students are required to complete the 80-hour externship program at a work site connected with their field of study, which normally includes health care facilities such as private or group practices, clinics, and industrial clinics. (Omaha campus only)

      Credits:

      3

      Prerequisites Required:

      DA B170, DA O170, DA P170, and DA R170

    • DA W151: TECHNOLOGY AND TERMINOLOGY FOR DENTAL ASSISTING Change

      The Technology and Terminology for Dental Assisting module is one of the four prerequisite modules for entering dental assistant students. This module includes an overview of computer applications, medical emergencies, medical terminology, and anatomy and physiology. Students are required to develop a plaque control program. This module emphasizes the prenatal development of teeth, development of structures of the surrounding tooth and tissues of the oral cavity, and provides instruction on the expanded duties of a dental assistant. This module is also designed to develop professional skills and proactive career management. (Omaha campus only)

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • DA Y151: DIAGNOSTIC ASSISTING Change

      One of the four prerequisite modules for the program, the Diagnostic Assisting module includes an overview of academic strategies, English fundamentals, and a review of computer applications. This module emphasizes general dentistry and chairside assisting, and focuses on the tasks associated with working hand in hand with the dentist. Emphasis is placed on patient seating, charting, anesthesia, and various other chairside procedures. The module includes a focus on maintaining dental equipment, oral evacuation, and diagnoses. This module is also designed to develop professional skills and proactive career management.(Omaha campus only) 

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • DA Z190: GENERAL DENTISTRY EXTERNSHIP Change

      The General Dentistry Externship module is designed to provide practical on-the-job experiences that augment the student’s in-class experiences. Students are required to complete the 220-hour externship program at a work site connected with their field of study, which normally includes health care facilities such as private or group practices, clinics, and industrial clinics. The remaining 20 hours of the General Dentistry Externship module will be devoted to preparing students to sit for the dental assisting certification examination. (Omaha campus only) 

      Credits:

      9

      Prerequisites Required:

      DA B170, DA O170, DA P170, and DA R170

Curriculum: Concentration

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*Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Dental Assistants, on the Internet www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm.

Although certain programs at Kaplan University are designed to prepare students to take various certification or licensing exams, the University cannot guarantee the student will pass those exams. In some cases, field experience, additional coursework, and/or background checks may be necessary to take or to successfully pass the exams. Students should research the requirements in the state in which they intend to seek employment.

Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.