Dental Assistant Career Prep

330 Hours / 12 Months / Self-Paced

Course Overview:

As a member of the dental care team, Dental Assistants are responsible for helping prepare patients for dental procedures, and often assist with the procedures themselves.  Depending on the type of dental office, the dental assistant may even be involved in laboratory or surgical procedures.  However, regardless of the specialty, the dental assistant is responsible for providing direct patient care while working alongside the dentist.  This course will provide you with the information and skills necessary to serve in this capacity.  You will learn how to prepare patients for treatment, including taking X-rays and preparing the necessary equipment for each procedure.  You will also learn about the various dental specialties and the specific responsibilities of the dental assistant in each area of specialization. Upon completion of this course, you will be prepared to sit for the Dental Assistant Certification Exam through the Dental Assisting National Board and begin your employment as a certified Dental Assistant.

About ProTrain:

ProTrain is committed to offering world class interactive online courses that provide training and learning support for the student in a number of ways during their experience. The ProTrain course structure has been developed to provide activities to guide students throughout the entire process of learning. Learning activities include hands-on assignments that allow students to use what they are learning to allow better transferable skills within their work environments; and collaborative assignments, like wikis and discussion groups that allow them to share what they have learned with others in the same course.

While a student learns, they are not alone. Each student will receive guidance and support from his or her assigned Training Assessment Manager (TAM) and Student Services Specialist (SSS) representative. In addition, we will offer live monthly webinars and feedback sessions for various subject categories. Throughout the entire course, students are monitored by the SSS representative using progress reporting from the ProTrain Registration System (PRS).

ProTrain will provide Students who successfully complete their online certification programs and pass their industry level certification exams the access to the new ProTrain Education-2-Employment Career Tracker system. The Career Tracker will allow our students who pass exams to load their own resumes at no additional cost, and letting industry employers find their talent through the same database.

Curriculum Developer Biography:

Willow Nolland is an expert in education and eLearning, with more than ten years of experience in curriculum development and instructional design. She has worked in higher education for over twelve years, and has developed numerous courses and has been involved in curriculum development across disciplines. She has experience with academic program development and coordination, curriculum development, student learning outcomes, educational partnerships, and student development. In addition, she has developed and administered professional development programs for various groups, including teachers, counselors, healthcare workers and members of private industry. She is a certified Quality Matters Reviewer and has taken graduate courses in online course development. She designs and teaches online courses at the college level and is proficient in a variety of course management systems. She has helped educators redesign their courses to transition them from a face-to-face format to an online format, and has provided course editing assistance to others. As a freelance instructional designer and curriculum developer, her projects have included course editing and redesign of online continuing education courses for nurses, CEU curriculum development for healthcare workers and teachers, and course review and editing for various colleges and universities.

Course Outline:

Lesson 1: Introduction to Dental Assisting

In this lesson, you will learn about the role of a Dental Assistant.  You will receive an overview of the job duties of a dental assistant, as well as the ethical and legal requirements of the profession. You will also learn about the history of dentistry and how it has evolved into what it is today.  You will also learn the importance of effective communication and multicultural interaction in dental care.  Upon completion of this lesson, you will have a thorough understanding of the role of the dental assistant and the ethical and legal requirements of the profession.

Lesson 2: Prevention and Nutrition

In this lesson, you will learn about oral health and prevention techniques.  You will also learn about the role of proper nutrition in dental health.  Dental assistants in the dental office have an important role in preventive dentistry. Dentistry is about preventing oral disease, such as dental decay, and preventing and caring for periodontal disease. Nutrition affects the entire body as well as the oral cavity. Knowledge of nutrition provides the individual with the information to make sound decisions. 

Lesson 3: Basic Dental Sciences

In this lesson, you will learn the basics of dental science.   The specific topics that will be covered include: General Anatomy and Physiology, Head and Neck Anatomy, Embryology and Histology, and Tooth Morphology.  Upon completion of this lesson, you will have a solid understanding of the dental sciences so that you are better prepared to provide quality care in a dental office.

Lesson 4: Preclinical Dental Skills

In this lesson, you will learn about preclinical dental skills.  You will be provide with information on the following topics: Microbiology; Infection Control; Management of Hazardous Materials; Preparation for Patient Care; Dental Charting; Pharmacology; and Emergency Management.  An understanding of these components is crucial for dental assistants to ensure proper patient care.

Lesson 5: Clinical Dental Procedures

In this lesson, you will learn about clinical dental procedures.  The first two sections of this lesson will provide an introduction to the dental office and basic chairside assisting, including information on basic chairside instruments and tray systems.  The remaining sections of this lesson will focus on instrument transfer and operating field maintenance, as well as anesthesia and sedation.  Upon completion of this lesson, you will have a solid understanding of the primary components of clinical dental procedures and will be better prepared to provide chairside care to dental patients.

Lesson 6: Dental Radiography

In this lesson, you will learn about dental radiography.  The first section will provide an introduction to dental radiography and equipment.  From there, you will learn about the production and evaluation of dental radiographs.  In the final section you will receive an overview of extraoral and digital radiography.  Upon completion of this lesson, you will have a thorough understanding of dental radiography and will be able to apply this understanding to the dental practice.

Lesson 7: Dental Specialties

In this lesson, you will learn about all of the different dental specialties.  This is the largest lesson of the course, as it spans nine textbook chapters.  However, the size of the lesson is necessary to ensure that all specialties are included.  Upon completion of this lesson, you will understand the following dental specialties: Endodontics; Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Oral Pathology; Orthodontics; Pediatric Dentistry and Enamel Sealants; Periodontics and Coronal Polish; Fixed Prosthodontics and Gingival Retraction; Cosmetic Dentistry and Teeth Whitening; Removable Prosthodontics.

Lesson 8: Restorative and Laboratory Materials and Techniques

In this lesson, you will learn about restorative and laboratory materials and techniques.  The lesson will be broken into three topics, with each topic focusing on a different aspect of restorative and laboratory materials and techniques.  The first topic in this lesson will cover dental cements, bases, liners and bonding agents.  From there, you will learn about restorative materials, the dental dam, matrix, and wedges.  In the final section in this lesson you will learn about laboratory materials and techniques.  Upon completion of this lesson, you will have a solid understanding of restorative dentistry and the laboratory materials and techniques involved.  As a result, you will be better prepared to work with patients in a restorative capacity.

Lesson 9: Dental Practice Management

In this lesson, you will learn about dental office management.  Unlike previous lessons in this course, this lesson will not focus on clinical components of dental assisting.  Instead, this lesson will provide information on dental office management and employment strategies.  This information will help prepare you to work in a dental office and secure employment as a dental assistant.

All necessary materials are included.

Certification(s):

This course prepares the student to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Dental Assistant certification exam.


System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:
  • Cable and DSL internet connections are recommended.

Hardware Requirements:
  • Minimum Pentium 400 Mhz CPU or G3 Macintosh. 1 GHz or greater CPU recommended.
  • 256MB RAM minimum. 1 GB RAM recommended.
  • 800x600 video resolution minimum. 1025x768 recommended.
  • Speakers/Headphones to listen to Dialogue steaming audio sessions.
  • A microphone to speak in Dialogue streaming audio sessions.
Operating System Requirements:
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 9, 10
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • OpenSUSE Linux 9.2 or higher.
Web Browser Requirements:
  • Google Chrome is recommended.
  • Firefox 13.x or greater.
  • Internet Explorer 6.x or greater.
  • Safari 3.2.2 or greater.
Software Requirements:
  • Adobe Flash Player 6 or greater.
  • Oracle Java 7 or greater.
  • Adobe Reader 7 or greater.
Web Browser Settings:
  • Accept Cookies
  • Disable Pop-up Blocker.


**Outlines are subject to change, as courses and materials are updated.**