Dental Assisting Technology

The Salish Kootenai College Dental Assisting Program will be visited by representatives of the Commission on Dental Accreditation on October 20-21, 2021.  Interested parties may submit comments that are directly related to the accreditation standards of the program.  Comment pertaining only to the standards or policies and procedures used in the Commission's accreditation process.  Comments are due in the Commission office no later than 60 days prior to the site visit.  Copies of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission's policy on third-party comments may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, Il 60611 or by calling 312-440-2500.

Dental Assisting Technology

The Dental Assisting Technology program trains students to become dental assisting professionals, involved citizens, and to be an asset to and compliment the dental healthcare team.  The program emphasizes skills such as patient communication, critical thinking, clinical charting, and job readiness including practice interviewing and preparing a dental assisting resume.  A unique feature of this program is an on-site dental clinic in which students gain experience working with dentists and patients.

SKC Dental Assisting Program Goals:

  • Recruit, retain, and graduate Native American students
  • Prepare students to become Certified Dental Assistants
  • Educate students who are prepared to address dental health concerns in Native American communities
  • Prepare graduates to be an asset to and compliment the dental health team.
  • Encourage students and graduates to be involved citizens within the dental communities in which they live

Degrees offered:

  • Certificate of Completion. Upon completion of the certificate a student is NOT a Certified Dental Assistant, but is eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board Exam to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).
  • Dental Assisting Endorsement may be offered to students who successfully complete 23 credits of training and meet the requirements as an entry-level dental assistant as defined by the US Department of Labor. This does NOT qualify a student to take the Dental Assisting National Board Exam to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

Functions of a Dental Assistant

Job Duties and functions of a dental assistant include but are not limited to :
  • maintaining infection control procedures
  • anticipating the dentist needs
  • exposing dental radiographs
  • setting up/tear down treatment areas
  • assisting in procedures
  • perform laboratory procedures
  • taking impressions and fabricating temporary restorations
  • providing patient communication and education
Learning Outcomes

Students completing the dental assisting program will become proficient in all areas allowed and defined by the State of Montana Dental Practice Act.

  • Maintain proper infection and hazardous control protocol in the dental healthcare setting
  • Perform four-handed dental assisting duties in a safe and ethical manner
  • Assist with intra and extraoral examinations, identify and apply concepts of dental terminology, and accurately record patient data
  • Identify and apply the concepts of dental ethics and professional communication in relation to the dental team and patients
  • Have the knowledge to schedule patients for various treatments, maintain a recall system, order and maintain supplies, complete patient insurance forms, make financial arrangements, and utilize basic dental software
  • Perform dental laboratory procedures.
  • Expose, develop, mount and evaluate radiographs including conventional, digital, and panoramic radiographic images while using proper safety precautions
  • Become advocates and promote healthy lifestyles to reduce health disparities in oral health within Native American communities

The dental assisting technology program prepares students for entry-level work in the dental profession.  Students who graduate from this program may gain employment as general chairside dental assistants, dental hygiene assistants, or as dental assistants in specialty offices.  Graduates of the program are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examination to become a Certified Dental Assistant.

Assessment Summary
Admission Requirements
Other Requirements
Employment Data

Accreditation

The program in dental assisting 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. The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda.

Bloodborne Pathogens

Policies and procedures have been developed related to bloodborne and infectious disease.  These policies, which may be obtained from the department, are available to applicants for admission and patients.

Contact the Dental Assisting Technology Department for More Information.

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Dental Assisting Technology Department Directory

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