Course Outline

National Dental Academy Dental Assisting Course

National Dental Academy courses consist of 10 Saturdays of classroom and clinical instruction, 60 hours of home study, and an opportunity for 10-15 hours of practical “on the job” training with your dental instructor. During your studies as an NDA student, you will learn the operation of all equipment, instrumentation, and materials commonly used by chairside assistants in general dental practices. You will also receive significant clinical training in the typical everyday functions and responsibilities of dental assistants. National Dental Academy’s curriculum is high quality and thorough to prepare students for better careers as educated, certified dental professionals.

NDA Dental Assistant Course Outline

National Dental Academy training to become a dental assistant consists of 10 Saturday classes. All NDA class days are comprised of four hours for morning lectures, a break for lunch, and four hours of afternoon clinicals. National Dental Academy’s host dental offices offer three 10-Saturday course sessions a year.

Below is a breakdown of what is covered in each of NDA’s 10 classes (click on each class to see more details):

  • Dental anatomy, tooth identification and numbering system
  • General dental terminology
  • Instrument nomenclature and identification for all aspects of general dentistry
  • Chair positioning and equipment operation
  • Treatment options available depending on oral conditions
  • Radiology theory and x-ray techniques, use of Rinn© holders and other methods
  • Intraoral, bitewing, panoramic, and endodontic x-ray exposure methods
  • X-ray development using an automatic processor
  • Darkroom use, care, and maintenance
  • X-ray identification, interpretation, safety and other precautions
  • Radiology quiz
  • Introduction to various filling materials, cements, and liners used in dentistry
  • Practice mixing cements and liners
  • Introduction to impressions and models
  • Dentist-assistant teamwork
  • Instrument transfer techniques, chairside assisting, and patient suctioning
  • Chairside doctor-patient-assistant positioning
  • Tub and tray systems of instruments and materials
  • Familiarity and use of instruments and materials in assisting for dentistry, including operative dentistry, oral surgery, crowns and bridges, endodontics, periodontics, and pedodontics
  • Endodontics and orthodontics as they relate to dental assisting
  • Effective resume composition, proper image and dress for interviews, and how to prepare for interview questions
  • Difficult questions that interviews may cover, and how to answer them
  • Do’s and don’ts for interviews
  • Midterm exam
  • Oral surgery and periodontics as they relate to dental assisting
  • Impression materials and practice in their uses (alginates, polyvinyl siloxane, etc)
  • Wax bites and counter impressions
  • Model pouring and trimming
  • Dental fillings as they relate to dental assisting functions
  • Sterilization theory, terminology, methods, and techniques
  • Autoclave operation
  • Instrument and equipment sterilization/disinfection
  • Treatment room disinfection and asepsis techniques
  • Handpiece care and maintenance
  • General dental office operation
  • Phone answering and appointment scheduling
  • Billing (accounts receivable and payable), collections
  • Providing pre-treatment estimates and filing insurance forms
  • Insurance terminology
  • Taking impressions with arch trays, triple trays, and quad trays
  • Fabrication of acrylic temporary crown
  • Sizing and fitting of aluminum shell crown
  • Wax bite creation
  • Final exam (written and practical clinical/radiology final)
  • Group discussion covering issues for pediatric patients, including difficult behavior
  • Graduation and awarding of certificates and pins