Dental Assistants are one of the first professionals patients see when they visit the dentist. This multitasked profession allows dental assistants to be part of a variety of procedures. This profession can also be used as a platform to other dental professions such as dental hygiene, dentistry, orthodontics, dental product sales, etc. Employment of dental assistants and dental hygienists are projected to grow 10-19 percent in the next 10 years – much faster than the average for all occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In the Dental Assisting program students will learn dental terminology, oral anatomy and physiology, dental radiography, sterilization, impressions, and laboratory procedures, as well as how to assist in dental procedures. This program also gives students adult, child, and infant CPR certifications. The program is a combination of bookwork, academic topics, and hands-on laboratory skills. There are paid co-op placement opportunities available along with On-The-Job-Training in local dentist offices. This program focuses on the importance of teamwork in the classroom and reflects the true workings of a dental office. The state of the art facility allows students to stay up-to-date on current trends in dentistry.
To Be Successful
Successful students in this program usually have a strong science background, access to the internet, solid computer skills, compassion for others, and the ability to think critically and prioritize. Students must be current with Hepatitis B before going on clinicals.
Program Success Indicators
- Interest in science/general biology/anatomy & physiology
- Read, comprehend, and write complete sentences
- Add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers
- Locate and read for information in a text
- Perform lab activities with oral/written direction
- Take written notes during lecture or reading text
- Good work habits and positive attendance
- Positive attitude and interest in the program
- Work with others as part of a team
- Work independently and follow directions
- Adhere to professional standards of dress and behavior
- Help others
- Manage multiple projects and assignments
- Apply critical thinking skills
- Accept constructive criticism from peers and instructor
- Persevere until skill is attained
- Enjoy hands-on activities in the lab and classroom
- Interest in the dental field
- Breakdown medical/dental terminology
- Follow health and safety requirements
- Adhere to confidentiality regulations (HIPAA)
- Hepatitis B vaccination is required
- Participate in student organization (HOSA)
Note: Additional education may be required.
- Dental Hygienist
- Dental Assistant
- Specialized dentistry (such as orthodontist or an oral surgeon)
- Laboratory technician
- Dental receptionist
High School Credit*
*Only your local high school can award academic credit. See your counselor for more information.
- 1.0 2nd Science (Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, Agriscience)
- 1.0 4th Math
- 1.0 World Languages (in lieu of)
- 1.0 3rd Science (in lieu of)
- 1.0 Visual, Performing, & Applied Arts
College Credit Opportunities*
*College credit can only be awarded by the college or university. Certain requirements must be met outside of completing the program.
- Davenport University
- Ferris State University
- Owen's Community College
- Siena Heights University
- Washtenaw Community College
- American Heart Association (AHA) - First Aid and CPR - adult, child, and infant
- National Entry Level Dental Assisting (NELDA)
- X-Ray certification
- YouScience exams
- Dental Science I
- Dental Science II
- Dental Science III
Angela Pilbeam brings 22 years of experience as a dental hygienist to the classroom. This Tecumseh High School graduate received her start as a student in the LISD TECH Center Dental Aide program. She received her bachelor’s degree from Siena Heights University and her master’s degree from Western Michigan University. Mrs. Pilbeam is an LISD Teacher Excellence Award recipient and is a board member for HOSA, Jackson College Dental Hygiene program, and HEOM (Health Educators of Michigan).