Online Dental Assisting – Program Highlight

WVJC Online dental assisting training is an innovative program where students experience the convenience of online classes combined with hands-on instruction during clinical days. “Dental assisting can be a lifelong future career or a stepping stone for anyone wanting to further their education in dentistry. The online program is great for someone who has always wanted to become a dental assistant but has never had the time,” said Jamie Stine, Program Director. The Dental Assisting program offers a 12-month diploma or 18-month degree program where students learn the foundations of dental assisting, including dental terminology, dental pharmacology, dental science, preventative dentistry, and dental practice management. “The Dental Assisting program has five hands-on clinics. These clinics are our opportunity to perform all of the hands-on tasks that the dental assistant would perform in the dental clinic,” said Jamie Stine, Program Director.

Online Dental Assisting - Program Highlight (1)Clinical Classes Include:

  • Dental Radiology- where we take radiographs on a dental manikin and process them.
  • Chairside I- where we learn dental instruments and how to properly prepare a patient for treatment.
  • Chairside II- a class where we perform dental charting and learn about dental emergencies
  • Dental Materials- a very hands-on course where dental impressions are taken, dental appliances are fabricated (mouth guards and whitening trays), dental crowns are fabricated, and the use of materials is taught.
  • Dental Office Procedures- a class where infection control techniques are taught. This includes sterilization and disinfection procedures along with proper safety precautions for the dental operator.

The WVJC Online Dental Assisting program is designed so students develop the skills to contribute immediately to the operation of a dental office. The dental assisting program concludes with a real-world experiential learning opportunity through the dental assisting externship, where the student will work within the dental office and get a chance to learn while working beside an actual dentist in the field.

Dental assisting students also sit for a certification exam. Certifications are standards of knowledge and abilities that validate the skills and increase the credibility of potential employees to employers. WVJC Online dental assisting students are qualified to sit for the Nationally Registered Credentialed Dental Assistant (NRCDA)^ certification exam.

Once our students have completed the requirements of this program, our Career Management Department is here to assist all students with finding employment in their field. They can assist students with creating a resume, preparing their references, practicing for an interview, and connecting them with employers. For our dental assisting graduates, this means discussing what kind of dental environment they would like to work in. The Career Management Department will help students evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and help decide which dental assisting positions are suitable for their experience level and expertise. “The exciting thing about the Dental Assisting Program is that we are trained in any dental specialty. Once graduated, the student can work for a General Dentist, Orthodontist, Endodontist, Periodontist, Oral Surgeon, or Pediatric Dentistry. Dental office and management skills are also covered,” said Jamie Stine, Program Director.

Sometimes people get confused understanding the difference between dental assistants and dental hygienists. Dental hygienists are responsible for cleaning teeth in a dental office. In contrast, dental assistants work with the dentist and assist the doctor during procedures, perform teeth x-rays, create crowns and molds, and perform other tasks in the dental office. The dental assistant’s role can be pretty significant and an essential addition to the team in any dental office.

WVJC Online is dedicated to supporting its students’ success beyond what students experience in the classroom and labs. Systems are in place to let online students know they are part of the WVJC family. The following resources exist to help them succeed: WE CARE, small school atmosphere, counseling resources, convenience, financial literacy exposure, 24/7 tech support, mobile access to classes, interactive labs, externships, career services, scholarships*, and financial aid**. Are you interested in learning more about a career in dental assisting? Request information to speak to an admissions team member today!

*For those who qualify. See catalog for detailed eligibility requirements.
**For those who qualify.

^Certification is contingent upon passing this industry certification exam. Required/ Included in Tuition/Fees.