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Provide Patient Care, Take X-Rays, Keep Records, Schedule Appointments, & Assist Dentists in Treatments

Pickens Technical College Dental Assisting program provides an excellent education that prepares students to become a contributing member of the dental profession and meet the needs of diverse populations. The program focuses on effective communication, critical thinking, information and technology literacy, quantitative reasoning, and professionalism. It prepares students to succeed in a highly competitive, global economy. Students must master all of the tasks to complete the program successfully. This program prepares students to assist the dentist at the chairside in the dental operatory, perform reception and clerical functions, and selected laboratory work. In addition, the student will gain the skills required for direct patient care such as taking x-rays and impressions, preventative education, and nutritional counseling.

Note: Students must be age 18 before enrolling in DEA 1024 & DEA 1034, as directed by the Colorado Board of Dental Examiners Rule & Regulations. Simulated clinical situations are practiced prior to actual clinical assignments. Clinical assignments will include work in a variety of private dental offices and clinics.

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 60611-2678. Visit the Commission’s website.

What Our Students Learn

  • Assist dentists in chairside dental procedures
  • Clean and prepare dental instruments and equipment for use
  • Perform procedures such as taking x-rays and impressions
  • Maintain dental records
  • Provide patients with preventive education and nutritional counseling
dental student with patient

Career Outlook

  • Employment opportunity in this field is 6 times higher than the national average of a job
  • Entry level salaries start at $32,000 and up
  • Median salary is $44,000
  • 10% of workers earn $58,000 or more
dental professionals with patient

Program Experience

  • Students spend 50% of their time learning concepts in a classroom, and 50% of their time with hands-on practical work
  • Students gain experience in a simulated dental environment with industry-grade equipment
  • Enrollment options are available for both high school students and post-secondary students
  • Off-site clinicals are built in to the curriculum
  • Curriculum includes experience in an on-site clinic
  • The program is 1 year in length if the student chooses the full-day option
  • This program is 1.5 years in length if the student chooses the half-day option

Dr. Charles Lee

Instructor, Dental Assisting
303-344-4910 ext 27785

Dr. Charles Lee has been teaching since 2012, and has been in the dental industry since 1982. Dr. Lee came to Pickens after retiring from private practice. He has also taught at PIMA as a dental assisting instructor.

Heidi Heath

Instructor, Dental Assisting
303-344-4910 ext 27787

Heidi Heath has been teaching for over 12 years, and had been in the dental industry for 3 years. Heidi Heath previously attended Pickens Dental Assisting Program. She then went on to complete a 300-hour internship with a notable dental practice before being hired full-time at that practice, and later returned to join our team as an instructor.

Certifications & Degrees:

  • CPR Certified
  • Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
  • Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA)

Accredited Certificate Courses (46 credits)

All credits earned at Pickens technical college are recognized by the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), and are eligible for transfer to other colleges within the state of Colorado.

Includes techniques used in four-handed dentistry, instrument identification, and armamentarium for tray set-ups. Covers sterilization and aseptic procedures.

Focuses on armamentarium of specific tray set-ups for periodontics, endodontics, and fixed and removable prosthodontics. Examines pediatric dentistry, oral surgery, and implants. Includes diagnosis, treatment, and the dental assistant’s role in each specialty.

Includes office management and clerical practices, scheduling appointments, completing daily records, insurance and tax forms, bookkeeping and recall systems, and ordering supplies.

Includes roles and responsibilities of the dental health team; educational background for the various specialties including general practitioner, hygienist, dental assistant; history, legal implications, ethical responsibilities, and the role of professional organizations.

Includes fundamentals of the oral structures as they apply oral histology, embryology, morphology, pathology, dental anatomy, and dental charting.

Includes survey of human anatomy and physiology, the structure of the head and neck as applied to dental assisting, the function of the maxilla and mandible, processes, foramen, sutures, and major nerve and blood supply.

Includes fundamentals of dental materials as they apply to clinical and laboratory applications.

Includes type, compositions, and uses of elastomeric impression materials and the fabrication of custom impression trays and temporary crowns.

Focuses on the science of radiography, the application of radiographic techniques, and aseptic techniques.

Includes basic information concerning infection and disease transmission in the dental office. Emphasizes knowledge of microorganisms, with an emphasis on aseptic techniques, sterilization, and hazardous communication management.

Includes in-depth study of oral defects, microorganisms, and their effects on the human body with recognition and identification of pathological condition that most frequently occur orally. Emphasizes pharmacology and the drugs used in the prevention and treatment of pain and conditions of the oral cavity. Focuses on laboratory experiences and the procedures involved with local anesthesia and the knowledge of nitrous oxide administration in the dental office.

Includes theory and techniques of exposing intra-oral and extra-oral radiographs on adults, children, edentulous, and special needs patients. Covers dental anatomy radiographic interpretation and aseptic techniques. Enables the student to expose radiographs on the x-ray mannequin and patients. Students must be a minimum of eighteen years old.

Includes techniques for taking and reading vital signs as well as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for Health Care Providers. Emphasizes recognition, prevention, and management of medical emergency situations in the dental office. Covers completing and updating patient health history.

Includes techniques in preventive dentistry with an emphasis on fluoride application and oral home care instruction. Includes nutrition as it applies to dental health and diet counseling. Covers techniques for coronal polishing.

Includes the opportunity for clinical application of dental assisting techniques in a dental office or clinical setting as part of the American Dental Association’s requirement of 300 clinical internship hours.

Includes the opportunity for clinical application of dental assisting techniques in a dental office or clinical setting as part of the American Dental Association’s requirement of 300 clinical internship hours.

Focuses on clinical practice in private or public dental offices or clinics with clinical work experience in both general dentistry and specialty fields on a rotating basis.

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