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Dental Office Assistant course curriculum

Our Dental Office Assistant course curriculum is designed to provide students with both the technical skills and the professional proficiencies to excel in an administrative role. From taking care of billing and insurance forms to providing a friendly, ethical, and professional environment for new and returning patients, our curriculum is set up to make sure you graduate with the confidence to become an indispensable team member at a successful dental office.

Orientation: Learning at Ashworth

Lesson: Learning at Ashworth  

This course covers the goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Lesson Group 1: Dental Office Introduction

Lesson: Introduction to Allied Health 

Introduction to the basic operations of allied health careers and the legal and ethical issues students may encounter while working in the different venues available for these fields.

Lesson: Dental History and Careers; Dental Team and Office 

This lesson covers the “greats” of dental history and the significant events that have shaped today’s dental profession. This lesson also explains the individual team players in a dental office and their responsibilities and duties. The different types of dental offices and their separate areas will be described. The professional qualifications and responsibilities of a dental assistant will be addressed, along with a look at how licensure is managed.


  • Identify dental history from early times to the Amalgam War
  • Name varying career opportunities in dentistry
  • Describe the United States healthcare system and settings
  • Compare the professional roles of healthcare workers within various community settings
  • Compare the professional roles of healthcare workers within hospital practices
  • Distinguish among government (public) and private health insurance plans
  • Explain the primary elements of the Affordable Care Act
  • Describe the proper legal and ethical behaviors of a healthcare worker
  • Identify the characteristics of professional behavior and issues related to cultural differences
  • Identify communication methods within the healthcare field and teamwork

Lesson Group 2: Dental Terminology, Anatomy, and Charting

Lesson: Dental Terminology and Anatomy 

Dental office assistants need to be familiar with dental terminology (words used to refer to the different parts of the face, mouth, and teeth) because the dental team will use these terms regularly. This lesson will also cover what the parts and organs of the facial structure look like and how they work.


  • Analyze the complexity of the oral cavity
  • Define dental anatomy
  • Identify tooth morphology
  • Identify varying types of teeth
Lesson: Cavity Classification and Charting 

This lesson presents some dental office assistant basics. First, you’ll review the health history form. Then you’ll explore a standardized system of charting dental conditions, tooth identification, and cavity classification. This system is used to communicate the treatment needed by a patient from one appointment to the next, between the hygienist and the dentist, or between the dentist and a referral dentist (usually a specialist). You’ll also study how to interpret the charting to be able to communicate with the dental team.


  • Describe patient information and health history in the dental office
  • Explain pulse rate, respiration, and blood pressure
  • Label head, neck, and oral examinations
  • Identify charting oral conditions
  • Identify cavity classification
Lesson: Preventative Dentistry and Nutrition 

In this lesson, you'll examine how to teach the community about practicing primary dental health. You'll also review plaque control methods, nutrition's impact, key nutrients, and dietary guidelines to follow for dental health.


  • Define how to teach the community about practicing primary dental health
  • Describe plaque control methods
  • Explain nutrition's impact on dental health
  • Identify key nutrients in dental health
  • Identify dietary guidelines to follow for dental health

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Program Description

The Dental Office Assistant program is designed to provide the student the knowledge and skills required for entry‐level work performing the administrative functions of a dental office assistant. The program focuses on the development of both technical and professional proficiencies. It will prepare students to execute the necessary activities that are performed daily, weekly, and monthly in running a successful dental office. The intent of this program is to develop the comprehension students need to be prepared for the activities that occur every day within a dental office.

Program Objectives

After completing the Dental Office Assistant program, students will be able to:

  1. Perform as dental practice front office assistants
  2. Define requirements for managing a dental front office
  3. Identify daily, weekly, and monthly activities required for general office procedures
  4. Effectively convey information for the proper completion of dental insurance filing, coding, and billing
  5. Identify proper finance and accounting procedures for the dental front office
  6. Demonstrate a high standard of professional ethics
  7. Identify key skills and attributes for successful employment

Polishing your career path

Ashworth College API Program Name Career Diploma program help you develop the confidence you need to reach for your career goals because we integrate job search prep into your studies. With the online tools at the Ashworth College Central Network, you’ll get step-by-step guidance as you create polished, professional resumes and letters. After you graduate, you’ll keep your Ashworth College Central Network account so you can revisit the tools any time you need to make a good impression on a potential employer. Learn more about it at the Career Services page.

Advance your career in our online API Program Name program. Call 1-800-957-5412