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Dental Assisting


Dental Assisting Program Goals and Competencies


The UNC Dental Assisting Program prepares students to provide patient care in a variety of clinical settings and to be active members of the dental health team. In order to successfully complete the dental assisting program, the dental assisting graduate must be able to:

Perform basic chairside procedures in a general or specialty practice.

  1. Chart existing conditions and treatment needed
  2. Record services rendered in the patient's chart
  3. Review the patient's medical history prior to treatment
  4. Prepare the operatory for patient treatment in compliance with accepted infection control standards
  5. Maintain asepsis during patient treatment
  6. Assist during the administration of local anesthetic and/or conscious sedation
  7. Maintain the field of operation (air, water, evacuation, light) during treatment
  8. Transfer instruments safely and efficiently
  9. Demonstrate understanding of procedures and sequencing
  10. Manipulate a variety of dental materials for restorative procedures
  11. Anticipate the operator's needs
  12. Provide post-op instructions to patients
Perform basic clinical support procedures.

  1. Clean/polish removable appliances
  2. Pour/trim study models
  3. Sterilize instruments and prepare tray set-ups
  4. Maintain inventory control
  5. Assist in the management of medical emergencies
  6. Take accurate vital signs
  7. Provide oral health instructions to patients
  8. Prepare laboratory cases/prescriptions for transport
  9. Fabricate custom trays for impression, bleaching, protection
  10. Clean and maintain operatory/laboratory equipment
  11. Utilize personal protective equipment appropriately
  12. Expose, process and evaluate diagnostically acceptable intraoral radiographs
  13. Expose, process and evaluate diagnostically acceptable extraoral radiographs
  14. Comply with accepted radiation safety precautions for operator and patient
  15. Maintain darkroom and/or automatic processing equipment
  16. Mount, label and file patient radiographs
Perform advanced intraoral functions that may be delegated to a Dental Assistant II in North Carolina.

  1. Place topical anesthetic
  2. Apply topical fluoride
  3. Apply bases and desensitizing agents
  4. Apply Etchant and bonding agents
  5. Place and remove posterior matrices
  6. Remove excess cement
  7. Place and remove temporary restorations
  8. Fabricate temporary crowns/bridges
  9. Take preliminary alginate impressions
  10. Remove sutures
  11. Place gingival retraction cord
  12. Apply pit and fissure sealant
  13. Polish coronal tooth surfaces
  14. Place and remove rubber dam
Perform basic business office procedures

  1. Utilize a computer for word processing and related dental applications
  2. Make patient appointments
  3. Maintain accounts receivable
  4. Maintain accounts payable
  5. Process insurance claims
  6. Prepare routine office correspondence
  7. File and retrieve patient charts
  8. Maintain a recall system
Exhibit professionalism and communicate effectively with patients and co-workers.

  1. Show respect for each member of the dental health team
  2. Accept responsibility and show initiative
  3. Exhibit enthusiasm
  4. Establish rapport with patients
  5. Use acceptable grammar and speech
  6. Recognize and attend to patients' special needs
  7. Maintains confidentiality