Dental Assisting Courses

Use the Palomar Pathways Mapper to view your path to becoming a Registered Dental Assistant! For further assistance, please contact an academic counselor.

Prerequisite Courses:
These courses are offered every semester (Fall and Spring) and must be completed before applying to the RDA Program.

DA 50 Introduction to Dental Science and Dental Occupations
General orientation to dental assisting. Introduction to basic oral anatomy, oral hygiene techniques and prevention, human behavior, dental nomenclature, dental assisting, history of dentistry, ethics, role of the dental assistant and other auxiliary personnel; licensing and certification of dental assistants; dental jurisprudence and malpractice; California Dental Practice Act, psychology and observation in dental offices.

DA 57 Dental Sciences and Anatomy
Introduction of dental terminology, histology, embryology, tooth growth, eruption, and anatomy; head and neck anatomy, and physiology of the body. Form and function of individual teeth, occlusion, oral pathology, diet and nutrition, relation of oral health to general health, microbiology, disease control and dental pharmacology.

ENG 100 English Composition or ESL 110 College Composition for Non-Native Speakers
This is a co-requisite and is not required when applying to the RDA program.

RDA Program Courses:
Students are admitted to the program every Fall semester and complete the program in 2 semesters.

DA 60 Dental Materials
Chemical properties and uses of dental materials and solutions; manipulative techniques and methods of preparation.

DA 65 Dental Practice Management
Reception and care of the patient in the dental office, communication skills, telephone techniques, appointment scheduling, dental computer software, dental records (charting health and dental history), filing, bookkeeping, accounts receivable and accounts payable, inventory management, principles of and use of insurance forms and collections.

DA 70 Dental Radiography I
Theory and technique of oral radiography, radiation hygiene, anatomical landmarks, and methods and materials for processing radiographs using film and dental radiography. The laboratory portion will provide the student with knowledge concerning film and digital sensor placement, cone angulation, exposing and developing radiographs, and mounting and evaluating processed films and digital radiographs.

DA 75 Dental Operative Procedures
Applications of and introduction to preclinical dental assisting in operative and specialty dental procedures, care of equipment, instrumentation, infection control, disease transmission, charting, utilization of dental materials, dental office emergencies, and functions delegated to the California Registered Dental Assistant.

DA 82 Preventative Dentistry I
This course teaches laboratory and clinical applications of coronal polishing, periodontics, preventive dentistry and placement of pit and fissure sealants.

DA 71 Dental Radiography II
Advanced clinical experience regarding film and digital sensor placement, cone angulation, exposing and developing radiographs, mounting and evaluating radiographs.

DA 83 Preventative Dentistry II
Application of concepts and skills from DA 82. Emphasis is on the coronal polishing procedure and pit and fissure sealants as applied to clinical patients.

DA 85 Advanced Dental Procedures
Advanced laboratory and clinical experience focusing on basic skills previously learned. Emphasis is placed on 1) clinical use of impression materials for obtaining study models, 2) pouring and trimming plaster and stone models, 3) fabrication of custom trays, 4) fabrication of provisional restorations and 5) advanced prosthodontic and orthodontic instruction.

DA 90 Clinical Rotation
An intensive program of clinical dental experiences, working with patients and staff at clinics and/or private dental offices. Students will assist the dentists in specialized and operative procedures and duties delegated to the California licensed Registered Dental Assistant.