The Dental Assistant program at the UAF Community and Technical College offers both a certificate and associates of applied science degree. The program consists of classroom instruction and clinical experience. A certificate of completion is awarded after fulfilling requirements of the program. An associate degree is available for students who wish to take the additional required classes.Program Overview
This program prepares students to become skilled members of the dental health care team. The demand for dental assistants in Fairbanks is high, the opportunity widespread, and the working conditions are outstanding. The certificate takes approximately 40 hours per week at two to three semesters to complete while the associates degree takes approximately four semesters. The program is modular in format, which allows non-traditional as well as traditional students to complete the program. A non-traditional student could obtain the same credential in as many as 5 years.
Completing the 4-credit Dental Radiography course prepares the student to pass the Dental Assisting National Board's Radiation and Health Safety examination (RHS). Upon successful completion of this board a national competency will be issued.
Completing the 2-credit Dental Infection Control course prepares the student to pass the Dental Assisting National Board's Infection Control Examination (ICE). Upon successful completion of this board a national competency exam will be issued. In order to enhance employability, students are encouraged to complete the certificate or associate degree program. A faculty advisor should be consulted prior to entering the program.
The Dental Assistant program features a state-of-the art dental clinic/laboratory located at 604 Barnette Street. The clinic features the latest in dental technology so that students are learning on equipment being used by the industry today. Our faculty bring with them a wealth of industry experience, including adjunct instructors who are currently working in the field.Career Opportunities
Graduates of the program may choose to pursue a clinical or administrative career in a wide variety of settings including: private practice, group practice, clinics, corporations, orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, prosthodontics, endodontics, pedodontics, public health, bush travel, education, insurance companies, armed forces, dental manufacturers, and consulting companies.
The opportunities are diverse, providing a variety of work settings enjoyable and engaging to each dental assistant's individuality. Dental assisting requires good interpersonal skills and excellent hand-eye coordination. Some duties include: exposing, processing, and mounting x-rays; making impressions and study casts of patients' teeth; assisting the doctor; the care and sterilization of instruments; taking patient health histories and vitals signs; discussing brushing and flossing techniques with patients; reviewing post-operative or home care instructions with patients; performing management duties, such as inventory and supply ordering, bookkeeping, billing, answering the telephone, and scheduling of patients.
The duties of dental assistants are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office making a career in dental assisting challenging and interesting.
Jenifer Filotei, Program Coordinator
Phone: (907) 455-2891
Room: 426, 604 Barnette Street
Dental Programs Office Manager
Room: 430, 604 Barnette Street