Central Carolina Community College's Dental Programs provide top-quality training for careers as a dental hygienist or dental assistant. These are well-paying careers for those who enjoy working closely with patients, helping them achieve and maintain good oral health.
The programs are accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation. Graduates are prepared to sit national and state accreditation exams and clinicals to receive their licenses to practice.
Students train on state-of-the-art dental equipment. The Dental Programs have all-digital patient records, 12 patient chairs, panoramic and regular x-ray machines, and a hands-free sterilization area. A dentist and other dental professionals teach all the courses and oversee all lab work.
Advanced students work with a variety of populations, both at the program center at the W.B. Wicker Business Campus, in Sanford, and in area dental practices. At the program site, they provide basic oral health care for under-served populations and other community members. As part of their training, they serve internships in the community with area dentists. This provides the opportunity to apply their training and become familiar with the different types of dental practices.
Students can earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene in only two years. Earning a Diploma in Dental Assisting takes less than one year. Note: these are two separate programs, not two levels of the same program.
In North Carolina, a dental hygienist cleans teeth, applies fluoride treatments or sealants, and takes radiographs. Hygienists also educate patients on proper oral health care and nutrition.
Dental assistants work with instruments and materials to assist the dentist during treatment procedures. An assistant may also prepare and sterilize instruments and equipment, take radiographs, or perform office-related functions.
The Dental Assisting diploma and Dental Hygiene degree programs begin in August of each academic year and both use a selective admissions process. Applicants are rated using a point-based consideration process in January and the top-12 applicants are admitted to their respective program. Prospective students must complete prerequisites and the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) prior to consideration. Call the Dental Programs Admissions Counselor at (919) 718-7234 for specific admission requirements and to schedule an information session.
The dental hygiene and dental assisting programs have been granted the Accreditation Status of Approval Without Reporting Requirements by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. The next site visit scheduled for the programs will be in 2015.
A copy of the Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting Accreditation Standards and CODA Policies and Procedures, including those for complaints, may be obtained by calling 1-800-621-8099. The Standards may also be found online at American Dental Association (ADA) www.ada.org or in writing at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.
What Students Learn - Dental Assisting
Students successfully completing the Dental Assisting Program will be able to:
- Perform chair-side procedures of four-handed dentistry
- Sterilize and disinfect instruments and equipment and prepare tray setups for dental procedures
- Instruct patients on postoperative and general oral health care
- Maintain clinical and financial records, patient scheduling, and supply and inventory control
What Students Learn - Dental Hygiene
Students successfully completing the Dental Hygiene Program will be able to:
- Assess, plan, implement and evaluate current dental hygiene services
- Communicate effectively with diverse populations as members of the health care team
- Exhibit effective decision making skills to provide optimum patient care