Intro to Careers in Dentistry - VLACS
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Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

18 Weeks

Overview

This course introduces students to the exciting and varied career opportunities in the dentistry profession, from dental assistant all the way up through oral surgeon. Students will review the history of dentistry globally and in the U.S. and will learn key dental terminology. The course will introduce the roles and tasks done as well as skills and education required of nearly every member of the dental staff. Students will gain an understanding of what it takes to perform each position, and how they work together.

Major Topics and Concepts

Module 1: Paths to Dentistry

  • Construct the timeline of dental history
  • Identify prominent historical figures
  • Describe the progression of dentistry in the United States
  • List members of the dental team
  • Analyze the range of skills, competencies, and professional traits required for careers in dental sciences
  • Develop a presentation on the history of dentistry that includes graphs, technology, and supporting evidence

Module 2: Dental Assistant

  • Classify the roles and requirements of a dental assistant
  • Define key dental and medical terminology related to a dental assistant’s role
  • Determine the meaning of the universal dental numbering system’s name; then, number the teeth located in the human dentition on a model or chart. Explain the difference in each of the numbering systems as presented in text by paraphrasing them in simpler yet accurate terms
  • Demonstrate the proper grasps and transfers associate when chairside assisting with a dentist
  • Identify the requirements, education, and licenses necessary to become a dental assistant

Module 3: Dental Hygienist

  • Classify the roles and requirements of a dental hygienist
  • Define key dental and medical terminology related to a dental hygienist’s role
  • Formulate a written and digital health education project to inform an audience about the parts and functions of teeth. Include the effects of nutrition on tooth development and continuous good health and dental prevention care
  • Describe the use of dental instruments and equipment
  • Identify the requirements, education, and licenses necessary to become a dental hygienist

Module 4: Dental Laboratory Technician

  • Classify the roles and requirements of a dental laboratory technician
  • Define key dental and medical terminology related to a dental technician’s role
  • Describe the dental products made by the dental laboratory technician
  • Examine how technologies such as CAD/CAM and 3-D Printing are utilized in dentistry
  • Identify requirements, education, and licenses required to become a dental laboratory technician
  • Using real-time and projected labor market data, identify local and national employment opportunities and determine areas of growth. Complete a job application, resume, and cover letter for one of the jobs located in the search

Module 5: Dental Products

  • Identify the 10 dental product categories defined by the ADA, and provide an example of each
  • Examine a company that makes dental products
  • Research emerging dental technologies related to dental and oral health, including but not limited to procedures, equipment, and diagnostics tools
  • Outline the process of dental product development and create a product advertisement for a dental product
  • Define and give examples of Digital Dentistry and explain how it can help a dental practice run more efficiently and improve patient care
  • Identify careers related to developing and selling dental products

Module 6: Community Dental Health

  • Classify the roles and requirements of a community dental health coordinator
  • Define key dental and medical terminology related to a community health dental coordinator’s role
  • Discuss the reasons affecting access to dental care in the U.S. and explain how a community health dental coordinator can help improve access to care
  • Describe the role of a dental therapist and its impact on access to care
  • Examine the Hippocratic Oath and explain how it applies to dentists and other dental professionals
  • Evaluate ethical dilemmas in the dental profession
  • Choose an ethical issue affecting dental health professionals and discuss how this issue has affected or will affect the dental community

Module 7: Dental Administration

  • Classify the roles and requirements of office management
  • Explore the use of American Dental Association’s (ADA) codes with dental insurance
  • Describe the regulations of HIPAA
  • Recognize various electronic medical record software systems
  • Compare and contrast the average cost of private dental insurance plans versus government-issued plans
  • Create an advertisement for a dental office, describing the practice and the services offered

Module 8: College Preparation, The DAT, and Dental School

  • Explain the best ways to prepare for dental school while in high school and college, including courses of study and extracurricular activities
  • Describe the Dental Admissions Test and best practices for preparing for the test
  • Conduct a mock dental school interview with a parent or teacher
  • Collect information on 3 dental schools and compare programs based on cost, facilities, faculty, and location
  • Evaluate how to finance dental school

Module 9: General Dentistry

  • Classify the roles and requirements of a dentist
  • Define key dental and medical terminology related to a dentist’s role
  • Explain the role of a public health dentist
  • Identify the requirements, education, and licenses necessary to become a dentist
  • Discuss challenges and drawbacks of the dental profession
  • Evaluate the importance of diversity in the dental profession
  • Compare dentist salaries to other dental and medical professions and calculate an average dentist’s salary in your state and compare it to the annual cost of loan payments on dental school debt
  • Compare owning a dental practice vs. working for a dental practice management organization

Module 10: Dental Specialties

  • Compare the cost and additional education required to obtain licensing as a specialist
  • Explain the role of an orthodontist
  • Discuss the impact new business models are having on the orthodontist profession
  • Explain the role of an endodontist
  • Explain the role of an oral surgeon
  • Explain the role of a periodontist
  • Explain the role of a pedodontist
  • Evaluate the unique challenges of pediatric dentistry versus general dentistry
  • Explain the role of prosthodontist
  • Research a dental specialty procedure (such as oral surgery, prosthetic dentistry, or gingivoplasty), then develop a written or verbal explanation of the procedure using correct dental terminology

 

 

 

Credits .5

Register now for Sept. 1 start date!

Competencies

  • History of Dentistry and the Modern Dental Team
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the history of dentistry and the modern dental team by identifying prominent historical figures and the progression of dentistry in the United States, describing the modern dental team, identifying roles of each member on the modern dental team and explaining the skills and traits needed to be successful in each role.
  • Dental Profession Careers
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of dental profession careers by researching the roles and requirements of dental professions and identifying and differentiating terminology, instruments, dental products and technology related to each career.
  • Community Health and Dental Administration
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of community health and dental administration by researching the roles and requirements of community dental health coordinators and dental office management positions, researching and explaining related terminology, dental insurance, ethics in dental care, and dental patient records and information management.
  • Path to Dental School
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the path to dental school by investigating and explaining preparation opportunities from high school through college and the dental admissions process.
  • General Dentistry and Dental Specialties
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of general dentistry and dental specialties by comparing and contrasting items such as educational requirements, licensing, roles, challenges, and finances for general dentistry and dental specialists.

Pre-Requisites

None

Attend an open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.