Dental Assisting Program Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Dental Assistant?

  • Dental Assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dental team in the delivery of quality oral health care and are valuable members of the dental care team. Dental assistants perform many tasks, ranging from patient care and taking x-rays to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments. Their duties vary by state and by the dentists’ offices where they work.

What’s the difference between a Dental Assistant and a Dental Hygienist?

  • Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that dental assistant provides direct aid to dentists, conducting office tasks and small, supervised jobs on patients’ teeth, while a hygienist often works one-on-one with a patient, and doesn’t have as much constant supervision.

Where can I work as Dental Assistant?

  • You would be able to work in a privately owned dental practice or in a corporately owned office.

What are some of the topics covered in the course?

  • Basic dental sciences
  • Preclinical and clinical skills
  • Radiography
  • Restorative and laboratory materials and techniques
  • Practice management


LFCC offers a Dental Hygiene program, will completing this program help me to be accepted into that program?

  • The Dental Assisting course is designed to help you obtain a dental assisting job. Dental assisting experience is considered in the student selection process for some Dental hygiene programs.


Why is there an attendance policy?

  • Attendance is of huge importance due to the amount of information covered in each class period. This is a condensed course, and topics are covered at an accelerated pace. Regularly missing class will hinder your ability to be well prepared to meet the class requirements. Furthermore, poor attendance is one of the biggest reasons employers site for firing employees. It is in your best interest to make good attendance a priority not just in your school life, but your work life as well.



Why is there a dress code and jewelry policy?

  • Personal presentation is important in the healthcare field both to find employment and to maintain it. Wearing scrubs and closed-toed shoes on to class will aid in preparing students for the workplace, and is therefore mandatory. Scrubs may be any color of your choice, but must be clean, wrinkle-free, and fit appropriately. Students will also need a lab jacket to be worn over their scrubs. Students will need to wear their scrubs by the 2nd week of class. Long hair should be tied back. Fingernails must be clipped short and artificial fingernails will not be permitted, as they harbor bacteria. Limited jewelry is allowed due to student safety. The jewelry policy will be explained in more detail in class.

Does this class have a certification?

  • Upon successful completion of this program, students will receive a BLS CPR Certification and a Certificate in Dental Radiation Safety. Students will also receive a certificate of completion from Lord Fairfax Community College. Students will not be able to sit for a specific dental certification. However, upon finding and maintaining employment for a period of time, you can be eligible to pursue a DANB certification. For more information, please go to:


Why should we get our vaccinations up to date?

  • Students will practice invasive procedures on each other. Prior to the skill practice; students will receive instruction regarding the skills to be practiced, including information on safety and the potential dangers inherent in such procedures. Such activities by their very nature can be very dangerous and involve the risk of serious injury/illness and/or death. The potential hazards may include instrument and needle sticks, autoclave and/or chemical burns, exposure to saliva and bloodborne pathogens, jaw pain and others. You can protect yourself by having your vaccinations up to date and following safety precautions at all times.


Is there an externship with this program?

  • This program does not come with an externship component to the course. Once you complete or you are close to completing the course, you can begin applying to positions and working in the field. If you want to seek your own externship, you are able to take that step.


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