Course Description:
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.

Module 1: Paths to Dentistry

This module looks at the painful history of dentistry both across the world and in the United States. It identifies prominent historical figures who made strides in the dental field. Then students will look at the dental team today. The module discusses the roles of each member of the dental team and looks at the skills and traits needed to be successful in each role.

Module 2: Dental Assistant

This module will familiarize students with the roles and responsibilities of a dental assistant. Students will learn what a typical day is like for a dental assistant and what their expectations are. They will also be introduced to some dental terminology, the universal dental numbering system, and basic chairside assisting. Finally, the requirements and educational requirements to become a dental assistant will be reviewed. All students will gain an appreciation for this essential piece of the dental team.

Module 3: Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists are in high demand! This module will introduce students to the field of dental hygiene. First, the module will outline the roles and requirements of a dental hygienist. It will go over the basic anatomy of teeth and their functions. The module also discusses preventative dental care, what it is, and why it is important. This module will also provide an overview of some of the basic instruments used by dental hygienists and will conclude with a more in-depth look at what is required to become a registered dental hygienist.


Module 4: Dental Laboratory Technicians

Dental laboratory technicians get to work with their hands to build all kinds of interesting dental appliances. In this module, students will learn more about what it is a dental laboratory technician does every day. The module will also cover basic terminology related to the industry. To help students get farther along the path to having a career as a dental laboratory technician, the module will include information about the education and licensure required. Finally, it will look at current opportunities in the industry, and students will practice applying for such positions.

Module 5: Dental Products

Robots, 3D printing, and virtual reality are just some of the technologies that are changing countless industries and field. The dental field is no exception. In this module, students will learn about the products in dentistry, including up-and-coming technologies. Students will get a closer look at some of the companies leading the revolution in changing the industry with their products. Finally, the module will provide an overview of some of the careers related to developing and selling dental products.

Module 6: Community Health

Millions of Americans do not have access to good dental care. That is where a community dental health coordinator comes in to play. This module will look at this new and emerging role in the dentistry. Students will learn what the position entails and some of the must-know terminology. The module will also look at some of the ethical issues in dentistry.

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Module 7: Dental Administration

It takes more than a dentist and some assistants to make a dental office a success. In this module, students will look at the importance of dental administration. It will provide an overview of office management. Then students will get a better idea of how insurance factors into dentistry. This portion will include understanding the ADA's codes with dental insurance and the cost of private dental insurance plans vs. government-issued plan. Students will also understand what HIPPA is and why it matters. Finally, the module will go over various electronic medical record software systems.

Module 8: College Preparation and Dental School

Applying to dental school can be a daunting task. This module will help students understand the process now, so they can develop a roadmap for the future. First, the module will describe the Dental Admissions Test and how to prepare for that test. Next, it will look at the interview process. Finally, it will take a closer look at some of the dental schools in the USA. The module will provide an overview of the cost, facilities, faculty, and location.

Module 9: General Dentistry

In the middle ages, it was customary to kiss a donkey if you had a toothache. Thankfully, today people have a much better smelling option: the dentist. This module will look at the requirements and responsibilities of a dentist. Students will be exposed to some of the terminology related to a dentist's role. The module will look at the differences and similarities between a general dentist and a public health dentist. Finally, students will learn the education and licenses necessary to become a dentist.

Module 10: Dental Specialties

Orthodontist, endodontist, oral surgeon, periodontist, pedodontist, prosthodontist... most people have a hard time pronouncing most of those specialties, let alone defining them! This module will help students understand the different specialties within dentistry. They will learn what additional education requirements are necessary to specialize and what specializing costs in terms of financial investment. Finally, students will research a dental specialty procedure and develop a written explanation of the procedure.

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