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Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center

1500 Fourth Avenue • Altoona, PA 16602 • 814.946.8450
HOURS: Monday thru Friday 7:30 am - 4:00 pm

Dental Assistant

Dental Assistant

PA Dept of Education | CIP Code 51.0601

The Dental Assistant Program is a three-year instructional program that prepares the student to perform as an integral member of a dental health care team.

Successful completion of this course will enable the graduate to prepare dental patients for treatment; maintain the treatment area; identify, sterilize, and disinfect instruments; maintain Universal and Standard Precautions; and assist with dental procedures. In addition, students will expose, process, and mount dental radiographs and be prepared to take the Radiation Health and Safety component of the Dental Association National Board exam. Assisting chairside and in a business office are both duties performed as coursework.

The student will also learn to record vital signs, recognize dental and medical emergencies; CPR certification is a part of the course. Included as well, is recognizing the legal and ethical aspects of dentistry and providing education in the prevention of dental diseases.

During their senior year, students will have the opportunity to work in the pediatric dental clinic located at the GACTC. This experience is an exciting time to put to work the knowledge and skills acquired in the course, to further develop classroom skills, and to serve the children of our community.

Membership in HOSA further benefits the Health Assistant student through fun and rewarding activities and competition within and outside the school.

The Dental Assisting profession offers an opportunity to a recent high school graduate or an adult who wishes to change his or her career, and the GACTC Dental Assisting Program will be a solid first step. High school or adult, any student desiring to promote oral health, seeking a career in a fast-growing field, and having a background in science and math should consider the Dental Assistant Program.

Occupational Profile: For information on this occupation's description, required knowledge, job tasks and related job titles, state and national wages, and employment trends, visit the U.S. Dept. of Labor's site for this career field at:

Business Partners:
Altoona Regional Health Systems
Blair County Dental Society
Partnering for Dental/Pediatric Dental Clinic

Mary Sue Curran

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