Curriculum Framework Supports Dental Assisting Education and Training

Educator with students

The DALE Foundation’s latest resource, the Dental Assisting Curriculum Framework, supports the efforts of educators, employers, or anyone looking to enhance their education or training program for entry-level dental assistants. With the shortage of qualified dental assistants, new approaches and solutions to support dental assistant training and education are vital.

The framework is suited for a variety of educational and training environments. It is ideal for existing dental assisting programs, new programs looking to establish a curriculum, and practices/employers in need of resources for their on-the-job training or educational programs.

“Many educators and employers have asked us for guidance and materials to educate and train new dental assistants, and we are pleased to offer this scalable and customizable framework,” said Jen Hawley Price, Chief Partnership and Engagement Officer.

The flexible, online framework includes educational outlines for 10 weeks, 6 months, and 2 years — plus recommended online courses, textbooks, competency checklists, and links to readings, videos, and activity resources.

The curriculum focuses on foundational education in dentistry, including infection control, dental radiography, and dental anatomy, and prepares dental assistants to perform entry-level functions. The six-month and two-year curriculum frameworks also cover general chairside and office management topics.

Dental assistants who successfully complete the curriculum will be well prepared to take the DANB exams leading to National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) certification and ultimately earn DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification. DANB’s NELDA and CDA certifications provide validation of knowledge, enhance confidence and credibility, and lead to increased job satisfaction and career commitment.

The framework was developed by seasoned dental assisting educators and was piloted in high school and post-secondary dental assisting programs. The DALE Foundation’s Entry Level Dental Assisting Curriculum Task Force members were instrumental in spearheading and championing this resource. Special thanks goes to Carolyn Breen, Vicki Brett, Dawn Damron, Cynthia Durley, Lorraine Gagliardi, Virginia Jorgensen, and Janet Sell.

“We were fortunate to have the expertise of incredible educators to guide the development of this framework, as well as the input and real-world, classroom-based feedback of our pilot partner programs,” Hawley Price added.

Learn more: Dental Assisting Curriculum Framework

For more information or to schedule a demo, contact us.