Orthodontic dental assistants provide chairside assistance to orthodontists and ensure that patients are well-informed about orthodontic procedures and braces aftercare. They prepare appointment rooms, sterilize orthodontic tools, and adjust patients’ braces as directed by the orthodontist. This course prepares current dental assistants to learn expanded orthodontic dental assisting functions as approved by the Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners (MBDE) and prepares them to take the Maryland Dental Assisting Expanded Orthodontic Functions Examination. These expanded functions are advanced tasks that require increased skill and responsibility. Students must be employed in an orthodontic office where their orthodontist will sign off on their clinical skills. Course topics include: preparing, fitting and cementing orthodontic bands; placing and removing arch wires; and isolating, etching, bonding and placing brackets.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment the number of dental assistants has been projected to grow 8% from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. 56,400 openings for dental assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade.
Upon successful completion of this Continuing Education Workforce Certificate, students will be able to:
1. demonstrate clinical competencies of an Orthodontic Dental Assistant,
2. function safely and efficiently as a member of the dental team under the supervision of the dentist,
3. communicate effectively with patients and dental team members, and
4. exhibit legal and ethical behavior which adheres to professional conduct standards for dentistry.
Health Professions Pathway. Pathways are designed to help you meet your academic and career goals by aligning related courses and programs. Pathway students participate in a variety of activities that help explore career opportunities in their field of study. You can meet with a CCBC advisor who help align — or realign — your educational plan with the Pathway that best supports you and your goals.
Students will be awarded a Continuing Education Workforce Certificate, and will have access to a Continuing Education academic record (transcript). Students will be prepared to take the Maryland Dental Assisting Orthodontic Expanded Functions Examination.
Dental Assisting National Board (DANB)
Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners
Financial Aid and Payment Options
We offer financial aid by packaging public and private funding options to those who qualify, in select Continuing Education courses and programs. Additional opportunities for financial support include partial payment options through Nelnet Business Solutions and tuition waivers for those who qualify. Resources outside of CCBC may also be available through employer/sponsor paid tuition, the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), and your local office of workforce development.
Prior Learning Assessment
This program has no options for obtaining course waiver(s) for prior learning.
High School Diploma or GED (self report to DANB). Individual must have been employed as a clinical dental assistant for at least one year, or provide official transcripts verifying successful completion of a Dental Assisting program at a DANB approved institution. Must be employed as a clinical dental assistant in a orthodonitc dental practice facility throughout the duration of the course. Letter from your current dental employer verifying their willingness to supervise your clinical training and attest to your skills (required prior to enrolling). Must be employed in a orthodontic dental practice.
All students must be computer literate and have Internet access.
This program is not eligible for Baltimore County Public School Blueprint funding.
Provisional Entry: Verification from current dentist agreeing to supervise and perform skills assessment.
Contact CEHealth@ccbcmd.edu for information about upcoming course options.
Program Course Sequence
(approximate cost; subject to change)
Maryland Orthodontic Expanded Functions
Modern Dental Assisting; 13th edition; written by Bird & Robinson; published by Elsevier; ISBN 9780323624055; $140.00
Skills for Success:
Detail oriented, Dexterity (good at working with hands), Interpersonal skills, Listening skills, and Organizational skills are all essential for success.
See Technical Standards at the end of this document.
Promotion to Maryland Orthodontic Expanded Functions Dental Assistant.
Research your career interests, explore live job postings, take a career assessment, discover which companies in the Baltimore region are hiring, and more. View a brief tutorial video on how to use Career Coach at https://youtu.be/C7KpznbPYfA. Explore career and training opportunities at https://ccbcmd.emsicc.com/.
Technical Standards for CCBC’S Dental Assistant Training Series
The primary goal of The Community College of Baltimore County’s Dental Assistant Training Series is to adequately prepare students for an entry-level position as a chair side dental assistant in a dental office. The duties of a dental assistant require the ability to stand or sit for long periods of time, in sometimes awkward positions, while constantly being focused on the task at hand. Dental assistants need to exercise safe practices while exposed to unpleasant sights, odors, materials, and communicable diseases. Their duties also require them to be detail oriented and to work accurately and quickly. A high level of manual dexterity, psycho motor skills, and integrity are vital. Following is a partial listing of the types of skills typically required for adequate job performance:
A. Sufficient strength and mobility to:
- Work quickly to meet deadlines and/or production requirements
- Keep hand and arm steady while performing a task with the other hand and arm.
B. Fine motor coordination sufficient to perform precise tasks such as:
- Handle delicate instruments with precision
- Safely handle sharp instruments
- Handle instruments and equipment that may be costly to replace if damaged
- Quickly and precisely adjust controls on equipment
- Perform basic repairs to instrumentation
- Clean and assemble instrumentation
C. Adequate vision to:
- Read and interpret digital or traditional radio graphs
- Adequate distinction of colors to read and interpret sterilization indicators
- Read instruction sheets and computer screen
Interpersonal Skills and Professionalism:
A. Have the ability to:
- Work in a professional manner under sometimes stressful situations
- Pay close attention to detail and record keeping
- Commitment to learning and understanding new technologies, instrumentation, and procedures
- Commitment to following approved standards, guidelines, policies, and procedures
- Interact in a professional manner with many personalities and attitudes and with people from many different backgrounds
- Respect and protect patient rights and confidentiality without regard to personal beliefs and judgments
- Maintain proper certifications required to perform the duties of the profession
- Accurately utilize all resource material available to remain current in the profession,
- Maintain a conscience/professional morality in the application of infection control techniques
- Willingness to precept (train) others
B. Sufficient communication skills to:
- Give and receive accurate written and verbal instructions
- Carry out all written and verbal instructions
- Follow proper channels of communication
- Communicate in a calm and professional manner
- Communicate clearly and effectively to any team members regarding issues that may be difficult to address (i.e. problem with machinery that could affect sterilization; admission of own errors, etc.)
Intellectual Ability and Emotional Stability To:
- Ability to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Exercise independent judgment to properly perform tasks at hand
- Accurately utilize all resource material available to perform the task at hand
- Perform duties while exposed to communicable diseases and unpleasant sights, odors, and materials
- Accept feedback from others
A. The dental assisting profession involves risks and/or discomforts that require special safety precautions including, but not limited to:
- Wearing gowns, caps, masks, gloves, and eye protection
- Working in an environment that exposes one to potentially hazardous materials, such as cleaning agents and chemicals and blood-borne pathogens
- Providing proof of recent immunizations against infectious diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella
- Receiving Hepatitis B vaccine and annual testing for exposure to tuberculosis
- Submitting to periodic drug screening