Course Title: Prepare for and assist with oral health care procedures

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2010

Course Code: DENT5191C

Course Title: Prepare for and assist with oral health care procedures

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C3202 - Certificate III in Dental Assisting

Course Contact: Eleanor Shroeder

Course Contact Phone: 03/93411412

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 130

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Pre-requisites for this unit include:
•  Comply with infection control policies and procedures in the health care setting.
•  Process reusable instruments and equipment in the health care setting.
•  Contribute to occupational health and safety policies in the health care setting.
•  Recognise healthy body systems in a health care context.

Course Description

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required for a dental assistant to prepare the dental surgery, including preparation of necessary equipment, instruments and materials, for oral health care procedures and to assist the operator during the delivery of these procedures.
All procedures are carried out in accordance with occupational health and safety policies and procedures, current infection control guidelines, Australian and New Zealand Standards, State/Territory legislative requirements and organisational policy.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

HLTDA303B Prepare for and assist with oral health care procedures


1. Prepare the dental surgery for oral health care procedures


2. Use dental terminology in communication within the health care setting


3. Record personal, medical and dental details


4. Select and prepare syringe safely for local anaesthesia


5. Assist the operator during oral health care procedures


6. Maintain and store instruments, equipment materials and medicaments

Learning Outcomes

1.1 Make accessible in the clean zone of the surgery the client’s necessary charts and records.
1.2 Identify correctly the planned procedure.
1.3 Anticipate and select correctly the equipment, instruments materials and medicaments for the planned procedure and arrange them in their likely order of use.
1.3 Give personal protective equipment to the client and members of the dental team.
1.4 Support aseptic techniques to prevent the spread of infection.

2.1 Make accurate, complete and legal records of the client’s personal, medical and dental information.
2.3 Verify this information in accordance with operator requirements.
2.2 Maintain confidentiality of client information. 

3.1 Select and prepare the correct syringe, cartridge and needle for local anaesthesia as directed by the operator.
3.2 Check the expiry dates for the local anaesthetic cartridge prior to use.
3.3 Transfer the unused local anaesthetic syringe to the operator in accordance with infection control guidelines for the transfer of sharps between health care workers.

4.1 Select and transfer to the operator the instruments, equipment, materials and medicaments required for the oral health care procedure.
4.2 Assist the operator to maintain a clear field of vision.
4.3 Clear the mouth of oral fluids and debris and control moisture.
4.4 Retract and protect the client’s soft tissues using instruments and materials appropriate to the procedure.
4.5 Monitor the client’s well-being, identify any complications and take the necessary actions without delay to support the client and the operator.
4.6 Prepare the correct materials and medicaments using the correct technique, to the correct consistency and quantity required and within the designated timelines as directed by the operator.
4.7 Select additional instruments and materials as required without contaminating sterile stock.
4.8 Record the treatment given, materials used and drugs/medicaments prescribed as directed by the operator.
4.9 Complete all tasks within the designated timelines in accordance with operator instructions.
4.10 Give prescribed post-operative written instructions to the client/carer where appropriate. 

5.1 Check that instrument sharpness conforms to operator specifications and advise of any deficiency.
5.2 Maintain equipment in good working order.
5.3 Store equipment and instruments correctly.
5.4 Report faults in equipment or instruments promptly to the operator.
5.5 Maintenance records are legible and accurate.
5.6 Arrange for the servicing of instruments and equipment at intervals recommended by the manufacturer or as recommended.

6.1 Monitor storage requirements and shelf life of materials and medicaments.
6.2 Monitor expiry dates of materials and medicaments and re-order materials correctly.
6.3 Store materials and medicaments correctly.

Details of Learning Activities


Teacher Lead Activities

Classroom, tutorial instruction and practical instruction in theory and tasks associated with the topics including the use of computers and relevant software/s.

Practical simulations and demonstrations

Group discussion and activities

Student Centred Activities

Participation in group activities based on simulated workplace exercises including computer based workshop.

Self managed research

Maintain workplace relations using written, oral and electronic communication

Teaching Schedule

Below is a guide to the under pining knowledge and skill that the learner will need to demonstrate. This schedule is a guide only to provide adequate time for the leaner to access the underpinning knowledge.

Topics covered in Block 2

  • Dental Anatomy
  • Dental Terminology
  • Notation and Charting
  • Instruments and Equipment
  • Dental Materials

Topics covered in Block 3

  • Oral pathology
  • Preventive dentistry
  • Dental materials (Practical)
  • Restorative dentistry
  • Prosthodontics
  • Orthodontics

Topics covered in Block 4

  • Endodontics
  • Patient managemnent
  • Dental pharmacology
  • Oral surgery/ Implants
  • Exodontia

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Bird. D. & Robinson D.(2009) Torres & Ehrlich Modern Dental Assisting, 9th Ed. W.B. Saunders Company. Philadelphia.


RMIT online learning Hub
Journals, Brochures, Pamphlets, Periodicals, Newspapers

Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Short written tests, practical assessment and Written test included in this unit as a pre-requsite for the final Work place assessment.

Assessment Tasks

Variety of assessments including:

 Role-plays and group work

 Online quiz via the RMIT Blackboard


 Written asessment

 Practical assessment

Assessment Matrix

Introduction to Dentistry/ Dental Terminology test,             pass mark 70% 
Structures of the oral cavity task and
Notation test,                                                                              pass mark 100%
Instrument Portfolio task ,                                                        pass mark 90%
Written test covering all fields,                                                pass mark 70%
Dental Materials practical assessment,                               pass mark 100%

Third party evidence-  Workplace Training Record Book

Students must achieve competency in all above assessments in order to do final Work Place Assessment.

Other Information

Students must gain competency in all units of this course to obtain their Certificate III in Dental Assisting.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview