Dental Assisting Department

Health and Safety Program Policies

Bloodborne and Infectious Diseases

In dental assisting there is potential for exposure to bloodborne and infectious disease by way of saliva and blood. The Dental Assisting Program at San Diego Mesa College implements the standards set forth in the Bloodborne Pathogens Regulation in the California Code of Regulations, Title 8 (8 CCR), Section 5193. In addition, the program provides the student with personal protective equipment for safety when working with classmates and patients in various dental procedures. Students in the program receive theory and practice regarding infection control procedures and prevention of exposure to bloodborne and infectious disease. Students must also show proof of immunization for Hepatitis B and Tetanus (forms provided by program). Should the student decline, for any reason, to comply with immunization, he/she will discuss their concerns with the Program Director and be required to sign a declination form.

Hazardous Materials

Various dental materials, as found in dental offices, are used in the dental assisting program. All standard precautions used the dental field are also used in the program to protect the student and patients from potential harm and or injury. A manual of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) is kept in the dental assisting facility as well as required clean up equipment for any spills or possible exposure. Students are taught the theory and practice to safely work with dental materials.

Ionizing Radiation

Certification in radiation safety (x-ray certificate) is part of the dental assisting program. Students will participate in taking dental x-rays on manikins and patients. Students are educated in ionizing radiation safety theory and practice. All safety standards as used in the dental field are utilized in the dental radiography course.

For More Information

Applicants, students and staff should consult the Dental Assisting Program Director for more information or clarification. The contents of these policies shall be reviewed annually or when the San Diego Community College District, the dental industry or regulatory agencies warrant changes.