Air Force Dental Assistant Apprentice


The Air Force Dental Assistant Apprentice course provides students the technical skills and knowledge required to achieve entry-level competencies and perform AF Dental Assistant Apprentice duties at fixed medical treatment facilities and field environments. It provides training for personnel to accomplish duties and responsibilities to assist in basic dental treatment procedures, oral and dental anatomy, materials, sterilization and disinfection of instruments, dental health procedures, radiology and radiographic techniques, care of dental instruments and equipment, dental administrative procedures, restorative dentistry, patient behavior practical experience in oral health care instruction, and assisting the dental officer.

 US Air Force
AFSC: Dental Assistant Apprentice
Course Length: 365 hours
Iterations per year: 12

 US Army

 US Navy

School Code 083

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The Air Force Dental Assistant Apprentice program provides students with formal education and training that develops them into entry-level dental assistants within fixed and deployable medical facilities.

Students are trained in the basic dental disciplines of: head anatomy, elementary physiology, dental administration, and dental procedures. Performance-based training is conducted for: infection control, general chairside, and radiology procedures in simulated and on-the-job clinical environments.

Students mix dental materials, maintain dental equipment, and perform basic oral hygiene procedures. Dental skill demonstrations and practice are provided in laboratory settings. Additionally, during the students’ upgrade training, utilizing medical treatment facilities (MTF), students will perform a clinical rotation through a dental clinic to be active participants in chairside dentistry to include, but not limited to, the following: exams, operative procedures, oral surgery, endodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics. Students must demonstrate entry level mastery of the following: professional behavior, written and verbal communication, chairside assisting skills, radiology and general skills including safety, charting, infection control (via Central Sterilization Room), and patient verification.

The instructional design of the program is group-lock step. Methods of instruction include, but are not limited to: lecture, demonstration, online materials, simulations, laboratory practice, and practical exercises. Quality control and safety techniques are emphasized throughout the program. Clinical rotations will be conducted while utilizing work spaces designated for providing dental services for patients.

As an Air Force dental assistant you may be exposed to bloodborne infectious disease.  Please click the following link to access associating policies:

Accreditation Information:

The Air Force Dental Assistant Apprentice (AFDAP) course is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. 

Commission on Dental Accreditation
211 East Chicago Avenue, Suite 1900
Chicago, Illinois 60611-2637
Telephone: 312-440-4653
Telephone: 1-800-232-6108

Graduates from this course receive college credits from the Community College of the Air Force.

Credentialing Information:

The Air Force Dental Assistant Apprentice program offers 2 of 3 Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examinations to include Radiation Health & Safety (RHS) and Infection Control Examination (ICE) via the Dental Assisting National Board ( which is not a requirement for graduation.

Applicants must complete 12 months of upgrade training to the 5-skill level to challenge the final CDA General Chairside (GC) examination and receive full CDA certification.
Program Director  (210) 808-2192
Air Force Lead (210) 808-2203
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