Air Force Dental Assistant Apprentice


This program provides training for personnel to accomplish duties and responsibilities required to assist in basic dental treatment procedures, to include: oral and dental anatomy, infection control procedures, sterilization and disinfection of instruments, dental health procedures, radiology (including safety and radiographic techniques), care of dental instruments and equipment, dental administrative procedures, restorative, specialty and surgical dentistry, patient motivation, and assisting the dental officer. Graduates of this program are awarded the 4Y0X1 Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) and earn Community College of the Air Force semester hour credits.

 US Air Force
AFSC: Dental Assistant Apprentice
Program 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 program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements”.  The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.  The Commission’s web address is:


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 the 12 month upgrade training to 5 level in order to challenge the 3rd and final General Chairside (GC) examination and receive full CDA certification, if they choose to do so.
Program Director  (210) 808-2192
Air Force Lead (210) 808-2203
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