Founded in 2011


Our Learning Facility

The Matrix School of Dental Assisting occupies space in conjunction with a fully functioning dental practice AND denture lab.  read more

DANB Test Preparation

  • DANB Radiation Health and Safety Exam Preparation - The first most important credential that you need to become employed  ​read more

Why Choose Matrix?

The Matrix School of Dental Assisting was founded to offer New Mexico job seekers an affordable training option within a manageble timeframe. The concept works so well that  read more

The following is a basic outline of our curriculum: 


DA 101 - Introduction to the Profession  -  (1 hour of lecture)

Students are introduced to the profession of Dentistry and the responsibilities of the dental health team which includes the dentist, hygienist, the front office personnel and the back office personnel. (Prerequisite:  None)

DA 102 - Ethical and Legal Issues -  (1 hour of lecture)

Students will learn the ethics governing dentistry and the various governmental agencies entrusted with the regulation of the dental profession to ensure and protect the public from incompetent and unethical practices.  Topics include procedures and credentialing. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 103 - Dental Radiography  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Students will learn the basic principles of X-Ray.   The operating principle of the X-Ray Machine is also discussed.  Topics also include types of film exposures and film processing errors. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 104 - Human Dentition  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Students will learn the form and structures of the human natural teeth in the dental arch. Topics also include the method of identifying teeth by using the Universal Numbering System for permanent and primary teeth. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 105 - Composition of Teeth and Dental Terminology  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Students will learn the different parts of the tooth.  Topics include cervix, apex, dental pulp, tissues of the teeth such as enamel, dentin and cementum. Also includes discussion of anatomical landmarks of the tooth and dental terminology. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 106 - Tissues Surrounding the Teeth  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Students will learn the tissues supporting the human teeth.  Topics include the alveolar process, the periodontal ligament and the gingiva (gums) which are collectively known as the periodontium. (Prerequisite:  DA104)


DA 107 - Bones of the Head  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Students will learn the basic anatomy and physiology of the human skull.  Topics include the cranium and the bones of the face. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 108 - Muscles of the Head and Neck and Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) and Paranasal Sinuses  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Students will learn the muscles of the head and neck and the temporomandibular joint which connects the maxillary and mandibular jaws. Topic also includes paranasal sinuses which are the air cavities in the bones above and each side of the nasal cavities. (Prerequisite:  None)

DA 109 - Oral Pathology  -  (1 hour of lecture) Student will learn the nature of diseases that affect oral structures and regions nearby. Topics include discussion on how to distinguish normal from abnormal conditions in the oral cavity. (Prerequisite:  None)

DA 110 - Oral Cavity, Salivary Glands and Immune System  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Students will earn the cavity of the mouth and the salivary glands which are located outside the oral cavity.  Topics include discussion of infectious diseases that can be transmitted from the patient in a dental environment. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 111 - Dental Materials  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Students will learn various materials used in dentistry. Topics include cavity varnishes and liners, dental cements, surgical cements/periodontal dressing, glass ionomer cements, composites, sealants and dental amalgams. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 112 - Pediatric Dentistry  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Specialty limited to the dental care of children. The students will learn the special requirements prior to treatment of children. Topics include informed consent from guardians,  behavioral management of children during treatment and the common pediatric dental procedures. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 113 - Removal Prosthodontics (RPD)  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Removable Prosthodontics (RPD) replaces missing teeth.  The students will learn the component parts of  both the partial and complete RPD’s and the various steps necessary to take during replacement appointment with patient. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 114 - Fixed Prosthodontics  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Complete restoration, or the replacement, of one or more teeth in a dental arch.  The students will learn the different types of fixed prosthodontics restorations. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 115 – Endodontics  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

More commonly referred to as Root Canal Therapy.  The students will learn the steps in a 

root canal procedure and the different instruments and materials required. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 116 - Topical and Local Anesthesia  -  (1 hour of lecture)   

Application of anesthetics to oral tissues. The students will learn the properties of anesthesia and when and where they are used. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 117 – Orthodontics  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Prevention and correction of dental and oral deviations.  The students will learn the various types and causes of malformations and malocclusions and how they are corrected. (Prerequisite:  DA104)


DA 118 – Periodontics  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Deals with the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases which is the most common cause of tooth loss.  The students will learn the causes of periodontal disease, symptoms, examination procedures and treatment. (Prerequisite:  None)

DA 119 - Oral Surgery  -  (1 hour of lecture)  Involves with removing of teeth, treating jaw fractures, bone and tissue grafts and removal of tumors and cysts and reconstruction of oral and dental deformities. The students will learn the various procedures and instruments use in oral surgery. (Prerequisite:  None)


DA 120 - Medical Emergencies in the Dental Office  -  (1 hour of lecture) 

Risk associated with providing medical and dental care. The students will learn how to respond to  medical emergencies. (Prerequisite:  None)

DA 121 - Radiography In Depth Overview  -  (4 hours  of lecture) 

The students will have an in depth review of subjects likely to be encountered on the state specific radiographic written examination.  A good grasp of this subject will greatly enhance the student’s likelihood of passing the written examination. (Prerequisite:  DA103)

DA 122 – Front Office Mgmt. and Resume Preparation  -  (2 hour of lecture) 

Student learns  front office duties, reception, record keeping, patient scheduling and general office management/maintenance.   The students will also learn how to write effective resumes.

(Prerequisite:  None)



LAB 101 - Dental Chair and Infection Control (PPE) – (1 hour of Lab)

Students will learn the different components of the dental operatory and dental chair.  They will be taught how to operate the dental chair and the various associated instruments


The goals of infection control are discussed together with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements and standards. Students are taught how to don the various Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required in the dental clinic. (Prerequisite: None)


LAB 102 – Infection Control: Maintaining the Operating Field, Dental Instruments and Trays - (1.5 hours of Lab)

Students will learn the techniques in maintaining the operating field clean, visible, accessible and comfortable for the patient. They will also learn the various dental instruments, how they are organized to the tasks they are to perform and separated onto trays.  During this session, a clinical video of the set-up and breakdown of dental operatory will be shown.

(Prerequisite:  LAB101)


LAB103 – Infection Control: Treatment Preparation and Clean-up - (1.5 hours of Lab)

Students will learn the procedures performed by the dental assistant prior to seating a patient in the operatory.  Students are taught to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines in effective infection control.  They will also learn the various procedures required to be accomplished following dental treatment (Prerequisite:  LAB101)

LAB 104 - Radiography Basics and X-Ray Procedures - (8 hours of Lab)

Students will learn basic x-ray techniques.  They will also learn how to take full mouth

series of x-rays.  Students will be asked to take x-rays, developing and mounting radiographs. (Prerequisite:  LAB101, DA103 &DA104)

LAB 105 - Dental Charting - (6 hours of Lab)

Students will learn how to document the present dental conditions of the patient and the dental services to be rendered.  This serves as a legal record of the patient.  The students are taught and asked to prepare a dental chart using appropriate symbols and abbreviations. (Prerequisite: DA104)

LAB 106 - Alginate Impressions, Laboratory Materials and Techniques - (2 hours of Lab)

Students will learn that Alginate Impressions are taken in order to capture an accurate three dimensional duplication of a patient’s teeth and/or surrounding tissues.   Students are taught how to get alginate impressions.  Students also learn to take impressions using silicon and gypsum. (Prerequisite:  DA104)

LAB 107 - Restorative Materials and Techniques - (2 hours of Lab)

Students will learn the use of bonding agents to be used between the tooth structures and the

restoration.  They are taught to prepare bonding agents using various instruments.  In addition to the actual demonstration, a clinical video of amalgam restoration and composite resin restoration is shown to the students during this session. (Prerequisite: None)


LAB 108 - Pedodontic Procedures - (2 hours of Lab)

Students will learn the procedure performed if the pulp of a primary or newly erupted permanent tooth has been exposed.    Students are taught to setup trays for the pulpotomy and stainless crown placement procedure.  Students are also taught how to mix Zinc Oxide Eugenol (ZOE) base and permanent cement.  A clinical video of crown preparation is shown during this session.  (Prerequisite:  DA104 & DA111)


LAB 109 - Removable Prosthodontics - (2 hours of Lab)

Students will learn the steps involve in the fabrication and installation of complete (full) and partial dentures.  Students are asked to practice putting tray set-ups together for each stage of removable and Prosthodontic fabrication and delivery. (Prerequisite:  DA113)

LAB 110 - Fixed Prosthodontics -  (2 hours of Lab)

Students will learn the proper technique for expelling impression materials. They are taught how to fabricate and adjust temporaries.  (Prerequisite:  DA114)


LAB 111 - Endodontic Instruments and Procedures - (2 hours of Lab)

Students will learn endodontics (root canal) procedures and the various materials and instruments use.  Students are taught to place the rubber dam on the typodont.  (Prerequisite:  DA115)


LAB 112 – Techniques in Administering Anesthesia - (2 hours of Lab)

Students will learn the proper use of anesthesia in the dental practice.  Students are taught how to load syringes, proper passing techniques and safe recapping techniques. (Prerequisite:  DA116)

LAB 113 - Placing Sealants and Home Bleaching  -  (2 hours of Lab)

Students will learn that newly erupted and caries free teeth benefit from sealants.  Students are taught  how to apply sealants and bleaching techniques. (Prerequisite:  None)

LAB 114 - Periodontal Treatment Procedures  -  (2 hours of Lab)

Students will learn the various steps and instruments used in sealing, prophylaxis and polishing. Students are taught the techniques in passing periodontal instruments. They are also taught how to assemble the ultrasonic scaler correctly. (Prerequisite:  DA118)


LAB 115 - Oral Surgical Procedures  - (2 hours of Lab)

 Students will learn the instruments needed for routine surgical and dental extraction. Students are taught instrument passing in the correct order for a typical tooth extraction and how they are passed over a patient.  To further enhance classroom demonstration, a clinical video of oral surgical procedure is shown to the students during this session. (Prerequisite:  DA119)


 LAB 116 – CPR Training and Certification - (2 hours of Lab)

Students are taught how to administer Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation.  Training will be conducted by representatives of the local American Red Cross or Fire Department.  Upon completion of this training students will be awarded Certificates of Completion. (Prerequisite:  None)






EXT101- EXTERNSHIP - (140 hours)

Students will undergo one hundred forty (140) hours of on the job training at the Isham Dental office or in the office of a practicing dentist to further enhance their hands on experience. This training will be conducted in the offices of Isham Dental or participating dentists.  (Prerequisite:  Dental Assisting Program)

DANB RHS Exam - Upon completion of the course, students will be prepared to take the DANB administered test to aquire their "Certification in the Expanded Function of Dental Radiography." For information on this and other National and State certifications go to the Dental Assisting National Board website, www.DANB.org.