Dental Assistant Program

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Graduates of the Dental Assistant program will have specialized knowledge, critical thinking and decision-making skills and will have developed and mastered all the technical, professional and interpersonal skills needed to perform within their clinical and administrative scope of practice. Working as part of a dental team students will learn how to assist with dental procedures, provide quality oral care, maintain equipment and supplies manage patient records and ensure that clinical and office procedures run efficiently and effectively.

This program has been designed to meet the regulations governing certified dental assisting practices as defined by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to write the National Dental Assisting Board examination.

Program graduates will be able to work in general and specialty dental practices, hospital dental clinics, community health agencies and educational institutions.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Support a dental practice by providing a variety of supportive and direct patient care dental procedures
  • Understand and work within the bylaws associated with provincial regulations.
  • Prepare and support patients for treatment by practicing universal precautions and infection control, organizing armamentarium, attending to patients’ comfort and collecting and updating health histories
  • Assist with preventative, orthodontic, and prosthodontics intraoral procedures
  • Provide oral self-care, disease prevention, post-operative care, nutritional counselling and health education to patients and constituent groups
  • Work collaboratively as part of a team to provide quality oral care for dental patients
  • Perform routine maintenance of instruments and equipment so that patient care is delivered safely and effectively
  • Perform fundamental practice management procedures including inventory control of dental supplies, patient bookings, and payment collection
dental assistants of bc

Sprott Shaw College is a proud partner of the Certified Dental Assistants of British Columbia.

Diploma Program

Total Program Hours:
1140 Hours
Full-Time Program Length:
45 Weeks
(Includes holidays and professional days)
Program content is subject to change.

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Career Opportunities

Dental Assistant
Admission Requirements:
  • Grade 12 or equivalent (General Education Development, Adult Basic Education) or mature student status (age 19 and one year out of school). All transcripts must be “true certified copies” or originals.
  • Applicants must successfully complete the admissions interview, a second interview with the Director/Program Lead and meet the set requirements
  • English 12, or equivalent, with a minimum grade of C (60%)
  • Biology 12, or equivalent, with a minimum grade of C (60%)
  • Criminal Record Check (Solicitor General Level)
  • Proof of negative TB skin test or chest x-ray
  • Note: Evidence of up-to-date immunizations may be required (Pertussis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Measles/Mumps/Rubella, Chicken Pox, Hepatitis B, Influenza)
Diploma Requirements:
  • 70% average upon successful completion of all courses, including courses given a complete.
* Dental Assistant Program was reviewed and approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.

Students can expect to complete one to three hours of homework per day.

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Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

Courses List

This 45 week Diploma program requires the student to complete the following courses.

This course provides an overview and introduction to the elements of the program, the role of lectures, labs, and practicums, fundamental dental assisting skill sets, instrumentation, and armamentaria, dental office workflow, clinic safety, and quality control policy, procedures, and practices.

This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to consider their profession, scope of practice (legal and regulatory framework), ethical responsibilities, accountabilities, and practice of dental assisting by exploring the role of the dental assistant as part of a dental team.

This course will reintroduce students to a variety of student-centric learning strategies and techniques. Students will learn goal setting, study planning, and time management, problem solving, and writing skills.

This course will introduce students to the regulated standards for the recognition, control, handling, storage, disposal of controlled hazardous materials and occupational health and safety in the workplace.

This course prepares students to provide first aid procedures (Standard First Aid Level C), perform CPR, and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) in a safe, timely, and effective manner while providing them with the requisite knowledge to recognize, prevent, and assist in medical and dental emergencies.

This course is designed to provide students with opportunities to reinforce fundamental mathematical skills required in a dental clinic. This will be accomplished by improving their logical reasoning skills by engaging in clinical medical problem-solving examples designed to increase mathematical proficiency and confidence.

Dental & Oral Anatomy: This course provides a brief survey of the human skeletal structure, the structure and function and anatomy of the respiratory, digestive, nervous, endocrine, and sensory systems and the medical terminology associated with each. Building on this knowledge, students will then examine in detail the structure and anatomical features, function, physiology, dental morphology, and development of the facial complex and neck and oral cavity.

Disease Transmission Prevention: Infection-control procedures are designed to prevent the spread of disease. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of microbiology as applied to dental clinic settings, with an emphasis on the principles of infection, transmission, prevention and control, and aseptic techniques (barrier protection and techniques, moisture control, surface asepsis, precleaning and disinfecting, sterilization) and the role and responsibility of the dental assistant for infection control.

Oral Pathology: This course will provide students with a fundamental understanding of diseases of the oral cavity through a person’s life, their clinical manifestations, and the knowledge and skills necessary to detect and differentiate oral tissue anatomy deviations from the norm.

Dental Pharmacology: This course introduces students to the principles of dental pharmacology, terminology, and the classification of drugs as they apply in a dental context. Medical conditions and the use of various pharmaceuticals, their physiological actions and negative reactions, and their relationship to dental care will be examined.

Diagnostic Records: The patient file should be a highly accurate, legal, and compliant record of clinical, diagnostic, treatment, and outcome histories. In this course, students will learn how to obtain and/or review and update medical and dental patient histories so that this information will assist with evaluation, treatment planning, and subsequent care.

Dental Materials: This course is designed to introduce students to the preparation and application of dental materials in restorative and aesthetic procedures. Students will learn the clinical uses and the chemical, physical, mechanical and surface properties, handling characteristics, bioactivity, and biocompatibility of a wide variety of purpose-specific dental materials. The utilization of dental materials, mixing techniques, and safety protocol will be examined in the fabrication of mouthguards, diagnostic casts, study models and custom trays.

Preventative Dentistry: This course explores the principles of effective oral health care and practices including injury prevention, control of disease, and the role of proper nutrition. Students will be introduced to the knowledge necessary to perform direct client care, manage clients with special needs, and methods of assessing, implementing, and evaluating individualized oral hygiene. Importance will be placed on the ability to develop individual or group oral dental health education.

Dental Radiography: Dental radiography is fundamental to dental diagnosis and treatment. This course provides students with a comprehensive foundation for the application of radiation in dentistry. The components, operation, and variables of dental x-ray machines will be examined in conjunction with the principles of radiation physics, biology, chemistry and safety. Digital and conventional intra and extraoral radiographic technologies and imaging techniques will be studied as well as radiography prescription requirements, chart entries, quality assurance, and regulatory requirements. Students will study and apply the theory and practice supporting exposing and processing dental radiographs and digital imaging procedures.

Dental Specialties: On occasion, general dental practitioners encounter circumstances that require them to refer patients to dental specialists. Students will learn to assist with a variety of procedures performed in specialized dentistry such as endodontics, oral surgery, orthodontics, prosthodontics, periodontics, and pedodontics.

Dental Office Management & Administration: Effective and efficient administrative office procedures are essential to the success of any organization. In this course, students will be introduced to the fundamental principles and workflow of a professionally organized and managed dental office. The focus will be on dental reception skills and will include the organization and management of patient records, appointment scheduling, dental claims, financial procedures, inventory control and the utilization of dental management software.

Clinical Dentistry Practice: Students will work under the direct supervision of the dentist in a general dental practice. Students will apply and build on the skills learned in assisting chairside with instrumentation preparation, sterilization, infection prevention and safety practices. Students will also assist with office and patient management.

Students will work under the direct supervision of a dentist in a general dentistry office to advance their intraoral knowledge and skillsets, further integrate theory into practice, and demonstrate a consolidation of knowledge and skills across the complete spectrum of their regulated scope of practice.

Clinical Dentistry Practice: This is a comprehensive course designed to allow students to integrate, apply, and further develop previously acquired conceptual knowledge including but not limited to patient management techniques, taking dental histories, and charting, moisture control, armamentarium operating and maintaining dental equipment and sterilization, fundamental aspects and skillsets of collaborative assisting at chair-side in a clinical environment. Emphasis will be on the dental assistant’s role in operative procedures and communication methods used within the dental health team.

Consolidated Clinical Dentistry Practice: The is an extended practice that will provide students with opportunities to practice, refine, integrate and consolidate their knowledge and skills focusing on direct client care, clinical support for basic restorative and specialty procedures, complete intra-oral practices, and laboratory and office management procedures in a supervised clinical lab setting.

Career & Professional Development: This course prepares students for their transition to the professional world of work. Students will learn how to present themselves using a variety of social media vehicles, how to conduct a successful job interview, how to effectively distribute and manage personal marketing collateral and social media presence and to understand workplace etiquette and office politics.

Comprehensive Preparation & Evaluation: Students will be provided access to the clinical laboratory and instructional assistance to further their theoretical knowledge and practice their clinical skills. This will culminate in a comprehensive summative didactic and practical clinical laboratory examination.

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