If you’re looking for a secure career with good income potential and opportunity for growth that is also personally fulfilling, look no further. Dentists, hygienists and patients all rely on professionally trained Dental Assistants. In only 10 months, our Dental Assistant program can prepare you to write the National Dental Assisting Examining Board exam prior to registering with the College of Dental Surgeons of BC.
Our spring Preventative Clinic sees over 300 patients each year, providing you with plenty of hands-on experience. You will also take part in two three-week practical experiences in a dental clinic which will further prepare you for your rewarding career.
Individuals in this occupation should:
- Be approachable, relaxed and trustworthy
- Have strong interpersonal and communication skills
- Have well-developed fine motor skills
- Enjoy working with people and as part of a team
Important Notice for Program Applicants
Re: Immunization / First Aid / CPR Requirements During COVID-19 Outbreak
Thank you for your interest in applying to be a student in one of our Health and Human Services programs at the College of the Rockies. As a successful applicant, you will receive or have received a request to provide documentation confirming you are current in immunizations and First Aid/CPR.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic obtaining and completing these admission requirements has been more difficult, your admission into the Health and Human Services programs will not be held up while you wait to complete these requirements. Recently services have begun to open up and obtaining these documents is becoming available.
It is the responsibility of the student to continue to actively seek to obtain and complete these requirements. Please submit any missing admission requirement documentation to Enrolment Services.
Immunization services in BC are in flux as Public Health Departments must regularly reprioritize resource distribution in response to changing COVID-19 conditions. Our local Public Health agency will do their best to accommodate College of the Rockies student immunizations by individual appointment. Immunizations are also available through local pharmacists and Travel Clinics. We recommend that students continue to pursue obtaining required immunizations to complete program admission and practicum placement requirements as soon as available.
In accordance with provincial/territorial public health authorities, in-person training options are now available in certain jurisdictions. Red Cross Training Partners will adopt safe classroom protocols to promote the safety of all participants. Please check for blended delivery options as well to support your training needs. College of the Rockies accepts blended format CPR certifications (online theory supported by face-to-face practical application), but does not accept certifications obtained exclusively online. Students are expected to continue to seek CPR recertification, as courses come available, and to update their certification as soon as possible.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
Our ten-month full-time program combines face-to-face and online learning practice and clinical based training to prepare you for a career as a Dental Assistant.
The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada, hence graduates are eligible for registration with the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia.
Students are required to write the National Dental Assisting Examining Board exam prior to registering with the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C.
Students must be prepared to attend practica which may take place in communities other than Cranbrook. Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation and for travel and living expenses.
Why Choose a Career as a Dental Assistant?
- The annual provincial median salary is over $50,000.00
- Regular schedule – most dental assistants work 40 hours/week in clean, well-lit dentists’ offices, hospitals, public health centres and education institutions.
- According to Work BC, job opportunities for dental assistants should remain strong as the province’s growing population increases the demand for dental services.
Dental Program Design
|DENT 100 Introduction to Dental Assisting||51||3|
|DENT 130 Microbiology and Infection Control||18||2|
|DENT 131 Basic Dental Assisting||12||2|
|DENT 132 Patient Assessment||60||4|
|DENT 133 Dental Office Emergencies||27||2|
|DENT 134 Preventative Dentistry||42||3|
|DENT 135 Dental Radiography||33||3|
|DENT 136 Restorative Assisting||48||3|
|DENT 137 Laboratory Procedures||21||2|
|DENT 140 Dental Specialties||42||3|
|DENT 141 Community Dental Health||45||3|
|DENT 142 Dental Reception||33||3|
|DENT 143 Patient Care Procedures||27||2|
|DENT 154 Clinical Dental Assisting Procedures||559||6|
|DENT PRAC 1 Work Experience 1||91.5||4|
|DENT PRAC 2 Work Experience 2||90.5||4|
DENT-100 – Introduction to Dental Assisting
This course introduces students to the members of the dental team to aid in understanding their education, qualifications and the skills they contribute to patient care. As health care team members in BC, students will have certain rights and legal responsibilities to which they must adhere. Students study terminology and begin the study of anatomy. Students also develop communication skills to effectively communicate with patients to obtain health histories and maintain patient records. Experiences are also provided to help students learn to work with others, while building and enhancing team member and conflict resolution skills. Emphasis is also placed on the need for respectfully acknowledging the diversity of patients seen in dental practice.
DENT-130 – Microbiology and Infection Control
This course covers the detailed procedures that students and dental assistants must carry out for the aseptic treatment of instruments and equipment. This course also covers basic terminology as well as descriptions of microorganisms and their modes of transmission. Students learn how to destroy microorganisms and help prevent potential disease. Students learn detailed sterilization techniques for instruments and dental equipment before, during and after treatment.
DENT-131 – Basic Dental Assisting
This course covers the maintenance and management of the dental operatory equipment, safe handling and transferring of dental instruments, and methods used for safely assisting during the dental procedures.
DENT-132 – Patient Assessment
Certified Dental Assistants (CDAs) use the skills learned in this course in their daily practice of dentistry. Students are introduced to the skills required to take and monitor a patient’s vital signs. Students cover in detail the basic anatomy of the head and neck, and the hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity, looking specifically at occlusion and the relationship to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Students study in detail the armamentarium, procedures and methods for dental anesthesia. Annotation of these conditions in a legible, efficient manner is vital to communication between dentist, dental personnel and patient. Students learn to record data as a vital part of patient assessment. This course also covers oral cancers and the process for taking and managing biopsy specimens.
DENT-133 – Dental Office Emergencies
This course should prepare participants for emergency situations that may occur in a dental practice and provide methods to prevent such emergencies. Students learn about a variety of medications and drugs used in dentistry. Emergency kits are essential for all dental offices and will be discussed. This course also covers drug management and correct storage conditions, prescriptions, signs and symptoms of substance abuse, the legal and ethical aspects of drug health hazards, and safety in dentistry.
DENT-134 – Preventive Dentistry
This course introduces students to the basic concepts of oral self-care, and the philosophy and evolution of preventive dentistry. This course covers concepts of health and disease, with detailed information on the causes of dental disease, and how this affects the general state of health. Students learn about the major causative agents of dental disease, enabling them to play an active preventive role in teaching patients about hard and soft deposits and the patient’s role in the disease fighting process. This course provides students with information on removing deposits and preventing disease through the use of devices and therapeutic agents. Students discover methods to enhance patients’ learning in general and how to apply this to teaching oral self-care.
DENT-135 – Dental Radiography
This course introduces students to the basic science of radiation including its discovery, history and modern use within the dental profession. Participants study the necessary equipment and supplies for the various types of dental images that are utilized in the dental profession. This course teaches students to critique radiographic images and explain the cause and effect of various equipment and armamentaria adjustments. Students review tips for gaining patient cooperation and a variety of techniques for exposing radiographic images intra- and extra-orally. The course will focus on digital radiography with a brief overview of the evolution of dental x-rays from film-based radiography to digital sensor radiography. Students will identify and describe anatomical landmarks and dental anomalies on radiographic images, including whether they are radiolucent or radiopaque. Quality assurance and the “As Low As Responsibly Acceptable” (ALARA) principle are also addressed. Participants study the biological effects of radiation exposure on patients and staff, and the purpose, equipment, and processes for radiation monitoring.
DENT-136 – Restorative Assisting
Moisture control is often the responsibility of the Certified Dental Assistant. Skilled dental dam application provides for excellent isolation. This course also covers additional methods of moisture control, such as cotton roll management and dental materials. The curriculum of this course also reflects many restorative procedures performed in general practice: composite restorations, amalgam restorations and fixed and removable prosthodontic procedures.
DENT-137 – Laboratory Procedures
This course is designed to introduce the student to the dental lab and some of the commonly used pieces of equipment to fabricate and produce various dental products. Studies include different kinds of dental lab materials. Students also learn to work with these materials while they create patient models and custom trays. Students study common fixed direct dental restorations and removable prosthesis, as well as how these are fabricated in the dental lab. Lastly, students cover specific appliances used for such purposes as improved aesthetics and mouth protection.
DENT-140 – Dental Specialties
This course introduces students to the materials, procedures and instrumentation used for several dental specialties. Topics include endodontics, which concerns saving the diseased tooth; orthodontics, the prevention and correction of malocclusion; periodontal practice, the study and treatment of the periodontium, oral and maxillofacial surgery; the study of surgical intervention and indications of oral surgery; and pedodontics, studying preventive and restorative procedures used for treating children.
DENT-141 – Community Dental Health
This course focuses on health promotion messages in the context of community health care. Students have the opportunity to prepare and present educational sessions to the public, while under the supervision of a licensed instructor. Certified Dental Assistants often provide nutritional and oral health counseling within a dental office or in a public health setting. Students also learn about caring for geriatric patients and people with disabilities.
DENT-142 – Dental Reception
This course provides basic information for work at the front desk of the dental office. This course provides an overview of the common skills necessary to keep an office running smoothly when the regular receptionist is absent.
Course topics include patient communication with regards to the front desk, including face-to-face and telephone communications, appointment control and recall systems utilizing computer software; patient accounts, dental insurance and other financial duties of the receptionist or office manager, and, office organization and written communication. Students also create a cover letter and résumé to use in seeking employment, and review interview skills.
DENT-143 – Patient Care Procedures
This course covers a variety of procedures that a Certified Dental Assistant needs to perform to provide intraoral and preventive care for patients. These skills include pulp vitality testing, the placement of treatment liners and varnish in teeth without pulpal involvement, and the application of primer and bond. Students will also learn patient care procedures such as alginate impressions, tooth whitening concepts and the fabrication of tooth whitening trays and mouthguards. Coronal polishing is focused on as an essential part of practice for complete patient care. Students develop skills on preventative procedures including pit and fissure sealants, and the use of desensitizing agents, suture removal, retraction cord and periodontal pack removal.
DENT-154 – Clinical Dental Assisting Procedures
Section 1 of Clinical Dental Assisting Procedures concentrates on the practical objectives you have learned about in DENT 100 through DENT 142 as well as the course learning outcomes. Your time is spent in demonstration, practice and evaluation of these skills under the direct supervision of a licensed instructor.
Prerequisite requirements for Section 2: completion of Section 1 of this course is required for Work Experience 1 (DENT PRAC 1).
Section 2 concentrates on the practical elements of Certified Dental Assisting (CDA) that you have learned about in DENT 141 and DENT 143. This is your opportunity to apply the theory and knowledge you gained at chairside into actual practice as the operator under the direct supervision of a licensed instructor.
You need to master these skills in order to be eligible to become a CDA. Completion of Section 2 of this course is required for Work Experience 2 (DENT PRAC 2).
- Minimum Credits: 6
- Length: 559 hours
- Prerequisites: (1) DENT 154 – Section 1 – enrolled in DENT 100, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 140, 142 (2) DENT 154 – Section 2 –successful completion of DENT 100, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 140 and 142, DENT PRAC 1, Enrolled in DENT 141 and 143
- Delivery Method: ? On-campus
- Course Outline
DENT-PRAC1 – Work Experience 1
Work Experience 1 provides an opportunity for dental assisting practice in a general dentistry office. It focuses on professional conduct and communication skills, clinical support procedures, chairside assisting, and lab procedures. The practicum enables students to build on skills and knowledge learned before placement and to integrate them into the private practice setting.
DENT-PRAC2 – Work Experience 2
Work Experience 2 provides an opportunity for dental assisting practice in general dentistry offices. It focuses on professional conduct and communication skills, clinical support procedures, chairside assisting, patient care procedures, and lab procedures. The practicum enables students to build on skills and knowledge learned before placement and to integrate them into the private practice setting.
- Secondary school graduation or equivalent
- Minimum 65% in either English 12, English Studies 12, English First Peoples 12, ENGL 090, or equivalent
- Minimum 65% in either BIOL 11, BIOL 080, BIOL 12, BIOL 090, Life Science 11, Anatomy and Physiology 12, CHEM 11, CHEM 080, CHEM 12, CHEM 090, or equivalent
English Language Proficiency Requirements:
- Applicants whose first language is not English may be required to undergo the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). An overall score of 6.5 in all bands is required to enter the program
- It is the applicant’s responsibility to arrange this assessment through Student Services or an Education Advisor at the College
Additional Admission Requirements:
The following must be completed prior to being admitted to the program:
- Certified Dental Assistant Program Requisite Skills and Abilities Declaration
- Complete a criminal record check through the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General Criminal Records Review Program*
- FOIPP Voluntary Self-Disclosure
- Dental Office Observation
- Dental Screening form*
- CPR Level C certification, current for the duration of the program. Acceptable CPR courses must include a face-to-face component and may be combined with a first aid course. You will receive information regarding CPR Level C requirements in the admissions package.
- BCCDC Immunizations for BC Health Care Workers
- Annual influenza immunization
- Negative TB testing results
- Computer literacy is recommended
* A dental screening form to be completed and signed by a dentist and returned to Dental Faculty on the first day of class (form in the admissions package). This is required to enable students to act as patients for each other during clinical sessions.
Tuition and Fees:
|Student Association Fee:||$92.00|
|Bus Pass Fee:||$111.00|
|Health and Dental Fee:||$229.50|
*These prices are for domestic students and may not be 100% accurate. However, these estimates will give you an adequate idea of tuition and fees for our programs. These prices do not include textbook costs. All prices are subject to change. Tuition fees include an alumni fee, student activity fees, and a student technology fee. In certain cases a materials and supply fee may also be included. For more information, visit: Tuition and Fees.
Tuition and Fees for International Students
|Student Association Fee||$92.00|
|Bus Pass Fee||$111.00|
|Health and Dental Fee||$229.50|
*These prices are for international students and may not be 100% accurate. However, these estimates will give you an adequate idea of tuition and fees for our programs. These prices do not include textbook costs. All prices are subject to change. Tuition fees include an alumni fee, student activity fees, and a student technology fee. In certain cases a materials and supply fee may also be included. For more information, visit: Tuition and Fees.
Required textbooks, modules and clinic kit are available at the Bookstore at a cost of approximately $1700.00
Students are responsible for providing uniforms, safety glasses and duty shoes. Specific information regarding the textbooks and supplies will be sent to students in June of the year in which they are enrolled.
Dental Assistant Certificate – Block Transfer Agreements
|Canadian Armed Forces||Dental Technician|
Note: BC DEAS, 10 Months – Dental Technician (For currently CDAC accredited Dental Assisting programmes) 119094 – Approval Date: Wednesday 7th of December 2011.