Academic Calendar 2022-23 
    Apr 24, 2024  
Academic Calendar 2022-23 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Certified Dental Assistant (Certificate)

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Total Credits: 46.5
Credential: Certificate in Certified Dental Assistant
Program Code: CDA.CERT
CIP: 51.0601


The accredited Certified Dental Assistant program provides learners with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for a successful career as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

CDAs are health professionals who make unique contributions to the dental team. They perform selective skills, support clients of all ages and needs throughout dental procedures, and promote effective oral health practices in private and community environments.

In preparation for a career as a CDA, learners will acquire comprehensive knowledge related to CDA practice and will be expected to demonstrate employment qualities such as self-awareness, competence, effective communication and professional integrity. Learners have opportunities to develop effective strategies for: team work, dental career development, adapting to change within the dental profession, and continuing their education.

Successful completion of the National Dental Assisting Examination Board (NDAEB) examination is required prior to practicing as a registered and licensed CDA in British Columbia. Once qualified, CDAs will work interdependently within their scope of practice as members of a dental health team and with the supervision and/or direction of a dentist.

Following graduation, CDAs may choose to pursue further experience and education in order to perform specialized skills, serve clients as dental treatment coordinators, serve as an office manager, practice the dual role of CDA-Receptionist, and serve the community in public dental health settings.


One of:

One of: 

And all of:

  • Grade 12 graduation or equivalent

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the program students will be able to:

  • Safely and competently perform Certified Dental Assistant skills to address client needs and support the dental team.
  • Apply theoretical knowledge of dental sciences to dental assisting practice.
  • Promote oral health and support clients to make informed choices.
  • Communicate effectively, concisely, and correctly with clients, families, colleagues, team members, and external partners.
  • Use critical thinking processes for problem-solving and decision-making in dental assisting practice.
  • Use effective time management and organizational skills to facilitate the comfort and safety of the client and to contribute to the efficient functioning of the dental office.
  • Support and promote the effective functioning of the dental team.
  • Function as a CDA in a professional manner within the dental setting.


Program Participation Requirements

  • All students must attend the program orientation or may risk losing their seat in the program.
  • On the first day of class students are required to submit a completed BLS (Basic Life Support) certificate. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the BLS does not expire before the completion of the program.
  • Students must provide evidence they do not have active TB. Acceptable evidence is a negative TB skin test or a negative chest x-ray. Evidence must be dated no more than six months before practicum start date. Students are responsible for the cost of the testing. An additional TB test is required after each possible exposure to TB and/or travel within an area where there is a known prevalence of TB.
  • Students must provide evidence of their immunization status. Students are highly recommended to maintain current immunizations as per the Practice Education Guidelines of B.C. Recommended immunizations are found on the Health Sciences Placement Network of Canada website by searching for immunization guidelines. Failure to comply with immunization guidelines could result in the health care organization or the College barring the individual from the clinical/practicum setting until proof of immunity is provided and/or until a communicable disease outbreak is declared over. This could impact a student’s ability to successfully complete the clinical/practicum placement course and/or a clinical/community rotation.
  • During the CDA program students will:
    • Serve as practice clients and will receive a variety of treatments related to the practice of the CDA.
    • Promote the CDA program and assist with the recruitment and screening of child and other clients for preventive appointments.
  • Criminal Record Check required.

Program Completion Requirements

  • Students must achieve at least 70% (“B-“) in each program course in order to continue in the program and obtain a Certificate in Certified Dental Assistant

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