What is a Certified Dental Assistant?
Certified dental assistants (CDAs) are educated, licensed and regulated members of an integrated dental healthcare team that provides oral care services to patients. There are approximately 26,000 to 29,000 dental assistants in Canada. The practice of dental assisting involves collaboration with patients, other healthcare professionals and society to achieve and maintain optimal oral health and overall health and well-being.
Certified Dental Assistants work alongside of the dentist. Specific duties include:
- Preparing and maintaining dental instruments and equipment
- Maintaining appropriate infection control
- Assisting the dentist
- Preparing dental materials such as dental composites, amalgams and cements
- Providing patient education and comfort
- Performing patient care procedures such as taking health histories; assisting in patient assessment; exposing of dental images; patient charting; treatment planning; polishing teeth and delivering preventative fluoride applications.
- Carrying out office administration services, including management of dental records
Our graduates are career-ready and are highly employable. Certified dental assistants are employed in a variety of practice settings including:
- Dental offices
- Specialty practices such as children's specialist, orthodontics, or oral surgery
- Hospital dental clinics
- BC Cancer Agency
- Community health clinics and public health facilities
- Residential care facilities for seniors and the disabled
Employment opportunities also exist in education, research, sales and marketing of dental products, and dental insurance company administration.
For more information about the Certified Dental Assisting profession, please visit Canadian Dental Assistants Association
The Dental Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada. When you graduate, you’re eligible to write Canadian and American national certification exams.
What you will learn
This is a 10 month, hands-on program with opportunities to work with a range of equipment and techniques.
CNC Dental Assisting program offers small class sizes and a 1:8 ratio of faculty to students in the clinical setting. Our clinic is equipped with 20 dental operatories and 4 radiography rooms with computerized dental stations and digital radiography and record keeping abilities. Students are activity involved in our dental clinic providing patient-centered oral healthcare care services.
Our dental assisting curriculum also includes community-based student activities. For example, CNC Dental Studies works collaboratively with the Northern Health Authority to deliver a Seal in a Smile program to elementary school aged children annually.
Top 5 reasons to enroll at CNC
- Career- ready, highly employable graduates
- Educated, caring and experienced faculty
- Small class sizes with collaborative education
- Large clinic with 20 computerized/digital units
- Affordable cost of living
Dental Assistant Certificate Courses
The program combines lectures and clinical practice in preparation for a career in private practice, group practice, dental clinics, public health, and other related areas. After completing this program, you'll be eligible to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) through the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia.
Locations & Dates
CNC programs have varying lengths and start dates to meet your needs, and are offered across multiple campuses where possible. Don’t see the campus you’re looking for? Check back with us soon as this page is updated throughout the school year.
- Proof of high school graduation or equivalent.
- English 12 or English First Peoples 12; English 050 or English 051, or equivalent, with a grade of B.
- Biology 12 or Biology 050, or equivalent, with a grade of C+ or higher.
Note 1: Two (2) seats in the Dental Assisting program intake will be reserved for qualified aboriginal applicants.
Note 2: One (1) seat in Dental Assisting intake will be reserved for a qualified international student applicant.
Need help meeting these requirements? Check out our Academic Upgrading options.
When there are more applicants than seats available, the following criteria will be used to select 100 % of the class: Max. points
Letter grade B or higher for English 12 or equivalent. The letter grade for English 12 will contribute its actual points. 3.0-4.33
Letter grade C+, higher for Biology 12, or equivalent. The letter grade for Biology 12 will contribute its actual points. 2.33-4.33
Resident of northern BC 1.00
Persistent interest in the program, as shown by repeated qualified applications 1.00
Completion of any of the following to a maximum of 3 points:
DENO 150 Introduction to Dentistry at B- or better (see CNC Program Guide and Course Calendar for course descriptions) 1.00
Dental receptionist program 1.00
Self-reported volunteer experience of 8 or more hours in a dental office 1.00
Maximum possible points 13.66
Invest in your future
The estimated cost for this program is $6,567.
- Semester 1: $2,965
- Semester 2: $2,160
- Intersession: $1,442
Supplies for this program can be purchased from the bookstore.
Paying for college
We're here to help. You can apply for scholarships and bursaries through CNC. We can also help you find loans and other funding. Visit Financial aid to find out how.
Salaries and employment
Graduates working in this field are making $33K — $44K per year.
Looking for a job? Check the student employment opportunities.
The estimated cost for this program is $20,671.
This cost is an estimate and subject to change. This does not include registration fees, text books, medical insurance or living expenses.