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Winter 2019 registration begins in mid-November.  Login to myAccount to check your registration date and time.

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Dental Assisting

IMPORTANT NOTICE Douglas College is not accepting new applications to the Certificate in Dental Assisting program while the program undergoes a curriculum review.
Faculty: Health Sciences
Department: Dental Assisting
Credits: 41.5
Length: Three semesters
Campuses: New Westminster
Credential: Certificate
Admission Type: Limited enrolment
Learning Format: Full-time
Offered: Fall
program overview
The Dental Assisting Certificate Program prepares the graduate for a career as a Certified Dental Assistant. The program consists of academic and clinical courses and a work experience component. Students develop the technical, professional and interpersonal skills needed to succeed as dental assistants.

NOTE: International students are not currently eligible for this program. For more information, contact Douglas College International.
curriculum framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 41.50 credits
  • 25% (10.50 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College.* Students usually complete all courses at Douglas College.

*Effective for Summer 2017 graduation, a minimum of 50% of the required program courses must be taken at Douglas College.

Course Requirements:

Course Number Course Title Credits

CHDA 1107

Dental Radiology Theory


CHDA 1108

Applied Dental Sciences


CHDA 1109

Applied Anatomy for Dental Assistants


CHDA 1118

Reception Skills for Dental Assistants


CHDA 1111

Basic Dental Assisting Skills


CMNS 1215

Interpersonal Communications for Dental Assistants

Total Credits Semester I   18.50

CHDA 1212

Dental Health Education


CHDA 1214

Plan for Direct Patient Care


CHDA 1215

Applied Nutrition/Pharmacology


CHDA 1216

Dental Assisting Theory


CHDA 1217

Advanced Dental Assisting Skills

Total Credits Semester II   18.00
Semester III (two months only)

CHDA 1360

Provide Direct Patient Care


Total Program Credits

career transfer pathways
To obtain a license to practice as a Certified Dental Assistant (Level II), graduates must apply to the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C.   
Career Opportunities
Certified dental assistants usually work in private dental offices, but are also employed in hospitals, public health centres and institutions.    

According to B.C. Work Futures, the unemployment rate for dental assistants is lower than the provincial average. The work is stable: whether the economy is good or bad, people still need to see the dentist, and most dentists require the services of an assistant.    

Dental assistants can progress to the position of office manager or they can continue their education and become a Dental Hygienist, a career with a broader range of responsibilities. Hygienists are qualified to examine patients, collect their health history and consult with dentists after conducting an initial dental assessment, as well as performing the duties of a dental assistant.    

Sometimes dental assistants branch out into work as sales representatives for manufacturers of dental products or as dental claim advisors for insurance companies.    

Interested in travel? Certified dental assistants can join the Canadian Forces as a Dental Technician.
admission requirements

Applicants must meet the admission requirements listed below:

  • General College Admission Requirements.
  • Applicants using EASL 0360, EASL 0375 or EASL 0376 as a substitution for English 12 with a minimum “C” grade must also successfully complete EASL 0350 or equivalent.
  • Biology 12 with a grade of "C" or better, or UT Biology course with a min. grade of "P".
  • 18 years of age or older by the end of the first semester in the program.
  • Submission of signed forms proving a minimum of two days of observation in one or more dental offices. The purpose of this observation is to provide the applicant with an opportunity to gain a realistic view of the responsibilities of a Certified Dental Assistant. An introductory letter and forms will be provided for the applicant.
  • Participation in a group Orientation Session. This session will be held by a dental assisting instructor during the Spring of the entering year. The orientation is mandatory and is designed to provide the applicant with information about the profession and the program. Applicants will be notified by mail of the Orientation date.

Other Criteria:

When offered a seat in the program, the following criteria must be satisfied:

  • Submission of completed Douglas College medical, immunization and dental assessment forms. Forms will be provided with the offer of admission.
  • Applicants may be required to attend a personal interview that will be used for the purposes of clarifying suitability and readiness for the program.
  • Emergency First Aid with CPR level "C".
  • Criminal Record Search (CRS) - information will be provided by the Office of the Registrar.
Preferential Admissions

Admission to the Dental Assisting program is dependent upon:

  • Completion of all admission requirements
  • Applicant ranking according to the established preferential admission criteria listed below

Seats will be offered in descending order of ranking.

 Biology 12 with a grade of "B" or higher (i.e. UT Biology with a minimum grade of “P”)
 Related work experience - minimum of 6 months as a level one chair side dental assistant or as a dental receptionist in British Columbia (Dentist must complete a form provided by Douglas College)
 Community Service - (minimum 30 hours within the last 2 years) The community service must occur within a hospice, hospital, mental health or residential care facility with a focus on children or geriatrics or under the auspices of a not for profit organization with a focus on individuals with special needs. (supervisor or administrator must complete a form provided by Douglas College)
Maximum total achievable


program cost

You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

curriculum guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

tuition deposit

When offered a full-time seat in this program a non-refundable, non-transferable $350 tuition deposit is required.