Dental Assisting - Certified (Distance Delivery)
VCC offers distance learning for students to train from home to work as a member of a dental health team. This program provides education leading to a career as a certified and registered certified dental assistant. Students acquire specialized knowledge, skills and attitudes to function as a dental health team member with dependent, interrelated and independent roles. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to become a candidate for the National Dental Assisting Board examination. This examination is a mandatory component for certification and registration with the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C., the regulatory body for certified dental assistants. This program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada.
Find out more about this program:
- Program Description
- Career Prospects
- Admission Requirements
- Program Status
- Apply to this Program
- Fees and Other Costs
- Additional Information
- Check Course Schedule
This program includes 13 theory and three clinical courses. Theory courses are supplied on computer CD-ROM and supplemented by textbook readings and a variety of references. The program is offered as independent study with instructor/tutor supports via email or telephone, with assignments and feedback delivered by email.
The recommended order of course completion is designed to build on the student's knowledge as they progress through the material. The courses are self-paced and developed with in-office activities that enhance the learning experience. As a distance student you also need the ability to work independently and be focused. Self-motivation and task orientation will assist in success in the program.
Each course in the program has been designed to be completed within 4 months. Based on the order of courses, the estimated completion time for this program is approximately 2.5 years (must be completed within 5 years). All students must be employed or volunteer as clinical dental assistants in a general practice for a minimum of two days per week. Successful completion of theory courses are followed by clinical sessions of varying lengths. These clinical sessions provide for calibrated evaluation of the provincial CDA competencies.
Most graduates find employment in private practice dental offices (including specialty practice) and clinics. Some individuals have found employment in university and hospital settings, public health, sales and other related positions.
Graduates are eligible to become a candidate for the National Dental Assisting Board examination. This examination is a mandatory component for certification and registration with the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C., the regulatory body for certified dental assistants.
Challenge exams are available for some courses. To inquire, contact the VCC dental department.
VCC welcomes applications from Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
As Vancouver Community College is a post-secondary institution committed to educating adult learners, applicants should be 18 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school.
Please note that you must submit official transcripts and educational documents to support your application; unfortunately, we cannot accept photocopies or fax versions.
Consideration of admission requirements may be given with prior learning assessments.
- Grade 12 graduation, GED or equivalent.
- Either Biology 11 or Biology 12 (human biology recommended) or VCC Basic Medical Terminology course (MEDC 1010) with a C+ grade or better.
- Proof of English language proficiency which includes a Canadian Language Benchmark of Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 8, and Writing 8. Students who have completed the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. Radiography Certificate are exempt from this requirement.
- Students must provide a signed agreement with a dentist verifying a minimum of 14 hours per week of clinical chairside dental assisting experience in a general dentistry practice.
- Criminal Record Search required. In accordance with the Criminal Records Review Act, all individuals who work with vulnerable adults and/or children must complete a Criminal Records Check through the Ministry of Justice. Access the criminal records review to complete the request. The criminal record form, with payment (no personal cheques), should be sent directly to the Solicitor General’s Office. The College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. may not register or license any individual who has been convicted of an indictable offense. The Criminal Record Check form will ask for the organization name: Vancouver Community College and the organization contact name - Niki Scarfo, Registrar's Office, ID Number 937836 for dental, BScN, tutoring ESOL programs and Kathy Andreatta, Registrar's Office, ID Number 113043 for all other VCC programs. Please ensure you use your legal name and that you have applied at VCC under the same name.
- Upon acceptance, proof of negative TB skin test or chest X-ray required.l
All requests for transfer credits or course exemptions for all courses in the program must be submitted with application. Download the request for transfer credit form.
- Attention to detail, works accurately and neatly, and manage time effectively
- Communicate effectively with people of all ages and from all walks of life
- Take initiative and handle responsibility
- Work and study independently
- Strong computer skills
- Excellent command of spoken and written English
- Good vision and hand-eye coordination
- Interest in and empathy with people
- Maturity with positive self-image and high standards of personal integrity
- Respectful of and attentive to the ways in which others prefer to organize and execute their work
If you are considering studying from home, find out if online learning is for you and determine your potential success in this type of program by visiting is online learning for you.
VCC is accepting applications from international students.
Apply to this Program
Online Fax In Person If you're ready and know the program you want, apply now. Download and complete the (PDF) application form and fax to 604.871.7458. Visit us at one of our campus locations.
After you apply, you can check your to see if all of the requirements have been met or to update contact information. Please use the temporary login ID and Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you used to complete your original online application.
Fees and Other Costs
Application Fee Tuition Fee $30.00 $153.70 per credit
Cost Type Details College initiative fee $2.28 per credit hour Student union fee $24.81 per term Other costs Material Fees applicable for Clinical courses
Textbooks, uniforms and supplies, professional dues and certification fees: $2,000
- Fees are approximate and subject to change without notice. Students making advanced payments for programs/courses or installment payments for current programs, will be required to pay increased rates. The application fee is non-refundable. For more information, see withdrawals and refunds specific to this program.
Opportunities are now available for individuals currently employed in the certified dental assisting profession to demonstrate their acquired knowledge. After being accepted into the distance delivery CDA program (DADDP), an individual may apply to challenge a course. This is done by successfully passing a comprehensive examination. It is possible to challenge one or all of the following courses:
DAST 1401 Introduction to Dental Assisting
DAST 1403 Basic Dental Assisting
DAST 1405 Dental Office Emergencies
DAST 1407 Restorative Dental Assisting
DAST 1510 Dental Laboratory Procedures
DAST 1513 Dental Reception
For further information please contact the department at
Updated immunizations strongly recommended: measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis B vaccine and current influenza vaccination. Please review important health requirements for all VCC health sciences students.
Those who have back, hand and wrist problems may be affected by the physical demands of the profession. Those with sensitive skin and allergies may also be affected by some materials.
Term 1 Course Name Outline Course Code Credits Basic Dental Assisting -- DAST 1403 2.0 Clinical Dental Assisting 1 -- DAST 1408 5.0 Dental Office Emergencies -- DAST 1405 1.5 Introduction to Dental Assisting -- DAST 1401 1.5 Microbiology and Infection Control -- DAST 1402 1.5 Patient Assessment -- DAST 1404 2.0 Preventive Dentistry -- DAST 1406 3.0 Restorative Dental Assisting -- DAST 1407 2.5
Term 2 Course Name Outline Course Code Credits Clinical Dental Assisting 2 -- DAST 1508 5.0 Community Dental Health -- DAST 1512 2.5 Dental Radiography and Clinical Dental Radiography -- DAST 1515/1516 2.5 and 2.0 Dental Reception -- DAST 1513 2.5 Dental Specialties -- DAST 1511 3.0 Laboratory Procedures -- DAST 1510 1.5 Patient Care Procedures -- DAST 1514 2.0
Note: All course/program information including course/program content, length, admission requirements, prerequisites, start/end dates, postponements and/or cancellation is subject to change without notice.