Dental Assisting – Certified (Online)

CREDENTIAL: Certificate

Earn a certificate in dental assisting online while actively working in a dental office.  This combination of theory and real-world experience contributes to a highly effective learning experience for students. 

Tuition: 7453*
Credential: Certificate
Hours: Part-time
Delivery: Online
Program Flyer: Download
Campus: Online Online
Start Dates: Sep

What you will learn

Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be able to:

  • Provide patient-centred dental care in a safe, competent manner.
  • Practice using a unique body of knowledge that is evidence-based.
  • Competently assess, plan, treat and reflect on outcomes of clinical care.
  • Practice in accordance with the ethical guidelines for the profession.
  • Apply professional standards of the regulatory body for Certified Dental Assisting (CDA) practice.
  • Apply principles that support cultural safety and humility in CDA practice.

What to expect

The Certified Dental Assisting Online program is offered on a part-time basis. 

Theory courses are presented asynchronously through online activities, lectures, small group discussions, assigned readings and self-study.  Clinical skills are presented in the dental clinic and laboratory onsite at the VCC downtown campus. The clinical competencies are developed on manikins, peers, and patients.  Acquisition of clinical skills is enhanced through in-office clinical experiences which reinforce and enhance the course content. Students must be working/volunteering clinically for a minimum of two days (14 hours) per week as a clinical dental assistant in a general practice dental office for the duration of the program.

Admission requirements


  • Grade 12 graduation or equivalent.*

  • English Studies 12 with a minimum 'C' grade or equivalent
  • One of:**
    • Anatomy and Physiology 12, or equivalent (recommended)
    • Life Sciences 11, or equivalent

  • A signed Sponsoring Dentist Agreement verifying a minimum of 2 days (14 hours) per week clinical dental assisting experience in a general dentistry practice for the duration of the program.
  • Criminal Record Check
    • ??Students in this program are required to complete a Criminal Record Check (CRC). The CRC must be completed according to VCC's Criminal Record Check instructions. Students whose CRC results indicate they pose a risk to vulnerable populations may not be able to complete the requirements of the program (e.g. practicums) or graduate. 

*  Students who have completed the Vancouver Community College Dental Reception program are exempt from these admission requirements.

** Students who have completed the BC College of Oral Health Professionals (BCCOHP) Provincial Radiography credential are exempt from this admission requirement.

Applicants who have successfully completed one of the options below may be eligible to receive credit for DAST 1515 and DAST 1517. 

  1. DNTL 1107 Dental Radiography, or 
  2. DREC 1242 Dental Radiography, or
  3. DENT 1505 Dental Radiography 1 and DENT 2995 Dental Radiography 2 and DENT 3745 Dental Radiography 3. 


  • Current CPR Level C
    • CPR Level C includes:
      • Adult/Child/Baby CPR – one rescuer
      • Adult/Child CPR – two-rescuer
      • Adult/Child/Baby – choking
  • TB Screening
    • Students must submit a negative TB skin test taken within 6 months of acceptance to the program.  If the TB skin test is positive, a negative TB chest x-ray is required.
  • Immunizations
    • Immunizations in the following are strongly recommended and in some case may be required for practice education placements:
  • Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis
  • Polio
  • Measles, Mumps & Rubella
  • Varicella (Chicken pox)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza (annually)
  • COVID-19


  • This program is available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. See program options for international students at VCC International.
  • Applicants who self-identify as Indigenous are strongly encouraged to connect with VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement team to learn more about VCC’s Indigenous Enrolment policy, application preparation/completion, program advising, and a range of other individualized services.
  • Applicants must be 16 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school. (Some exceptions may apply.)
  • Applicants must submit official transcripts and other documents as required by their course or program. Seats are offered to eligible applicants with completed applications, in order of application completion date (except for programs with competitive admissions). A complete application includes an application form, evidence of educational pre-requisites (e.g. transcripts), any required supporting documents (e.g. language proficiency, audition video), and the required deposit or fee payment. If you do not meet the requirements for the term applied, your application may be cancelled.

Missing prerequisites? Learn more about VCC's tuition-free academic upgrading or English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, or discover which university transfer options are right for you.

Recommended Characteristics

  • Ability to communicate effectively in a team environment
  • Empathic and caring attitude
  • Ability to work independently and within a team environment
  • Ability to complete tasks that require manual dexterity and fine motor skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Effective time management skills
  • Basic computer literacy (email, word processing and use of the internet)


The physical demands of the CDA profession may worsen back, wrist, neck or shoulder problems. Materials used in oral health care may affect persons living with conditions such as latex sensitivity or other allergies.

Courses *

Prior learning assessment and recognition

Students may request formal recognition of prior learning attained through formal education, or work experience. Credits may be granted to students who are able to sufficiently demonstrate the learning outcomes of specific courses. 

PLAR is available for the following courses:

  • DAST 1403 Basic Dental Assisting
  • DAST 1405 Dental Office Emergencies
  • DAST 1510 Laboratory Procedures
  • DAST 1513 Dental Reception

*Methods of PLAR will include evaluation by examination.

If PLAR is successful, transcripts will reflect an ‘S’ grade (satisfactorily completed), which is not included in grade point average (GPA) calculations.

See VCC Policy and Procedures 316 Prior Learning Assessment for more information.

Fees and other costs *

Tuition Deposit

0 (0 non-refundable)

Tution deposits are payable usually within two (2) weeks after a Letter of Offer is issued.

Fee descriptionFee AmountNotes
Application fee36
Tuition Tuition 7453
Student union128
College initiative111
Materials132 not including textbooks
Campus resource299
Tools (deposit)0
Coverall (deposit)0
Uniform (deposit)0
Medical and Dental 0
Temporary Medical Insurance 0
Program-specific extra fees0
Textbooks or other supplies may be required for this program. For information and prices, visit the VCC Bookstore.

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Fill out a PDF form and mail to:
VCC Registrar's Office
1155 East Broadway
Vancouver, B.C., V5T 4V5

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