Dental Assisting - Certified

This program provides education leading to a career as a certified and registered certified dental assistant. Graduates will have acquired 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. The exam 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.

Program Hours: The Certified Dental Assisting program runs Monday to Friday from 8:30-4:30 with the exeption of certain activities that may require a variance of these times. Additionally, some weekends and evenings will be scheduled with notice.

Program Status:
Accepting applications

Program one-pager
Start Length Credentials Campus Part- or Full-time
Sep 10 months Certificate Downtown Full-time

Apply Now

Apply Now

The first step, apply early. Students who have officially applied and met all admission requirements are sent a letter of acceptance approximately four to five months in advance of the next available start date. A first payment is required to reserve a space in the program.

Online Mail In Person
If you're ready and know the program you want, apply now. Download and complete the (PDF) application/registration form and mail it to VCC Registrar's Office Visit us at one of our campus locations.

After you apply, you can check application status 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.

Program Description

Program Description

This three-term program is competency based and taught in modern clinical facilities shared with other VCC dental programs. The clinical competencies and supporting theory are organized according to the health model of preparation for practice, patient assessment theory, planning implementation and evaluation of practice. Term 1 focuses primarily on the chairside dental assisting aspects of practice, while Terms 2 and 3 build on certified skills and independent practice.

Classes are generally held Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (subject to change). Some evenings and Saturdays may be required.

All applicants are encouraged to attend an information session.

As well as the regular program, VCC also offers customized courses for students in need of specific requirements. Our Directed Studies (DAST 1600) course provides theoretical and clinical instruction in many CDA skills. This course enables individuals who are unable to meet credentialing requirements, due to lack of formal education in identified skills, to acquire knowledge through an accredited CDA program. For further information about directed studies please email

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements


This program welcomes applications from Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Program options for international students can be found at VCC International.

As Vancouver Community College is a post-secondary institution committed to educating adult learners, applicants should be 16 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.

Program Specific

Missing prerequisites? VCC offers courses in Adult Upgrading and English as an Additional Language to help you meet your goals.

Seats are offered to applicants who have met all admission requirements, on a first-qualified, first-served basis

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

(**) Students who have completed the Vancouver Community College Dental Reception Coordinator Program and/or students who have possess the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia Provincial Radiography Acknowledgment credential are exempt from this admission requirement.

Students who complete DREC 1242 Dental Radiography or DAST 1515 Dental Radiography and DAST 1516 Clinical Dental Radiography are exempt from DENT 1505 Dental Radiography 1, DENT 2995 Dental Radiography 2 and DENT 3745 Dental Radiography 3.

Students who complete DNTL 1107 Dental Radiography Module are exempt from DENT 1505 Dental Radiography 1, DENT 2995 Dental Radiography 2 and DENT 3745 Dental Radiography 3.

Upon acceptance

  • Criminal Record Check (CRC) is required upon acceptance to the program, 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. Applicants to this program should be aware that some practicum placement in hospitals and schools may require completion of a Criminal Records Check indicating no relevant criminal record. After submitting an admissions application, applicants will receive by email a web link and unique college access code to apply and pay for a Criminal Record Check online.

  • Note: The College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia is the regulatory body for Certified Dental Assistants. They require each applicant to undergo another criminal records search prior to registration and certification. Registration and certification to practice is mandatory in BC.

    It is highly recommended that applicants spend a minimum of two days observing in a dental practice prior to entering the program.

  • Proof of a negative tuberculosis (TB) skin test. In case of positive TB skin test, a negative TB chest x-ray report is required.
  • A current “C” certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
  • Immunizations in the following are strongly recommended, and may be required for practicum placement in the program:
    • Pertussis
    • Diphtheria
    • Tetanus
    • Polio
    • Measles/Mumps/Rubella
    • Chicken Pox
    • Hepatitis B
    • Influenza (required annually)

Recommended Characteristics:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Recent observation in a dental office

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.

Course Schedule

Courses Schedule

Fees and Other costs

Application Fee $35
Tuition Fee $3,574
Student Union Fee $165
College Initiative Fee $102
Laundry Fee $314
Uniform Fee $30
Student Union Health Plan Fee $146
Student Union Dental Plan Fee $146
U-Pass Fee $451
Other Costs
$40 - Graduation Fees
$187 - Campus Resource Fee
$121 - Material Fee
$900 (approximate) - Student Kit – Term 1
$450 (approximate) - Student Kit – Term 2
$300 (approximate) - Student Kit – Term 3
$400 - Approximate Textbooks, supplies
$2,500 - Approximate Professional dues and Licencing fees
At the time of acceptance, a $300 non-refundable deposit will be required to hold your seat if accepted more than two months before the start date of the program. Full payment of the first installment will be required within two months before the start date.

For book lists and prices, check Bookstore.

Fees are approximate and subject to change without notice. Students are responsible for any increase in fees if advanced payments are made. The application fee is non-refundable. Fees are refunded according to the refund policy. For further clarification, see withdrawals and refunds information page.

Info Sessions

Info Sessions

Make VCC's Dental Assisting - Certified program your choice for career success.

At this information session you'll take a tour of our clinic, meet faculty, learn about prerequisites needed to enter the program, and discuss job opportunities in this exciting field.

Join us at VCC's Downtown campus, 200-block Dunsmuir at Hamilton, two blocks west of the Stadium SkyTrain station.

View all Info Sessions/Tours >>

Contact Us/Request Info

Contact Us/Request Info


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Program Highlights

Program Highlights


Course Schedule

Courses Schedule


Term 1

(DENT 1501) Preparation for Practice Theory 1
course schedule schedule
3 credits
(DENT 1502) Patient Assessment Theory 1
course schedule schedule
3 credits
(DENT 1503) Planning, Implementation and Evaluation Theory 1
course schedule schedule
3 credits
(DENT 1504) Clinical Practice 1
course schedule schedule
8.5 credits
(DENT 1505) Dental Radiography 1
course schedule schedule
2.0 credits

Term 2

(DENT 2991) Preparation for Practice Theory II
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(DENT 2992) Patient Assessment Theory II
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(DENT 2993) Planning, Implementation and Evaluation Theory II
course schedule schedule
4.0 credits
(DENT 2994) Clinical Practice II
course schedule schedule
9.0 credits
(DENT 2995) Dental Radiography 2
course schedule schedule
2.0 credits

Term 3

(DENT 3740) Preparation for Practice Theory III
course schedule schedule
1.5 credits
(DENT 3741) Patient Assessment Theory III
course schedule schedule
2.0 credits
(DENT 3742) Planning, Implementation and Evaluation Theory III
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits
(DENT 3743) Clinical Practice III
course schedule schedule
8.5 credits
(DENT 3745) Dental Radiography 3
course schedule schedule
1.0 credits