Learn the specialized skills and knowledge needed to assist dentists with procedures, provide oral health education, and function as a dental health team member.
What you will learn
Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be able to:
- Apply the Standards of Practice and bylaws of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia for CDA practice to provide safe and competent patient care.
- Apply the process of evidence-informed CDA practice.
- Integrate knowledge and critical thinking skills in CDA practice.
- Use problem-solving strategies and decision-making processes in CDA practice.
- Integrate ethics and professionalism into CDA practice.
- Demonstrate professional responsibility and accountability in CDA practice.
- Demonstrate use of self-reflection to improve care and ensure quality CDA practice.
What to expect
The Certified Dental Assisting program (onsite) is offered on a full time basis, over three terms. Each term consists of both theory and clinical courses.
Theory courses are presented through online activities, lecture, small group discussion, assigned readings and self-study. Clinical skills are presented in the dental clinic and laboratory. The clinical competencies are developed on manikins, peers, and patients. Acquisition of clinical skills is enhanced through partnerships with the University of British Columbia (UBC) Dental Clinic Program and practica rotations to dental practices.
- Grade 12 graduation or equivalent.*
- English Language Proficiency as demonstrated by one of the following:*
- English 12 with a minimum ‘B’ grade, or equivalent
- English Language Proficiency at an English 12 ‘B’ level
- English 12 with a minimum ‘B’ grade, or equivalent
- Either Biology 11 or Biology 12 (human biology recommended) or equivalent.**
* 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 completed the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia Provincial Radiography 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.
- Students in this program are required to complete a 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 will not be able to complete the requirements of the program (e.g. practicums) or graduate.
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:
- Chicken Pox
- Hepatitis B
- Influenza (required annually)
- 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.
- Ability to communicate effectively in both written and spoken English
- Empathic and caring attitude
- Ability to work independently and within a team environment
- Manual dexterity and hand/eye coordination
- Detail oriented
- Effective time management skills
- Computer literacy (email, word processing and use of the internet)
Physical precautions – Those with back problems may be affected by the physical demands of the profession. Sensitive skin and allergies may also be affected by some procedures and materials.
Program general hours
Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the exception of certain activities that may require a variance of these times. Additionally, some weekends and evenings will be scheduled with notice.
Prior learning assessment and recognition
Prior learning assessment and recognition is not available for this program.
|DENT 1501||Preparation for Practice Theory 1||3|
|DENT 1502||Patient Assessment Theory 1||2|
|DENT 1503||Planning, Implementation and Evaluation Theory 1||3|
|DENT 1504||Clinical Practice 1||7.5|
|DENT 1505||Dental Radiography 1||2|
|DENT 2991||Preparation for Practice Theory 2||3|
|DENT 2992||Patient Assessment Theory 2||2|
|DENT 2993||Planning, Implementation and Evaluation Theory 2||4|
|DENT 2994||Clinical Practice 2||8|
|DENT 2995||Dental Radiography 2||2|
|DENT 3740||Preparation for Practice Theory 3||1.5|
|DENT 3741||Patient Assessment Theory 3||2|
|DENT 3742||Planning, Implementation and Evaluation Theory 3||3|
|DENT 3743||Clinical Practice 3||8|
|DENT 3745||Dental Radiography 3||1|
* This information is intended as a guideline only. Program and course details are subject to change with the approval of VCC's Board of Governors.
Fees and other costs*
|Fee description||Fee Amount||Notes|
0 - 1
0 - 2
0 - 3
0 - 4
|Materials||135||not including textbooks|
|Medical & Dental||275|
|Program-specific extra fees||0|
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* Fees are approximate and subject to change with the approval of VCC's Board of Governors. Students are required to pay any applicable fee increases. Application and assessment fees are non-refundable. Tuition fees include a $300 non-refundable deposit.
Fees listed are for domestic students. For international programs, visit VCC International.
Any refunds are issued according to VCC's refund policy.
Fall 2023: Closed
Fall 2024: EPBC will open for applications on July 1, 2023. If you want to apply for Fall 2024, please ensure you meet the Admissions Requirements shown above and apply in July 2023.
VCC Registrar's Office
1155 East Broadway
Vancouver, B.C., V5T 4V5