"I love to use stories from the dental offices I have worked for in the past - whether funny, sad, embarassing or inspirational. The students get a kick out of the things we tell them and it seems to bring the text to life if they have a story to relate to it." - Julianna K., Intra Oral Dental Assistant Instructor

Dental assistant jobs are challenging and fast-paced. Dental assistant salary ranges are dependent on location and experience, but this is a well-paid career path for personable and organized individuals.

CDI College's Intra-Oral Dental Assistant diploma program prepares students to compete for great jobs in the dental industry. The program covers all elements of dental care, pharmacology, oral pathology, and dental radiography. Students learn how to prepare patients for treatment, assist dentists during treatment, process radiographs, perform infection control procedures, maintain patient records, and other general administrative duties. Students study environmental health and safety and oral facial science, along with other core dentistry subjects.

Graduates who successfully complete the Intra-Oral Dental Assistant program are eligible to write the National Level II Certification exam offered by the National Dental Assisting Examination Board (NDAEB).  This is a two-part NDAEB certificate includes a written examination followed by the Clinical Practical Evaluation.  All graduates must successfully challenge this exam before they can perform Intra-Oral (Level II) skills or license in the province.

Those interested in furthering their dental training can also take the Preventative Dentistry Scaling program.

This program is 45 weeks in length.

Job Opportunities
  • Dental Office
  • Endodontist's Office
  • Orthodontist's Office
  • Pedodontist's Office
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon's Office
  • Hospital Dental Department
  • Dental Laboratories
  • Public Health Clinics

Program Courses

The program outline below is for Manitoba .Click here to see the outlines for Quebec and British Columbia.

Code Course Name Hours
  • IOIE Orientation to Intra-Oral Dental Assistant Program 15

    • This course provides an overview and introduction to the Intra-Oral Dental Assistant program. Emphasis will be placed on the required safety precautions required for the dental assistant. It also addresses the concept of standard precautions, dental health care worker safety and relevant clinical procedures including barrier techniques, surface cleaners and disinfectants, and proper heat sterilization. Radiation hygiene and safety procedures will be emphasized.
  • ODYE Orientation to Dentistry 10

    • This section will discuss the professionalism and legalities of all members of the dental team. It will enable students to understand the expectations of the profession and the workplace. Students will consider their role on the dental team, identify other members of the team, develop an appreciation for being affiliated with a profession and learn how to use a problem-solving approach to deal with conflicts that may arise within the dental team.
  • OFSE Oral Facial Science 40

    • Students are provided with an understanding of normal anatomy and physiology beginning with an introduction to the human body and its functions. Students will learn detailed anatomy of the head, neck, and will examine the normal development of the oral cavity and facial complex, teeth, and the attachment unit.
  • DMSE Dental Materials 87.5

    • This area of study provides students with the fundamental knowledge of the bio-materials commonly used in the dental environment. Lectures will cover the physical and manipulative characteristics of the various dental products. The laboratory segment prepares students to correctly manipulate these diverse materials.
  • EHSE Environmental Health & Safety WHMIS 15

    • This course will introduce students to the proper handling of hazardous chemicals, employee safety, and waste management. In addition, students will learn how to avoid musculoskeletal disorders commonly associated with dental assisting.
  • CDYE Clinical Dentistry 112.5

    • Students will be introduced to a wide variety of instruments and procedures used in dentistry. This component will assist students in developing the skills and recognizing the importance of smooth interaction with the dentist providing quality care while working chairside for various procedures. Students will learn the theory and practical elements of restorative dentistry. Emphasis is placed on the dental assistant’s role in operative procedures. It includes chairside assisting, as well as the implementation of the dental materials used in dentistry.
  • PDNE Preventive Dentistry and Nutrition 12.5

    • This segment provides an opportunity for students to obtain the knowledge and acquire techniques and skills required to assist clients in the prevention and control of disease and injury to the oral tissues. Importance is placed on communication skills and methods of assessing, implementing, and evaluating individualized hygiene.
  • PDTE Prevention of Disease Transmission 17.5

    • Students will study the common microorganisms and pathogens with emphasis placed on those found in the oral cavity. This course will provide students with the prerequisite knowledge required to practice effective infection control procedures in the dental environment and to prevent cross-contamination.
  • OPAE Oral Pathology 10

    • This segment focuses on the developmental disturbances, their clinical manifestations associated with the development of the oral cavity and the pathology that can affect these structures throughout the life cycle. Students will acquire the knowledge to recognize normal and abnormal tissue anatomy as it relates to the role of the dental assistant.
  • DRSE Diagnostic Records 12.5

    • This section will provide students with a level of knowledge and skill to acquire patient information, obtain vital signs, and assist the dentist in the diagnostic stages of the dental care provided.
  • PHDE Pharmacology 10

    • This course introduces students to the basic principles of oral medicine. Students are provided with the terminology, medicinal use, physiological actions, adverse responses and classifications of drugs encountered in the dental office or commonly prescribed for clients.
  • MECE Medical Emergencies / CPR / First Aid 25

    • This component provides students with the knowledge and skills that are required to recognize and prevent medical and dental emergencies within the dental office. It will prepare students to assist the dentist in administering immediate care for the client in the dental office environment. Students also participate in CPR/First Aid training.
  • EXAM Midterm Theory Examination 5

    • In the Level 1 component of the program, there is both a midterm and final theory examination as well as a Final Practical Clinical Laboratory Examination. A mark of 75% is required on all examinations in order to advance to Level II studies. 

  • DRYE Dental Radiography 97.5

    • This course prepares students to take and process intra-oral and extra-oral dental radiographs according to provincial/federal standards. Students are introduced to basic physics and principles of radiography, safety precautions and the operation of the dental x-ray unit. They will expose dental radiographs using bisecting angle and paralleling techniques. Instruction will be provided on recognizing dental errors and solving problem situations, along with client education and management.
  • PMTE Practice Management 100

    • This segment will cover the key competencies related to office practices and administrative responsibilities of the dental assistant. This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills related to basic dental reception procedures. Topics will include the organization and management of patient records, appointment control, dental claims, financial procedures, and the utilization of dental management computer software.
  • DSSE Dental Specialties 90

    • This segment is designed to give students an overview of the various dental specialties. Students will learn the theory and practical skills relating to the various disciplines. The roles of the dental assistant will be examined in relation to these specialties. Time is also allocated in this segment for final examinations on the Phase I component of the program.
  • PSKE Professional Skills 25

    • This course is designed to equip students with interpersonal skills identified by employers as essential for success in the professional world. Using a variety of instructional methods including case studies, group exercises and discussion, students learn and practice key communication skills.
  • EXAM Final Practical Clinical/Laboratory/Theory Exam 5

    • In the Level 1 component of the program, there is both a midterm and final theory examination as well as a Final Practical Clinical Laboratory Examination. A mark of 75% is required on all examinations in order to advance to Level II studies. 

  • MOP1 Mandatory Outside Practical Phase I 80

    • This program consists of a practical component consisting of 80 hours working in private practice with a dentist during Phase I of the program. This practicum work experience is a mandatory diploma requirement and the dentist does not pay for the services of the student during the practicum.
  • SSSE Student Success Strategies 25

    • This course will introduce students to skills and concepts that will help them achieve personal, academic, and career success.
  • CESE Career and Employment Strategies 25

    • This course looks at the planning, preparation, execution, and follow-up stages of an interview. Students will learn about how people find jobs, employment expectations, transferable skills, effective telemarketing, job search management and many other helpful, career strategy topics.
  • IODE Intra-Oral Dental Assisting 300

    • This course will provide students with the theory required by an Intra-Oral Dental Assistant to perform direct patient care. An ethical decision-making framework will enable students to utilize problem-solving skills to plan for and manage direct patient care and to respond to patient-specific needs as they relate to the clinical practice of an Intra-Oral Dental Assistant. In-house clinical and outside practicum experience will provide an environment for students to apply and adapt the knowledge and skills obtained.
  • MOP2 Mandatory Outside Practical Phase II 60

    • This program consists of a practical component consisting of 60 hours working in private practice with a dentist during Phase II of the program. This practicum work experience is a mandatory diploma requirement and the dentist does not pay for the services of the student during the practicum.