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Dental Assisting

CDI College's Dental Assisting 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 handle other general administrative duties. Students study environmental health and safety and oral facial science, along with other core dentistry subjects.

CDI College's Dental Assisting program is the only private Dental Assisting program in BC that is accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC). The program provides both comprehensive and intensive education and training leading to a career as a Certified Dental Assistant. Students are exposed to activities that utilize the advances in the practice of dentistry. Graduates of this program are eligible to become a candidate for the National Dental Assisting Board Examination (NDAEB), which is a mandatory component for licensure and registration with the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia. Historically, graduates of the Dental Assisting Program received between 97%-100% passing rate in the NDAEB since its implementation in 2007.

Note: The Burnaby, Surrey, and Victoria campuses have received full accreditation.

Admission Requirements
  • High school graduation or equivalent*, or mature student** status.
  • Criminal record check (in accordance with the Criminal Records Review Act).
  • Immunization report (form provided by college)

*From an English-language teaching institution
**19 years of age upon starting classes and Pass the college's admissions test

This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Program Courses

MOP2 - Mandatory Outside Practical 2
This program includes a practicum component in private practice with a dentist. This practicum work experience is a mandatory diploma requirement and the dentist does not pay for the services of the student during the practicum.
IODE - Intra-Oral Dental Assisting
This course will provide students with the theory required by a 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 a dental assistant. In-house clinical and outside practicum experience will provide an environment for students to apply and adapt the knowledge and skills obtained.
CESE - Career and Employment Strategies

This course builds on the skills learned in the Student Success Strategies course or its equivalent.  It provides information on how to use the communication skills learned in order to make a successful presentation to a prospective employer.  Students also learn how to uncover the hidden job market and identify employment opportunities.  Self-assessment during this course allows students to identify their personal skills that are transferable to the work place and to describe these skills to a prospective employer.  Students may be videotaped during a mock interview and will participate in the analysis of their performance in the “interview”.

SSSE - Student Success Strategies

This course will introduce students to skills and concepts that will help them achieve personal, academic, and career success: Personality styles, goal setting, time management, stress management, study skills, and communication skills/conflict management.

DOCA - Mandatory Outside Practical
This program includes a practicum 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.
FTEE - Final Theory Examination
In the Phase I component of this program, there is a Final Exam as well as a Final Practical Clinical/Laboratory Examination. A mark of 75% is required on all examinations in order to advance to Phase II studies.
DSSE - Dental Specialties
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.
PMTE - Practice Management
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.
DRYE - Dental Radiography
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.
MDTE - Midterm Theory Examination
In the Phase I component of this program, there is a Midterm Exam as well as a Final Practical Clinical/Laboratory Examination. A mark of 75% is required on all examinations in order to advance to Phase II studies.
MECE - Medical Emergencies/CPR/First Aid
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.
PHDE - Pharmacology
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.
DRSE - Diagnostic Records
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.
OPAE - Oral Pathology
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.
PDTE - Prevention of Disease Transmission
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.
PDNE - Preventive Dentistry and Nutrition
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.
CDYE - Clinical Dentistry
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. Students will learn the principles of cavity preparation; moisture control; instrument identification; instrumentation; care of instruments and sterilization; clinical equipment; team dentistry; operating zones; team positioning; identifying name and function of dental instruments; and assisting and all aspects of four-handed and six-handed dentistry.
EHSE - Environmental Health & Safety WHMIS
This course also introduces 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.
DMSE - Dental Materials
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. Topics include structure and properties of dental materials; dental materials and the oral environment; restorative and aesthetic dental materials; dental cements, liners, bases, and bonding systems; impression materials; gypsum products pouring and trimming of models; fabrication of custom trays; and waxes acrylic material and precious metals.
OFSE - Oral Facial Science
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. Topics include body direction and planes; structural units; body regions; body systems; oral embryology and histology; tooth morphology; nomenclature and identification; facial and intra-oral landmarks; general anatomy of the tooth and periodontium; anatomy of head and neck; numbering systems; and blacks cavity identification.
ODYE - Orientation to Dentistry
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. Topics include the history of dentistry, members of the dental team, responsibilities of the dental team members, professional organization, dental ethics, dentistry and the law, and dental terminology.
IOIE - Orientation to Dental Assisting Program
This course provides an overview and introduction to the Dental Assisting 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.

CDI College - Dental Assisting Program

CDI College's intensive, 45-week Dental Assisting program is perfect for anyone looking to make a career change and move into the field of dentistry. 

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