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Dental Assisting

Program Duration: 55 weeks

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

ITCE - Introduction to Computers

This course is a broad-based introduction to using a personal computer. It teaches the fundamentals of an operating system and the most popular application software including word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. You will also learn about the Internet, Web browsers, electronic mail and antivirus software. The course is based on the Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft Office 2016 and a variety of popular software programs for the Internet-related and security-related applications.

BC-CDCA - Communication, Diversity and Cultural Awareness

A specially designed course that places emphasis on communication and interpersonal skills to promote diversity and cultural awareness. The importance of the communication and human relations is explored through case studies and role playing. Students learn relevant techniques of human behaviour and how they may be applied to communication and interpersonal skills. Learning basic communication skills especially relating to the healthcare field will assist the student in dealing with the workplace environments and patients. Understanding cultural differences and encouraging diversity can add a new dimension and safer patient healthcare delivery to the healthcare settings. Emphasis on language rights, to preserve and honour diverse cultural heritages, promote social equality and justice through recognition of individual differences is also discussed. The aim of the course is to raise awareness of culture and diversity, and provide culture general frameworks and tools on approaches to, tactics in and etiquette surrounding working and communicating across cultures. Students also participate in Psychological First Aid training.

  • Communication Styles
  • Barriers to Communication
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Diversity
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Legislative Framework
  • Human Rights Act
BC-ODAE - Orientation to Dental Assisting

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. A realistic introduction to the profession of dental assisting will be provided. It is intended to provide all students with a common place to begin the dental assisting program. This course will also 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 problemsolving approach to deal with conflicts that may arise within the dental team.

  • Overview of the Dental Assisting Program
  • History of Dentistry
  • Members of the Dental Team
  • Responsibilities of the Dental Team Members
  • Professional Organization
  • Dental Ethics
  • Dentistry and the Law
  • Dental Terminology
BC-ORSE - Oral Facial Sciences

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. This course will also discuss the developmental disturbances, their clinical manifestations associated with the development of the oral cavity.

  • Body Direction and Planes
  • Structural Units
  • Body Regions
  • Body Systems
  • Oral Embryology and Histology
  • Developmental Disturbances
  • Tooth Morphology, Nomenclature and Identification
  • Facial and Intra-Oral Landmarks
  • General Anatomy of the Tooth and Periodontium
  • Anatomy of Head and Neck
  • Numbering Systems
  • Blacks Cavity Identification 
BC-DMLPE - Dental Materials and Laboratory Procedures

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.

  • 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
  • Waxes Acrylic Material, Precious Metals
  • CAD / CAM procedures
BC-MBICS - Microbiology, Infection Control and Safety

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. Students will study the common microorganisms and pathogens with emphasis placed on those found in the oral cavity. Students will acquire the knowledge to recognize normal and abnormal tissue anatomy as it relates to the role of the dental assistant. Students will learn about the pathology that can affect the structures of the oral cavity throughout the life cycle 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 in accordance to published regulatory agency guidelines.

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Diseases of the Oral Tissue
  • Dental Caries, Periodontal Disease
  • Methods of Disease Transmission
  • Blood-Borne Pathogens
  • Ergonomics
  • Associations and Organizations
  • Infection Control Guidelines
  • Dental Office Waste Management
  • Asepsis Sterilization; Disinfection
BC-CDENT - 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.

  • Principles of Cavity Preparation
  • Moisture Control
  • Instrument Identification
  • Instrumentation; Care of Instruments; Sterilization
  • Clinical Equipment
  • Team Dentistry; Operating Zones; Team Positioning
  • Identifying Name and Function of Dental Instruments
  • Assisting in all aspects of four-handed and six-handed dentistry
  • Pain Control
BC-PDNE - Preventive Dentistry and Nutrition

This section will also provide fundamental theories of learning and teaching and will give the student the opportunity to apply this knowledge in the dental clinic setting. Importance is placed on communication skills and methods of assessing, implementing, and evaluating individualized hygiene.

  • Client Education
  • Sealants, Fluoride
  • Oral Hygiene Methods
  • Dental Health Education
  • Nutrition
BC-OADRS - Oral Assessment and 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. Oral assessment and treatment planning vital to the dental assisting practice will be covered in this course. Students will acquire knowledge in dental record management in accordance to the provincial dental regulatory guidelines. Electronic and paper-based dental charting will be introduced and will be practice throughout the duration of the program. The course will also cover identifying challenges, assessing needs and modifying treatment to accommodate medically and physically compromised patients

  • Treatment Planning, Vital Signs
  • Dental Charting
  • Patient Records
  • Standard Criteria for Record Keeping
  • Recording the Dental Exam
  • The Medically and Physically Compromised Client
BC-EMPHC - Emergency Procedures and Pharmacology

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 learn basic terminology, medicinal use, physiological actions, adverse responses, and classifications of drugs encountered in the dental office or commonly prescribed for patients Students also participate in CPR/First Aid training and psychological first aid.

Diagnostic Signs
Obtaining Vital Signs
Medical Dental Histories
Medically Compromised Clients
Physically Compromised Clients
Recognition of Medical Emergencies
Preventing Medical Emergencies
Emergency Equipment
Emergency Responses
Administration of Medication
Schedule of Drugs, Prescription Writing
Classification of Drugs
Drug Reference Material
Anesthesia and Pain Control
Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation – CPR Level C
First Aid
Psychological First Aid

BC-MDTE - Mid-Term Exam

Students are assessed on the theoretical knowledge covered up to the mid point of the Phase 1 of the program

BC-DRAD - 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 using analog and digital 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.

  • Basic Principles of Radiation
  • Dental X-Ray Machine
  • ALARA concept
  • Generation of an X-Ray
  • Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation
  • Radiographic Techniques
  • Radiographic Images
  • Digital Radiography
  • Image Production Techniques
  • Anatomical Landmarks and Mounting of X-Rays
  • Radiographic Faults and Artifacts
  • Asepsis Techniques
  • Provincial/Federal Guidelines
  • Quality Assurance
BC-PMGNT - 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.

  • Reception Procedures
  • Maintenance of Clinical Records
  • Dental Insurance Forms
  • Appointment Control
  • Basic Bookkeeping – General, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Petty Cash, Payroll, and Documentation
  • Fee Management
  • Computerized Appointment Scheduling, Insurance Forms, and Accounts Receivable
BC-DNTSP - 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.

  • Endodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Orthodontics,
  • Fixed Prosthodontics and Removable Prosthesis
BC-FTEE - Final Theory Examination

Students are assessed on the theoretical knowledge covered up to the end of the Phase 1 of the program

BC-FTPE - Final Clinical Practical / Laboratory Exam

Students are assessed on their practical clinical and laboratory skills.

BC-DAPRC1 - Mandatory Outside Practical (Level I)

This program includes a practicum component consisting of 75 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.

BC-OCLWS - Open Clinic and Workshop

The time allocated for this course will be utilized for open clinics, remediation sessions, workshops, presentations and conferences and field trips. Open clinics will provide additional time for students to practice clinical and laboratory skills of their choice and to have any remediation as deemed necessary. Peer feedback is recommended during open clinics to encourage collaboration amongst the students. Attendance to workshops, presentations and conferences and field trips will provide the students with added learning opportunities other than those offered within the school environment.

BC-SSSD - Student Success Strategies

Students will gain a better understanding of themselves through an exploration of their personal attributes, transferable skills and learning styles. This course will introduce techniques for time, conflict, and stress management and develop interpersonal communication skills. Fundamental study and motivation skills will be covered, preparing students to excel in their program of choice. Students will also prepare a professional resume and learn how to write effective cover letters.

CES4 - Career & Employment Strategies

This course looks at the planning, preparation, execution, and follow-up stages of an interview: how people find jobs; employer expectations; presenting an enthusiastic attitude; focusing on the right job; transferable skills; the job interview; effective resume preparation; cover and thank you letters; effective telemarketing; tapping the hidden job market; handling objections; job search management; self-confidence and self-esteem building; mock interviews (video-taped); and individual counselling and coaching.

BC-IODST - Intra-Oral Dental Assisting

This course will provide students with the theory required by a Certified 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 Certified Dental Assistant. In-house clinical and outside practicum experience will provide an environment for students to apply and adapt the knowledge and skills obtained.

  • Polishing Clinical Crowns of Teeth with Rubber Cup or Brush and Polishing Pastes
  • Applying Topical Anticariogenic Agents
  • Taking Study Model Impressions
  • Application and Removal of Dental Dam
  • Applying Fissure Sealants
  • Applying Topical Anaesthetics
  • Placing and Removing Matrices and Wedges
  • Applying Treatment Liners in Teeth without Pulpal Involvement
  • Evaluating Dietary Habits and Providing Nutritional Counselling as it Pertains to Dentistry
  • Coronal Whitening Application
  • Removing Sutures
  • Apply Acid Etch and Cavity Bonding
  • Applying Desensitizing Agents
  • Removing Periodontal Dressings
  • Performing Pulp Vitality Tests using Electric Pulp Tester and Thermal Pulp Tester
  • Removing Retraction Cord
  • Certified Clinical Skills Practice and Evaluation – Certified skills clinical practice under the supervision of a dental professionals in CDI College dental facilities.
  • Students are required to work on patients (minimum of 9) for practice and evaluation.
BC-IODAPR - Mandatory Outside Practical (Level II)

This program includes a practicum component consisting of 100 hours working in private practice with a dentist during Phase 2 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.

BC-COMPX - Program Comprehensive Exam

The Program Comprehensive Exam is used to assess the students on the theoretical components covered in the Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Dental Assisting program.

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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