Dental Assistant Program

Western Community College > Programs > Dental Assistant Program

Program Overview

This program helps to prepare students to provide the services of a certified dental assistant as outlined in the BC College of Oral Health Professionals (BCCHOP)*  Bylaws under the Health Professions Act of British Columbia.

* Previously called College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (CDSBC).

The outcomes and objectives upon which students will learn also include elements of dental assisting practice which are:

  • Professional conduct
  • Safe, ethical and professional practise
  • Communication
  • Collaborative practise/teamwork
  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Dental assisting process of care
  • Provision of chairside assisting skills and clinical treatment
  • Provision of dental office administration skills
  • Provision of dental laboratory skills
Dental assistant program equipping students with hands-on skills and knowledge for assisting in dental procedures

Program Start Dates

  • March 04, 2024 - Full-Time Surrey/Abbotsford

Dental Assistant Program

  • 100% graduate employment rate
  • Earn up-to $30/HR
  • 200 hours of clinical
  • 160 hours of practicum
  • Facility affiliated with UBC

Job Opportunities

Upon successful completion of the program, the student will be eligible for the National Dental Assistant Examining Board (NDAEB) written exam and clinical practice evaluation.

Certified Dental Assistant


Earn up to $33.00* per hour as a Dental Assistant
All wages taken from the Canada Job Bank

Program Admission Requirements

High School Diploma or equivalent and proof of English Language Proficiency.

For English Language proficiency, domestic students are required to have completed Grade 10 English or successfully completed the College’s English language proficiency assessment.

International students will need to submit proof of English language proficiency by meeting one of the following requirements:

  • IELTS: 5.5 or
  • TOEFL (paper): 550 or
  • TOEFL (CBT): 210 or
  • TOEFL(IBT): 79 or
  • Canadian Language Benchmark Test (CLB): 6
  • PTE Academic: 50 or
  • Cambridge: CAE or
  • Grade 12 graduation diploma in a school system in which English is the official language, or
  • Successfully completed a pre-Intermediate certificate from a Language Canada-accredited school or
  • Successfully completed Western Community College’s English language proficiency assessment, or
  • Successfully completed a 24-week ESL program at the College

Note: Completion of grade 12 Science (especially Biology and/or Physics) is advantageous.

Prior to practicum start date:

  • Standard First Aid and CPR-C with AED or Standard First Aid-Health Care Provider.
  • Proof of a negative tuberculosis (TB) skin test.

All immunizations should be up to date, including: • hepatitis B • tetanus • measles/mumps/rubella • diphtheria • pertussis • varicella • polio • influenza (required annually)

Pathway to British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

Students completing the Dental Assistant program at Western Community College who achieve the required academic standing and meet the required admissions criteria will be eligible for admission into the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) to enter the second year of the Advanced Diploma in Business Management and get 1 year Post Graduate Work Permit*.

Request Information

Program Pathway

(1 year) Dental Assistant Program at Western Community College

Transfer to 2nd Year

(1 year) at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Advanced Diploma in Business Management (option to continue on with BBA)

1 year

Post Graduate Work Permit

Program Duration

1120 hours of instruction (40 weeks) including 160 hours work experience practicum (4 weeks).

Course Outline

1. Applied Dental Sciences 70 hours
2. Clinical Practice I 100 hours
3. Infection Prevention, Quality Assurance and Waste Management 40 hours
4. Charting, Recording and Emergencies 50 hours
5. Diagnostic Procedures and Dental Radiography 60 hours
6. Clinical Practice II 100 hours
7. Preventive Dental Procedures and Radiography 120 hours
8. Prosthodontic & Laboratory Procedures 100 hours
9. Preventive Dental Procedures II & Community Health 30 hours
10. Preparation for Employment 50 hours
11. Dental Specialties 120 hours
12. Direct Patient Care 120 hours
13. Practicum 160 hours
Total 1120 hours

Fee Structure

1 Registration Fee $250 Domestic Students
2 Tuition Fee $14000
3 Course Material $500
4 Other Fee $500
Total $15250
1 Registration Fee $250 International Students
2 Tuition Fee $19200
3 Course Material $500
4 Other Fee $500
Total $20450

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

Financial Assistance

Western Community College offers a variety of financial aid opportunities to ease students’ stress and allow them to focus on their studies. If you need extra support, we have flexible funding to accommodate all our students, no matter their financial situation.

  • BC Student Loan
  • In-house Financing
  • Student Line of Credit
  • Scholarships

Our dedicated Financial Aid Officers will help you every step of the way.


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While a basic understanding of math is important for dental assistants, the math involved in the job is generally not complex. Basic arithmetic skills and the ability to work with fractions and decimals are usually sufficient.

Most dental assistant programs take between 9-12 months to complete. However, the exact length of the program can vary depending on the educational institution and the specific program.

To become a dental assistant in BC, you typically need to complete a recognized dental assistant program and obtain certification from the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia. The length of the program can vary, but most programs take between 9-12 months to complete.

The salary of dental assistants can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and type of employer. In BC, the average hourly wage for dental assistants is around $25-30 per hour.

Like any healthcare job, working as a dental assistant can be stressful at times, particularly in fast-paced or high-volume dental practices. However, many dental assistants find the work to be fulfilling and enjoy helping patients improve their oral health.

The difficulty of the dental assistant program can vary depending on the individual’s aptitude for the subject matter and the rigor of the program. However, many students find the program to be manageable with hard work and dedication.

Some common duties of dental assistants can include preparing treatment rooms, taking patient histories, taking and developing dental x-rays, assisting the dentist during procedures, scheduling appointments, and educating patients on oral hygiene.

Some potential cons of being a dental assistant can include exposure to harmful chemicals, the risk of musculoskeletal injuries from repetitive tasks, and the possibility of being exposed to infectious diseases.

To study dental assistant, you typically need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs may also require prerequisite courses, such as anatomy or biology.

Some potential risks of being a dental assistant can include exposure to harmful chemicals and infectious diseases, musculoskeletal injuries from repetitive tasks, and hearing damage from exposure to high-pitched dental instruments.

Some potential benefits of becoming a dental assistant can include job stability, the opportunity to work in a variety of dental settings, and the ability to help patients improve their oral health. Additionally, some dental assistant programs can be completed in a relatively short amount of time, making it a potentially attractive career option for those looking to enter the healthcare field quickly.

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Why Study at Western Community College

  • Installment-based, low tuition fee.
  • 100% Practicum Placement
  • Weekday, weekend, and evening classes optionally available
  • Part-time or full-time class schedule
  • Free CLB preparation classes * Conditions Apply
  • Graduate employment rate: 97%

Admissions Contact Information

Mon – Sunday 9:00A.M. – 5:00P.M.

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