There are two levels of dental assisting in BC:

Certified Dental Assistants (CDA) are trained in diploma courses held in colleges throughout the province. They are trained to assist the dentist during treatment of the patient and are qualified to carry out some procedures on patients under the direction of the dentist. See training programs.

Non-Certified Dental Assistants require no formal training because hands-on training is provided in the dental office by the dentist. The scope of duties that can be performed by a Non-Certified Dental Assistant are limited, and unlike those of Certified Dental Assistants, do not include procedures provided to the patient. BCDA has created an online learning course to support on-site training at a private dental clinic. See Learning Opportunities.

Career Trek Video: A Day with a Dental Assistant

Certified Dental Assisting Programs in BC

Accredited Programs 

Non-Accredited Programs 

Online Certified Dental Assisting Programs​​

General Requirements for Enrollment in CDA Programs*

  • BC Grade 12 graduation/equivalent or mature student status
  • C or 65% or higher grade in English 12; Biology 12
  • BC Government Criminal Record Check
  • Proof of immunization status
  • Valid Standard First Aid/CPR Level C certificate
  • Proof of negative TB status
  • Computer literacy

​*contact sc​hools for specific entrance requirements

Non-Certified Dental Assistant Learning Opportunities

BCDA offers free, introductory online learning modules to help anyone interested in starting a dental career learn about the role and responsibilities of a Dental Assistant in the dental office. These modules are only an initial step, all Non-Certified Dental Assistants need to have hands-on training in the dental office with trained dental staff and under the supervision of a dentist. Dental Assistants and other dental office staff can take the Radiography Module at Vancouver Community College or at CDI College.

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