Dental Assisting (Distance) Sydney Campus |

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Become a Dental Assistant

As a student in the Dental Assisting (Distance) program, you will learn to assist the dentist in all dental procedures performed in a general dental practice. As well, you will learn to administer individualized patient education and treatment as outlined under the scope of practice for dental assistants practicing in Nova Scotia.

The Dental Assisting (Distance) program consists of online, clinical instruction, and a work term placement throughout the program. Successful completion of online, clinical, and work term components of the program will qualify the student to receive their CBBC Career College diploma. Students will be required to write, and successfully pass, the National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) Examination. If the Dental Assisting Program (Distance) does not receive accreditation status, students will be required to take the NDAEB Clinical Practical Exam (CPE) to receive provincial licensing. However, if the Dental Assisting Program (Distance) does receive accreditation status, students will only be required to write the National Dental Assisting Examination Board (NDAEB) Examination to receive provincial licensing.

The tuition costs for the program include both the costs of the written NDAEB examination and the NDAEB CPE Exam.

What to expect

The Dental Assisting Program (Distance) consists of 50 weeks of highly structured, full-time/instructor-paced education, using a combination of online, on-campus clinical training, and practicum placement. This 50-week program consists of two days per week in a work-term placement at a dental practice, as well as three days per week of highly structured, remote, and instructor-led online learning. Students also spend five weeks at CBBC’s dental clinic.

Students must secure a clinical placement at a general or specialty dental office for two days (14 hours) per week for the duration of their studies. The Dental distance curriculum is designed with these two-day clinical placement experiences throughout the program in order to help reinforce and enhance the course content. CBBC Career College will confirm these mandatory clinical placement hours regularly throughout the program. In addition to the two days per week placement at a dental office, all distance students spend a mandatory five weeks at CBBC Career College’s Dental Clinic. These five weeks are broken down into 2 two-week sessions and 1 one-week session of clinical skills.

The online theory courses use the MOODLE learning management system that includes learning activities, self-assessments, study questions, assignments, tests, and final exams performed online. All clinical courses (five weeks in total) are conducted on-site at CBBC Career College’s Dental Clinic. Clinical competencies are developed in sequence on manikins (Dexter), peer-to-peer, and patients.

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Why choose the Dental Assisting (Distance) program?

  • The distance program will have you career ready in under a year
  • Hands-on experience at our dental lab
  • Get real-world experience right in the local community
  • No relocation needed
  • Career Services support including job search, resume writing, and interview skills
  • 99% pass rate on the first try of the NDAEB Board Certification Exam by our on-campus graduates in the past seven years

With the CBBC Career College Distance Learning Model :

  • You get firsthand observational experience in a dental office, two days a week
  • Gain hands-on experience during on-campus labs
  • Develop career experience through your Dental Assisting placement

Total program length: 50 weeks

Do you have questions?

Request more information below or check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

admission requirements

  • Academic Grade 12 graduation consisting of a Grade 11 science or integrated Grade 10 science or GED
  • English Language Proficiency (TOFEL or IELT) for international students
  • A signed agreement (Dental Clinic Verification form) with a sponsoring dentist verifying two days (14 hours) per week clinical dental assisting experience in general dentistry or specialty dental practice for
    the duration of the program
  • Admission interview either in person or phone call – Before any student can be accepted into the Dental Assisting Distance program, they must submit the following documentation to CBBC Career College:
  • Official transcripts and educational documents as required by their course or program
  • A Criminal Record Check (Vulnerable Sector) under the Criminal Records Review Act
  • Proof of a negative TB skin test
  • A current “C” certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)or paid proof of registration for this certification. It is the student’s responsibility to provide CBBC Career College with this certification upon completion.
  • A current certificate in Oxygen Administration or paid proof
    of registration for this certification. It is the student’s responsibility to provide CBBC Career College with this certification upon completion.
  • A current resume

Program Outline

  • Chair Side Procedures

    Students will be introduced to the clinical setting, proper clinic protocol, and procedure. Students will be familiarized with chair side skills. This will be introduced to the student by using textbooks, pictures, and videos via Moodle. These skills will be reinforced when students participate in DA-600 Dental Office Practicum.

  • Communications and Dental Office Administration

    This course will provide the students with the ability to effectively communicate with their patients and co-workers. It will also look at the professional code of conduct expected of a dental assistant and it allows the students, through classroom role-playing experiences, to experience real life situations that require effective communication and ethical decision making. It will also demonstrate the proper procedures required to effectively operate the front office of a dental practice and it will emphasize the importance of the front office staff. Students will be exposed to insurance forms, claim procedures, basic information regarding account management, as well as being exposed to some of the specialized computer software and programs used in the dental office setting.

  • Dental Laboratory Techniques and Procedures

    This DA-206 module will offer the student online instruction regarding impression taking, model/cast pouring and trimming, and custom tray fabrication.

  • Dental Office Practicum

    The students will be placed for 71 days (497 hours) at a dental office for this Module. This practicum placement will commence during week 5 and continue for 2 days per week (sometimes 1 day per week depending on statutory holidays) for the duration of the 47-week program. It is the student’s responsibility to secure this placement prior to admission to the program.
    The dental assistant’s skills for this practicum are broken into 2 categories. Category one, Chairside skills; category two, intra-oral skills.

    The student’ s chairside skills (Category one) portion of this DA Program will be introduced from the beginning of this Dental Assisting program. Students will initially observe and then perform these chairside skills at the dental office practicum. It isn’t until the student completes Module DA-205 (A) after week 24 that the students observe and then perform intra-oral skills (Category two).

    Throughout this entire DA-600 Module, the students will be required to observe and perform those skills learned in all modules of the online and on-site clinic components of the program to gain practical experience and enhance knowledge in both chair side and intra-oral skills.

    This placement is mandatory. Attendance will be taken daily at the dental office where the student is placed. The student will have a Competency Assessment Tool (CAT), which breaks down all the skills that are required by Registered Dental Assistants (RDA) to perform. This CAT will be a tool that records both observation and hands-on chairside and intra-oral skills.

    CBBC’s Dental Assisting instructor will randomly visit the student’s practicum placement a minimum of 5 times during their student’s Dental Office Practicum.

  • Dental Sciences and Basic Terminology

    This course will encompass the study of basic dental terminology, introductory anatomy and physiology with special emphasis on head and neck anatomy, the natural dentition, and the occlusion and development of the teeth, as well as an introduction to the oral cavity and its structures in a healthy normal state. This course will allow the student to identify abnormal dental conditions caused by oral diseases or systemic diseases with oral manifestations.

  • Dental Specialties

    This section of the dental assisting course will provide the students with a series of lectures, seminars and office rotations offered by dental professionals who specialize in various areas of dentistry. The role of the dental assistant in the areas of Pedodontics, Orthodontics, Periodontics, Endodontics, Prosthodontics, and Oral Surgery will be discussed.

  • Infection Control and Microbiology

    Students will be educated in the importance of proper aseptic technique from basic hand washing procedures to disinfection and sterilization techniques. They will also be introduced to common microorganisms present in the oral cavity and their role in the prevention of patients’ oral health as well as their role in infectious diseases and understanding standard precautions. This course will also include WHMIS and OH&S.

  • Intra-Oral Procedures/Rad/Lab Skills (Clinic 1)

    This course will provide the student with the basic knowledge and skills required to successfully assist in all clinical procedures. The students will be expected, in a clinical situation to practice and demonstrate such intra-oral skills as placement and removal of a rubber dam, placement of cavity liners, and insertion and removal of matrices and wedges etc. The student will be expected to demonstrate proper infection control when practicing all procedures. This DA 205 (B) theory module comes after the DA-205 (A) Intra-Oral Procedures/Rad/Lab Skills (Clinic 1). This DA-205 (A) clinic module introduces the hands-on skills before the theory DA-205 (B) theory is introduced.

  • Intra-Oral Procedures and Skills (Theory)

    This course will provide the student with the basic knowledge and skill required to successfully assist in all clinical procedures. The students will be expected, in a clinical situation to practice and demonstrate such intra-oral skills as placement and removal of a rubber dam, placement of cavity liners, and insertion and removal of matrices and wedges etc. The student will be expected to demonstrate proper infection control when practicing all procedures. This DA 205 (B) theory module comes after the DA-205 (A) Intra-Oral Procedures/Rad/Lab Skills (Clinic 1). This DA-205 (A) clinic module introduces the hands-on skills before the theory DA-205 (B) theory is introduced.

  • Introduction to Dental Radiology

    The student will be educated in the theory and technique regarding dental radiographs. The course will emphasize the importance of dental radiographs, proper radiograph techniques and methods, common technique and processing errors, safety precautions, and proper use of radiograph and processing equipment. 17 hours of this DA-202 80-hour module occurs before DA-205 (A) Intra-Oral Procedures/Rad/Lab Skills (Clinic 1) and 33 hours of DA-202 Module will occur after the DA-205 (A) Intra-Oral Procedures/Rad/Lab Skills (Clinic 1).

  • Medical Emergencies and Pharmacology in Dentistry

    This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills to properly prevent, assess, and handle medical emergency situations. Students will learn about different medical conditions, the emergencies that can arise as a result and the proper ways to manage the emergency. The course will also provide knowledge of common drugs used in dentistry and the effects of certain drugs as relevant in dentistry. Students will also be required to research and present a medical condition and how this relates to dental health.

  • Observation Placement

    The students will be placed for one day at a dental office. This placement is an observation only and will take place in early October. At this point in the program students will have gained limited knowledge and concepts with infection control, dental terminology and some chair side topics. Students are not permitted to perform any activities on this placement, only to observe. This will provide the student with a beneficial opportunity to gain a better perspective and appreciation for the profession. It is the student’s responsibility to find this placement for DA-405. This dental office placement will be the same dental office placement location as DA-600, which is also the student’s responsibility to find.

  • Oral Care Theory and CBBC Patient Clinic (Clinic 2)

    This is a hands-on clinic where students will provide care for real patients from the community in a supervised clinical setting. This will allow the student to bring together all aspects of the curriculum and demonstrate their competency, knowledge and acquired skills. The lecture portion will simply be a time to reflect on the students’ clinical experiences for that week and work out any issues of concern involving the clinic.

  • Oral Health Education and Nutrition

  • Patient Records and Charting

    This course will cover the importance of keeping a detailed and thorough patient record. The student will be educated in the importance of reviewing and maintaining an accurate health history for the patient, proper charting technology, how to read, interpret and explain the contents of a dental chart, as well as the legal aspects associated with the patient record and chart. 23 hours of this DA-106 50-hour module occurs before DA-205 (A) Intra-Oral Procedures/Rad/Lab Skills (Clinic 1) and 27 hours of DA-106 module will occur after the DA-205 (A) Intra-Oral Procedures/Rad/Lab Skills (Clinic 1).

job market

Due to the rising number of dental practices across Nova Scotia, there is now a shortage of dental assistants in the province. According to jobbank.gc.ca, the outlook for dental assistants projects growth for the next number of years.

CBBC is the best decision that you can make for yourself. The education, the hands-on experience, and the amazing instructors make the time fly by. You learn skills that translate into real job experience. If you are looking to go to college, choose them! Once you become a part of the CBBC family, your dreams become realities! Stephanie Melski Medical Office Assistant / Cape Breton Regional Hospital

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