Faculty of Health Sciences

Launch a career as a certified dental assistant

Launch a career as a certified dental assistant

Become a valued member of a dental health care team and work right alongside a dentist to provide oral care.

Dental assistants support a dentist with procedures or surgeries at chair side. They also perform independent duties such as placing dental dams, taking dental x-rays and teeth impressions, and providing preventive care to clients, including polishing teeth and applying sealants.

51's 10-month Certified Dental Assistant certificate program equips you to perform all these tasks and more. Small class sizes foster a holistic climate for learning and allow for close interaction with instructors who are industry experts.

You learn the art of handling patients with professionalism and aplomb. You also get an unparalleled amount of chair time in our top-of-the-line facility to practice what you learn and develop a high level of technical proficiency.

Additionally, the program includes two practica, which provide you with full-time experience in a dental office and prepare you for future employment.

This program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Upon completion, you are eligible to write the National Dental Assisting Board examination, which is mandatory for certification and registration with the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C.

Career Outlook for dental assistants

According to WorkBC, demand for dental assistants is expected to grow from 2018 to 2028. With advances in dentistry, people keep their natural teeth much longer, and require ongoing care and multiple, regular interventions.

Moreover, the dental field is evolving rapidly and becoming more diverse. Teeth whitening and cosmetic dental procedures are growing in popularity, opening new areas of practice for dentists and assistants alike. Certified dental assistants are generally in higher demand than those without post-secondary education and may perform a wider range of duties such as taking x-rays, polishing teeth, and educating patients about oral hygiene.

Sophisticated innovations and procedures such as digital technologies, laser dentistry, and implant surgery are revolutionizing the industry and opening opportunities for dental clinics to offer expanded services and personalized treatment plans.