Dental Assisting

Information Session
To find and register for an info session.
32 weeks
Program Start Date
April 4, 2022
Application Deadline
March 21, 2022
Tuition (Domestic Students)

About The Program

Tom Lee College’s (TLC) Dental Assisting Program offers academic, clinical courses and experiences which educate and prepare students for a career as a Certified Dental Assistant. Within this full-time 32-week certificate program, students will develop the clinical, professional and interpersonal skills, acquiring the knowledge and capabilities needed to succeed in this profession.

After completion of the program, graduates are eligible to become a candidate for the National Dental Assisting Board examination. The exam is required for a certified dental assistant registration license with the College of Dental Surgeons of BC. Students will have to apply to sit the written examination and clinical evaluation process. Upon successfully earning the NDAEB Certificate, graduates will then be eligible to apply for certification with the provincial dental regulatory body, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC.

Learning Objectives

The graduate will be able to:

  • Work successfully as a member of a dental team,
  • Work closely with all dental team members in a variety of dental settings,
  • Be able to provide comprehensive dental assisting care to persons from all socio-economic, educational, physical and cultural backgrounds,
  • Be able to assume responsibility for the prevention of disease transmission in the dental clinic work environment,
  • Perform the dental assisting functions that are legally allowed in a safe and ethical manner,
  • And be able, if necessary, to assume primary responsibility for the management of both the treatment areas and reception areas of the dental practice.

Career Opportunity

Graduates from TLC’s Dental Assisting Program will have the opportunity to either work as a chairside assistant or to complete the NDAEB examination and evaluation process to be eligible for application as a Certified Dental Assistant. Career opportunities for certified dental assistants are considerable as they may be employed in various clinical settings including general and specialty dental practices, hospital dental clinics, community health agencies, and educational institutions. Graduates may also find employment in related fields such as dental sales or dental product manufacturers.

Why this program?

Why Tom Lee College's Dental Assisting Program is better?

Tom Lee College
Other Private Institution
Short-term 32 weeks
44 weeks plus
Once a year
Tuition & Fees
(Domestic Students)
$16,000 *Include service fee and textbooks
$25,000 plus
Practicum Host Organization Arrangement
Clinical observation opportunities during the program
Real-dental field connection
Offer practical, work- integrated learning experience at Dr. Tom Lee Sedation dental group*.
* Tom Lee College’s Dental Assisting program is affiliated with Dr. Tom Lee Sedation Dental Group.
Find out 5 location of Sedation Dental offices,


Domestic Students

Registration Fee
Tuition Fee
Course Material & Other Fees

How to Become a CDA?

How to become a Certified Dental Assistant in BC after graduate Tom Lee College's Dental Assisting Program?

Tom Lee College
Other Institution
Step 1 Complete program
8 months
10 - 11 months
Step 2 Written Exam
Written Exam by National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) 4 times/year
Step 3 Clinical Evaluation
Clinical Practice Evaluation (CPE) by NDAEB 4 times/year CPE Preparation simulation course is provided.
Clinical Practice Evaluation depends on the institution.
Step 4 Registration
After passing NDAEB written and clinical exam, graduates can be registered as a Certified Dental Assistant in Dental College of BC.
** NDAEB Written Exam & CPE exam fee should be paid by each students

Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements

Tom Lee College welcomes applications from domestic students. To best accommodate and ensure the success of all of our students, Tom Lee College offers practical and high standards of dental education.

Program Requirements

The minimum requirements for admission to the program are:

  • Be at least 18 years of age, and
  • Have earned a high school graduation diploma or equivalent; or
  • Be of Mature Student Status*
* Mature Student Status applicants will be required to complete an interview process with the head of the program to consider eligibility for admission and ensure that the applicants have the required capabilities for success in the program

English Requirements

English is the language of instruction at Tom Lee College. All prospective applicants must demonstrate language proficiency by meeting ONE of the following requirements:

  • A minimum of a C+ final grade in English 12; or
  • Verified English Language Proficiency at a grade 12 level - see below

International applicants must meet the accepted test scores of English language proficiency as noted:

  • IELTS (Academic) - score of 6.0 or higher
  • TOEFL - score of 80 or higher (iBT)
  • LPI - score of 30

Additional Admissions Requirements

Upon acceptance, the following will also be required:

  • Criminal record check in accordance with the Criminal Records Review Act
  • Proof of a negative TB skin test or chest x-ray
  • Documentation of the following immunizations:
  • Chickenpox;
  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella [MMR];
  • Tetanus;
  • Polio;
  • Pertussis;
  • Diphtheria;
  • Hepatitis B or Hepatitis A/B Combination;
  • Flu Vaccination (required annually).
  • Covid-19 Vaccination

In addition to the above, the following are recommended characteristics for dental assistants:

  • Self-motivated
  • Health-oriented
  • Team-player
  • Compassionate, calm, kind and caring
  • Good verbal and written communication

Prior to entering the program, applicants are also encouraged to spend time in a dental practice observing the dental team in providing patient care.


Term 1

DA100 Introduction to Dental Assisting

Students will be introduced to what it means to be a dental health care professional. Students will begin to learn of the different areas of dentistry and common medical and dental terminology, tooth numbering systems, tooth functions, surfaces and restoration classifications, and dental materials used in the provision of basic assisting. Preparation for practice theory will be introduced and will include time management, critical thinking, confidentiality, and the fundamental principles of effective communication as they relate to patient and team interactions.

DA101 Health Sciences

This course will provide theory and knowledge as it relates to both general physical and oral health. Students will be provided foundational knowledge in microbiology, infection prevention and control, general and dental anatomy, including histology, embryology, morphology, pharmacology, and nutrition.

DA102 Clinical Dentistry

Within the clinic component of this course, students are introduced to the related practical applications of the theories provided in this course, as well as within DA100 and DA101. In preparation for practice, students will actively be engaged in the practical applications related to clinic and treatment area preparation, operations and maintenance, infection prevention and control processes, patient communication, assisting with dental examinations, chairside assisting, instrument usage, and basic diagnostic procedures.

DA103 Preventive Dentistry I

The theory and clinical components of this course introduce concepts of oral self-care, periodontal disease, creating a preventive care treatment plan, oral self-care agents, dental prophylaxis, dietary counselling as it pertains to oral health, and the learning and teaching process as it applies to patient interaction. 
Prerequisite: DA100, DA101, and DA102.

DA104 Dental Administration

This program provides the student with general and practical knowledge related to dental administration. Students will be provided with a general knowledge of dental software systems and have the opportunity to practice their knowledge utilizing the dental software system.

Term 2

DA203 Preventive Dentistry II

This course continues from Preventive Dentistry I to prepare the learner to perform the direct patient care procedures that a Certified Dental Assistant in BC may perform under the supervision of a dentist. Pre-clinical activities taught in this course. Skills will be taught in a progressive manner, practiced on dental manikins and then on student partners as indicated within the course outline. Students will be required to participate in a Public Health Care activity where they will be providing oral self-care instruction and dental related nutritional information.

DA204 Dental Radiography

In the theory portion of this course, students are taught the fundamentals of radiographic (x-ray) physics, the safe and efficient practices required for exposing and processing dental radiographic images, paralleling, and bitewing techniques, and quality assurance. 

DA205 Dental Laboratory

This course provides the learner with information and practical experiences related to basic dental laboratory procedures, including laboratory equipment, laboratory materials, gypsum products, fixed and removable prosthodontics, and custom appliances.

DA206 Dental Specialties

This course provides foundational knowledge on the recognized Canadian dental specialties, as well the common clinical procedures associated with the specialty. Theory sessions will provide detailed information about the need for and the provision of common dental treatments associated with each specialty.

DA210 Dental Practicum I

This practicum experience provides the opportunity for students to practice and grow their dental assisting skills in a general dentistry practice. It focuses on professional conduct, communication skills, clinical support procedures, chairside assisting, patient oral care instruction, and basic lab procedures.

No certified dental assisting duties may be performed during this practicum.

Term 3

DA300 Direct Patient Care Clinic

During this course, students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their new skills and knowledge and provide preventive dental services to patients in an on-site public clinic setting. Students will be evaluated on their skills under the direct supervision of a clinic instructor, a dentist or a dental hygienist.

DA301 Professional Development

Students will create resumes, experience mock employment interviews, and identify and assess various employment avenues. Communication skills developed throughout the academic year will be highlighted and refined.

DA302 NDAEB Examination and Clinical Practice Preparation

In advance of the student completing the program, this course will provide the learner with an opportunity to have guided revision of the theory presented throughout the entire program in advance of the graduate sitting the NDAEB Written Examination and CPE.

DA310 Dental Practicum II

This final dental practicum experience will provide the opportunity for the students to practice the full range of their skills as permitted by the sponsoring dentist.