The Dental Assisting Program is designed to provide students with the education, technical knowledge, and clinical experiences to perform treatment support procedures, patient care procedures, assist with general and specialty dental procedures, manage dental practices and coordinate laboratory services.
The program offers students experiences in communications, understanding and application of anatomy, radiology, safe working practices, and employment skills as well as varied opportunities to develop as a professional with critical thinking and decision making abilities. Students interact with patients and members of the dental team in the NAIT Dental Clinic and in their two professional experiences courses.
The Dental Assisting program was featured in Project President, where students instructed NAIT President Dr. Glenn Feltham on how to place a dental dam on a mannequin. See the full story and photo gallery.
Did you know?
In 2012, Dental Assisting students had a 100% success rate on the National Dental Assisting Board exam for the 13th straight year. NAIT students scored 10% higher than the national average for first-time takers of the exam.
The Dental Assisting program is undergoing a curriculum revision as part of NAIT’s commitment to program excellence. Beginning in the fall of 2014 program length may move from a one-year certificate program to a two-year diploma program. Revised course descriptions will be posted to the program web page when available.
Grade 12 English / Biology 30 / Chemistry 30 / One of: Science 30, Math 30 (Pure or Applied) or Math 30-1 or 30-2, Math 31, Physics 30, Social Studies 30-1 or a 30-level language other than English
Competitive Entrance: 75% overall average
Non-Academic RequirementsCertifications - Proof of Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support for Healthcare Provider (HCP) CPR Training including AED will be required on the 1st day of class.
Immunizations - Student Immunization Requirement Form will be required on the 1st day of class. Once you apply to the program, start your immunization requirements immediately as it make take several months to complete. Required immunizations are measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Hepatitis B and Hepatitis B titre test and Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis (dTap). Documentation is required for all immunizations. Your on-site or off-site clinical placement may be restricted, limited or denied if you do not have current and complete immunizations.
Computer literacy - You must have basic computer literacy, which includes basic word processing, spreadsheets, Internet and email.
Additional Requirements and Information
Any prospective students with serious skin disorders such as psoriasis, dermatitis or latex allergy should consider this carefully before applying to this program. Those with back, arm or neck problems or significant health challenges are advised to consult with the Program Chair. As well, students are required to be patients for fellow students in a clinical setting. Official documentation from a physician or dentist must be presented if a student is unable to be a patient.
English Language Requirements
As English is the language of instruction in all programs at NAIT, you must have an adequate knowledge of written and spoken English as a prerequisite for admission. Regardless of country of origin or citizenship status, you must demonstrate English-language proficiency prior to being accepted. For more information, please see English Language Proficiency.
Advanced & Transfer Credit
For advanced credit to be awarded you need to meet with the course instructor to have your course equivalency assessed. To request advanced credit, you need to have transcripts, course outlines, course objectives, and previous courses taken. For more information, see Contacts.
Students are required to successfully complete 2 practicums during the second Semester.
Professional Experience I
Consists of a half day weekly clinical opportunity at the University of Alberta Dental Clinic.
- Salary: none
Dates: January to April
Relocation: not required
Professional Experience II
- Length: 4 weeks (160 hours)
- Salary: none
- Dates: May to June
- Relocation: not required
Dental practice experience may involve working evenings and weekends. Students are responsible for any transportation expenses they incur.
Accreditation & Industry Certification
The NAIT Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada. After successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to write the National Board Examination. Graduates must successfully complete this examination to register with the College of Alberta Dental Assistants. Students must be registered in Alberta and certified in Canada to gain employment in Alberta.
Fees & Expenses (Year One)
Tuition International: $12400.00
Books & Supplies: $3180.00
Recreation & Athletics Fee: $140.00
Health & Dental: $238.00
Disclaimer: All fees are subject to change. This information is provided to help you estimate your costs for student financing.
Scholarships & Bursaries
For general application and special selections, ranging from $500 to $5,000, see Scholarships & Bursaries.