Dental Assistant Level I & II (Distance) Frequently Asked Questions

Dental Assistant Level I & II (Distance) Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE DELIVERY STRUCTURE OF THE DENTAL ASSISTING DISTANCE PROGRAM?

The Dental Assisting Distance program at Willis College is 44-weeks long; it is comprised of 24 courses. Each component of this program is structured and consists of a mandatory two day per week (10 hours) at a dental practice and a minimum 15-hours per week required to be logged into a Learning Management System (Moodle), two (2) two-week clinics to be completed at Willis College’s Dental Clinic. Students will have 3 mandatory online instructor-led classes every week that will guide them, step-by-step, through the required materials such as assigned readings, discussions, videos, assignments, tests, etc. Students will start and finish one module before moving on to the next module. All modules are academic and have an online final exam.

IS THERE A PLACEMENT INCLUDED IN THE DENTAL ASSISTING DISTANCE PROGRAM?

A mandatory prerequisite for this Dental Assisting Distance program is a signed agreement (included in the admission requirements section of Willis College’s website) with a Dentist verifying a mandatory two day per week (10 hours) of clinical chairside dental assisting experience in a General Dentistry practice. There is 100 hours of graded mandatory placement requirement for the program. 

WHAT IS THE TIME FRAME FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE DENTAL ASSISTING DISTANCE PROGRAM?

The Dental Assisting Distance program is 44-weeks long, potentially 48 weeks with breaks. The 44-week program consists of a mandatory 2 days per week (10 hours) of placement at a practicing dental office, a mandatory 3 days per week (15 hours per week) of online classes where a student is logged in, and a 4-week compulsory clinical skills training at Willis College’s Dental Clinic. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange transportation and lodging during these 4 weeks of clinic.

Students are strongly encouraged to book these accommodations when they start the program to ensure they have secured accommodations.

WHAT ARE THE JOB OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE FOR A LEVEL II DENTAL ASSISTANT?

A Level II Dental Assistant works as an integral member of a dental team providing dental treatment both independently and as an assistant to the dentist. General dental and dental specialty practices are the leading employers of Dental Assistants. Opportunities, although limited, also exist in hospitals, with insurance, and dental sales companies, community dental health agencies, and in research and education.

IS THERE A NATIONAL BOARD EXAMINATION THAT MUST BE TAKEN BEFORE PRACTICING AS A REGISTERED DENTAL ASSISTANT?

All graduates of any Dental Assisting program in Canada are required to write the NDAEB’s (National Dental Assisting Examining Board) written board examination, except for Quebec. These written NDAEB Exams are scheduled quarterly in every province across Canada. Students graduating from non-accredited programs must also take the NDAEB’s Clinical Practice Evaluation if you are practicing in another province. 

HOW CAN I SECURE MY TWO DAYS PER WEEK MANDATORY PLACEMENT AT A DENTAL PRACTICE FOR THE DENTAL ASSISTING DISTANCE PROGRAM?

We suggest potential students start with their family dentist. If sponsorship is not available, your family dentist may have colleagues who are looking for a Chairside Dental Assistant. Another option is to look at online classified ads posted on various clinic or third party websites.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE DENTAL ASSISTING IN-PERSON PROGRAM AND THE DENTAL ASSISTING DISTANCE PROGRAM?

The on-site Dental Assisting program (DA) is a 46-week full-time program. The Dental Assisting Distance program is 44-weeks. In the distance program, students spend three days per week studying online with instructor support for a minimum of 5 hours per day. The remaining 2 days per week are spent in a dental office (5 hours per day.) The distance program provides students exposure to the role of a Dental Assistant earlier than the on-site program.

WHAT IS THE QUICKEST TIME THAT A STUDENT CAN COMPLETE THE PROGRAM?

The Dental Assisting Distance program is a 44-week program. Due to the interaction between students and their instructors, lab schedules, and clinical placement hours, it cannot be finished earlier or extended.

HOW MANY HOURS OF STUDY ARE REQUIRED PER WEEK?

In addition to the two mandatory days per week (10 hours) placement at a dental practice, students must commit to a minimum of 15-hours per week of online time. The hours are monitored and recorded remotely on the learning management system. These 15 hours include interaction with instructors via video, discussion, assignments, and tests. Students should be prepared to commit significant hours to homework assignments outside of the regularly scheduled 25 hours of class and dental practice time. All online students must travel to Willis College’s Dental clinic for a total of 4 weeks.

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