Dental Assistant (Distance) Level I & II

Dental Assistant (Distance) Level I & II

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Campus:
Ottawa Campus
Delivery:
On Campus ,   Online
Program Length:
48 weeks
Diploma Issued:
ontario

Become a Dental Assistant

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

The Dental Assistant (Distance) program consists of online clinical instruction in a dental office and a work term placement throughout the program. Successful completion of the program’s online, clinical, and work term components will qualify the student to receive their Willis College diploma. In addition, students are required to write and successfully pass the National Dental Assistant Examining Board (NDAEB) Examination

The tuition costs for the program do not include the cost of the written NDAEB examination.

What to expect

You can watch our latest Dental Assistant (Distance) Webinar here. 

The Dental Assistant (Distance) consists of 44 weeks of highly structured, full-time/instructor-paced education, using a combination of online and on-campus clinical training and practicum placement. Students also participate in essential skills building in their host Dental Office. This 44 -week program consists of two days per week in a placement at a dental practice, as well as three days per week of highly structured, instructor-led online learning. Students spend four weeks at the Willis College dental clinic in Ottawa, Ontario.

Students must secure a clinical placement at a general or specialty dental office for two days (10 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 to help reinforce and enhance the course content. Willis 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 four weeks at Willis College’s Dental Clinic. These four weeks are broken down into two two-week clinical skills and assessments sessions.

The distance theory courses use the campus learning management system, Moodle. Lesson plans include learning activities, self-assessments, study questions, assignments, tests, and final exams performed online. All clinical courses (four weeks in total) are conducted on-site at Willis 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 Assistant (Distance) program?

  • The distance program will have you career ready in under a year
  • You don’t have to wait – regular online start dates
  • Hands-on experience at our dental lab and in your host Dental Practice 
  • Get real-world experience right in your local community
  • No relocation needed


With the Willis College Distance Learning Model:

  • You acquire firsthand observational and hands-on experience in a dental office, two days per week
  • Gain hands-on experience and participate in skills assessments during on-campus labs 
  • Develop career experience through your Dental Assistant placement


Total program length:
40 weeks of Theory 4 weeks practicum, 44 weeks in total, potentially 48 weeks with applicable breaks

Questions?

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Job Market

Due to the rising number of dental practices across Ontario, 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.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements:
Canadian High School diploma or equivalent. Willis College Admission’s Team uses the Wonderlic assessment tool.

For Mature Students:
If you don’t have a High School Diploma, we have admissions options specifically for you depending on which province you are in enrolling. Please contact us to see how our Admissions Team can help you achieve your new career.

Note: Students with foreign credentials, regardless of whether their documents have been translated/compared or not, should be tested to establish literacy in the English language.

In addition to the above, students will be required to have an Immunization Form signed by a doctor including TB 1&2 completed by the 4th week of classes, sign a criminal record check waiver (the waiver acknowledges that if they have a criminal record this could limit their employment possibilities) and First Aid & CPR Level C certifications must be completed by 4th week of classes.

Are you looking to apply as an International Student?

Find out more about international student admissions requirements.

Program Outline

Please click on the course title to see the course description.

  • Introduction to the Dental Profession

    This course will examine professionalism and the legalities of all members of the dental team and will enable students to understand the expectations of the profession and the workplace. Students will consider their role on the dental team, identify other members of the team, develop an appreciation for being affiliated with a profession, and learn how to use a problem-solving approach to deal with conflicts that may arise within the dental team.
  • Anatomy and Physiology

    Students are introduced to normal anatomy and physiology, beginning with a basic understanding of the workings of the human body. Students will be taught detailed anatomy of the head and neck, including bones of the cranium and face, temporomandibular joint, musculature, nerve supply and circulation, salivary structures, and anatomical features of the tongue.
  • Dental Sciences

    Students will examine the normal development of the oral cavity and facial complex, as well as the teeth and attachment unit. In addition, students will learn about Black’s Cavity Classification, Tooth Numbering Systems and Angle’s Classification of Occlusion.
  • Health, Safety and Dental Materials

    The first section of this course will introduce students to the proper handling of hazardous chemicals, employee safety, and waste management. In addition, students will learn how to avoid musculoskeletal disorders commonly associated with dental assistance. In the second section, students are provided with the fundamental knowledge of the biomaterials commonly used in the dental environment. Lectures will cover the physical and manipulative characteristics of the various dental products and the Laboratory Practical Procedures course (LABP) will prepare students to correctly manipulate these diverse materials.
  • Laboratory Practical Procedures

    This course is an introduction to the techniques of Laboratory Procedures using the skills required to manipulate dental materials. Students will learn to create diagnostic models, whitening trays, sports guards, and custom impression trays.
  • Microbiology and Infection Control

    Students will study the common microorganisms and pathogens, with an emphasis on those found in the oral cavity. Students will be able to practice effective infection-control procedures in the dental environment to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Medical and Dental Emergencies

    This component provides students with the knowledge and skills that are required to recognize and prevent medical and dental emergencies within the dental office and will prepare students to assist the dentist in administering immediate care for the patient in the dental office environment.
  • Clinical Dentistry Theory

  • Clinical Dentistry Practical

    Students will be introduced to a wide variety of instruments and procedures used in dentistry. This component will assist students in developing the chairside working knowledge required to facilitate smooth interactions with the dentist to provide quality care for various procedures. Students will learn the theory and practical elements (CDEP) of restorative dentistry. Emphasis is placed on the Dental Assistant’s role in operative procedures, including chairside assisting and the implementation of the dental materials used in dentistry.
  • Oral Pathology

    This course focuses on the developmental disturbances of the oral cavity and their clinical manifestations. The course will also cover the pathology that can affect these structures throughout the life cycle. Students will acquire the knowledge to recognize normal and abnormal tissue anatomy as it relates to the role of the Dental Assistant.
  • Dental Radiography Theory

    This theory-based course prepares Dental Assisting students to expose and process intra-oral and extra-oral dental radiographic images according to HARP standards. Students are introduced to basic physics and principles of radiography, safety precautions, quality assurance protocols, and the operation of the dental x-ray unit. Instruction will be provided on recognizing dental errors and solving problem situations, along with patient education and management. This course will provide students with the theoretical knowledge to apply during the clinical practical courses, DRP1 and DRP2. Successful completion of this course, along with DRP1 and DRP2, will permit the student to fully participate in prescribed radiographic procedures within the dental office upon graduation
  • Dental Radiography Practical I

    This hands-on course prepares students to expose, process and mount intra-oral and extra-oral dental radiographic images according to HARP standards. Students will review the basic physics and principles of radiography, safety precautions, and the operation of the dental x-ray unit. Within the dental lab setting, students will expose digital radiographic images using Paralleling techniques on radiography manikins under the direct supervision of the HARP Approved Clinical Instructor. Instruction will be provided on recognizing dental errors and solving problem situations, patient education, and management. Quality assurance procedures are emphasized, as well as observation of all safety protocols. Successful completion of this course, along with DRAT and DRP2, will permit the student to fully participate in prescribed radiographic procedures within the dental office upon graduation.
  • Dental Radiography Practical II

    This hands-on course prepares students to expose, process and mount intra-oral and extra-oral dental radiographic images according to HARP standards. Students will review the basic physics and principles of radiography, safety precautions, and the operation of the dental x-ray unit. Within the dental lab setting, students will expose digital radiographic images using Bisecting techniques on radiography manikins under the direct supervision of the HARP Approved Clinical Instructor. Instruction will be provided on recognizing dental errors and solving problem situations, patient education, and management. Quality assurance procedures are emphasized, as well as observation of all safety protocols. Successful completion of this course, along with DRAT and DRP1, will permit the student to fully participate in prescribed radiographic procedures within the dental office upon graduation.
  • Practicum I

    Students will apply their theoretical knowledge to the practical setting under the supervision of a Dentist and the dental team.
  • Mid-Term Theory Examination

    Students are evaluated on course materials from the beginning of the program until the midpoint of the program.
  • Business Office Management

    This course will cover the key competencies related to office practices and administrative responsibilities of the Dental Assistant. This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills related to basic dental reception procedures. Topics will include the organization and management of patient records, appointment control, dental claims, financial procedures, and the utilization of dental management computer software.
  • Clinical Records

    This course will introduce students to the various records and charts used in a dental office, as well as the importance of diagnostic records and treatment planning. Emphasis will be placed on charting and record keeping.
  • Dental Specialties

    This course is designed to give students an overview of the various dental specialties. Students will learn the theory in conjunction with the practical skills (CSPE) relating to the various disciplines. The role of the Dental Assistant will be examined in relation to these specialties. Lectures, reading assignments, and laboratory projects (CSPE) will provide a basic understanding of specialties and their unique requirements within the dental office. This information permits the student to understand the importance and unique requirements of the dental knowledge and equipment used in the specialty practice.
  • Clinical Specialties

    Students will learn the practical skills relating to the various specialties. The role of the Dental Assistant will be demonstrated in relation to these specialties.
  • Prevention and Nutrition I

    This course will provide an opportunity for students to learn about and discuss techniques and skills required to assist patients in the prevention and control of disease and injury to the oral tissues. Emphasis is placed on communication skills and methods of assessing, implementing, and evaluating individualized hygiene. Students will also be able to apply the knowledge of proper nutrition by referencing Canada’s Food Guide.
  • Prevention and Nutrition II

    Students will apply the theory obtained in PDN1 in the clinical setting, demonstrating communication skills and methods of assessing, implementing, and evaluating individualized hygiene
  • Pharmacology

    This course will introduce students to the basic principles of oral medicine. Students will be provided with the terminology, medicinal use, physiological actions, adverse responses, and classifications of drugs encountered in the dental office or commonly prescribed for the patient.
  • Pre-Patient Care

    This course will provide students with the skills required by an Intra Oral Dental Assistant to perform direct patient care. An ethical decision-making framework will enable students to utilize problem-solving skills to plan for and manage direct patient care and to respond to patient-specific needs as they relate to the clinical practice of an Intra Oral Dental Assistant. The in-house clinic will provide an environment for students to apply and adapt the knowledge and skills obtained.
  • Patient Care

    This course will provide students with the skills required by an Intra Oral Dental Assistant to perform direct patient care. An ethical decision-making framework will enable the students to utilize problem-solving skills to plan for and manage direct patient care and to respond to patient-specific needs as they relate to the clinical practice of an Intra Oral Dental Assistant. The in-house clinic will provide an environment for students to apply and adapt the knowledge and skills obtained.
  • Communication and Professionalism for the Dental Professional

    Students will study the mechanisms of human behaviour (including learning, memory, cognition, motivation, and emotion) in the dental environment and how client behaviour can be modified towards habits that foster improved oral health. Verbal and nonverbal communication techniques will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on using the communication skills learned to work as part of a team in planning and completing a presentation project. Job preparedness and professionalism will also be discussed, with an emphasis on preparing an appropriate resume and cover letter for the dental profession.
  • Practicum II

    Students will apply their theoretical knowledge to the practical setting under the supervision of a Dentist and the dental team.
  • Final Theory Examination

    Students are evaluated on course materials from the beginning of the program until the completion of the program.
Willis College gave me the tools and skills necessary to make my transition to P.S.W a very successful one. Very professional teachers and enrollment staff. Thank you Willis College. Pat Donahue Personal Support Worker

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