Dental Assisting (Distance) Level I & II

Dental Assisting (Distance) Level I & II

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

Become a Dental Assistant

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

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

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

What to expect

The Dental Assisting Program (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 will also be participating in important 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 also 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 in order 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 2 two-week sessions of clinical skills and assessments.

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 Assisting (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 Assisting placement

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


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, 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

  • Introduction to the Dental Profession
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Dental Sciences
  • Health, Safety and Dental Materials
  • Laboratory Practical Procedures
  • Microbiology and Infection Control
  • Medical and Dental Emergencies
  • Clinical Dentistry Theory
  • Clinical Dentistry Practical
  • Oral Pathology
  • Dental Radiography Theory
  • Dental Radiography Practical I
  • Dental Radiography Practical II
  • Practicum I
  • Business Office Management
  • Clinical Records
  • Dental Specialties
  • Prevention and Nutrition I
  • Prevention and Nutrition II
  • Pharmacology
  • Pre-Patient Care
  • Patient Care
  • Communication and Professionalism for the Dental Professional
  • Practicum II
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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