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.
  • English Language Proficiency (TOFEL or IELT) for international students
  • A signed agreement (Dental Clinic Verification form) with a sponsoring dentist verifying two days (10 hours) per week clinical dental assisting experience in general dental practice for the duration of the program
  • Admission interview either in person or phone call – Before any student can be accepted into the Dental Assisting Distance program, they must submit the following documentation to Willis College:
  • Official transcripts and educational documents as required by their course or program
  • A Criminal Record Check (Vulnerable Sector) under the Criminal Records Review Act
  • Proof of a negative TB skin test within the past 4 months as well as a completed immunization report 
  • A current “C” certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid, or paid proof of registration for this certification. It is the student’s responsibility to provide Willis College with this certification upon completion.
  • A current resume

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
When I first started at Willis I was a shy, self-conscious girl… but Willis changed all that! My time at Willis was knowledgeable, fun and most importantly self-rewarding. The PSW program was amazing. I learned so much. All of the staff are absolutely awesome; they looked at you as a person and not just a number filling up a seat. Rachel Goyer Personal Support Worker

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