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Dental Assisting

Certificate
Dental Assisting

Program Overview

Dental assistants play many roles, from chair-side assisting to client education to office reception. It’s a client-focused, team-based work environment. This makes attention to detail, commitment to high standards, good decision-making skills and good communication skills a must.

As part of a dental team, you’ll assist dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists in the provision of quality care either in private dental practices or in various community-based settings such as health care or educational institutions.

Note

International applicants are not currently considered for admission to this program.

Sask Polytech's nationally accredited, one-year Dental Assisting certificate program is offered at Saskatchewan Polytechnic Regina campus. You’ll learn from experienced instructors using up-to-date dental equipment and techniques. You’ll develop knowledge and skills in:

  • providing chair-side support for diagnostic, assessment, restorative and specialty procedures
  • performing intra-oral procedures as specified by Saskatchewan legislation
  • performing business and reception procedures
  • counselling patients in regard to maintaining oral health

Real-World Training

Hands-on learning in the dental clinic at the Regina campus is a highlight of the program. The clinic gives you a chance to gain clinical experience each week practicing your skills and building your confidence under the supervision of licensed professionals. You’ll also participate in three weeks of clinical experiences, each one giving you on-the-ground training in an actual dental practice.

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

When you graduate, you’ll be qualified to work in many different settings including private dental offices, community health clinics, educational facilities, health care institutions and insurance and dental supply companies.

Potential Careers

Sample Job TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
Dental AssistantDental Assistants (3411)$36,400 - $61,800

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s): August

Length: 39 weeks

Locations

  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic Regina campus

Admissions

Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 with a minimum overall average of 65% in English Language Arts A30, English Language Arts B30, Biology 30, and the highest grade in either Foundations of Math 20, Foundations of Math 30, or Pre-Calculus 30* (For Special Admission purposes, Grade 12, or GED, or equivalent is required in addition to ACCUPLACER)
  • English Language Requirement

Note

  • Standard First Aid and CPR Heartsaver " C" AED or equivalent are required prior to entry into the Dental Assisting program and must be current to the year of the program.

 

*Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirement also accepted: 

  • Highest grade in a 20 or 30 level math

Special Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through a special admission assessment. Interested individuals should still apply. Applicants are automatically considered for special admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met. Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Special Admission.

ACCUPLACER©

  • 70 Arithmetic
  • 85 Reading
  • 85 Sentence
  • 5 WritePlacer

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as books and supplies. For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program, click here to access the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus Tuition and Fee Schedules.

 

$8,200

Courses

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Semester 1

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
APHY 160
Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology
3
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You will develop a basic understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. You will discuss the concept of homeostasis and acquire knowledge of cells, tissues, organs and all the organ systems of the human body.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): APHY 189
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Theory
BUS 160
Dental Practice Management
3
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You will focus on the dental assistant’s role in practice management. You will develop skills to maintain a positive environment, manage telephone calls, process mail and control inventory and supplies. Using a computerized dental office management system, you will learn how to manage dental records, claims and accounts and schedule appointments.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): OPRO 133
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Theory
DENT 160
Dental Materials
3
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Through lecture and labs, you will study the properties and clinical use of dental materials. The course content includes the manipulation of treatment lining, restorative and luting materials.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 38.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
DENT 163
Preventive Dentistry 1
2
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You will be introduced to the concepts of preventive dentistry. You will learn the relationship between dental biofilm and oral disease. You will study the appropriate use of and indications for oral care aids and products designed to prevent and control oral disease, including fluoride. Your studies will help you develop the knowledge, skill, and attitude to practice excellent personal oral health.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 35.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Theory
DENT 166
Oral Embryology, Histology and Anatomy
3
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You will learn, through lectures and laboratory/clinical experiences, the basic anatomy of permanent and deciduous teeth, their sequence of eruption, the basic structures of the oral cavity and the supporting dental structures. You will study prenatal and postnatal development and factors that affect normal and abnormal development of the face, palate, teeth and related structures of the oral cavity.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
DNTL 162
Treatment Liners
2
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You will learn to place liners, bases and bonding systems in basic cavity preparations without pulpal exposures. You will apply treatment liners on a manikin in the laboratory setting.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 24.0
Equivalent Course(s): DENT 1604
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab
DNTL 166
Dental Care Delivery
2
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You will learn to assist with a dental examination. Working on manikins and peers in the Dental Assisting Clinic will prepare you to practice ergonomically within the dental operatory, use four-handed dentistry and develop instrumentation skills. You will take and record vital sign measurements.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lab/Practical
DNTL 167
Infection Prevention & Control
2
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Your studies will focus on infection prevention and control in the dental office. You will learn to implement policies and procedures necessary to protect yourself, clients and co-workers and to prevent transmission of disease in the dental office.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lab/Practical
DNTL 168
Moisture Control
2
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You will be introduced to a variety of moisture control methods used in dentistry. Working on manikins and peers in the Dental Assisting Clinic, you will apply and remove a dental dam and apply other isolation techniques required for dental procedures. You will learn how to maintain a clear operating field for dental procedures.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lab/Practical
DNTL 169
Permanent Restorative Procedures
4
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Through lectures and practice in a simulated environment, you will develop skills to prepare the operatory and assist with permanent restorative procedures. You will apply topical anesthetic and assist with the administration of local anesthetic. You will also learn to use the Tofflemire TM Matrix system.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lab/Practical
DNTL 170
Dental Records
1
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You will learn the importance of consent, privacy and confidentiality in relation to dental records. You will learn how to use oral health information in a dental record as well as in a computerized system. The dental assisting process of care will be introduced to provide a framework for providing quality care for clients.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 15.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Theory
RDGR 160
Clinical Radiography 1
1
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You will prepare dental bitewing radiographs for diagnostic purposes. You will be introduced to radiographic film processors and digital imaging software.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 15.0
Prerequisites(s): DENT 166(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lab/Practical
SEM 160
Orientation Seminar
1
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You will learn how the dental assistant functions within the dental health team, the workplace and society. You will be introduced to employability skills required to be successful in the dental profession. You will participate in seminars to develop study and life management skills that will help you become a successful adult learner. The course content includes an introduction to professional portfolio development and Saskatchewan Polytechnic student policies.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 18.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Theory

Semester 2

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
COM 199
Dental Assisting Communications
3
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You will study communication processes, marketing the practice, reporting suspected abuse and advocating for special needs clients as related to your role as a dental assistant. You will discuss the application of professional standards and plan for employment.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): SEM 160
Equivalent Course(s): COMM 164
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Theory
DENT 161
Dental Technology 1
3
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You will study the physical properties of materials used for taking alginate impressions and for fabricating diagnostic casts with dental stone. You will learn to take upper and lower alginate impressions with a bite record, and fabricate and finish diagnostic casts. You will critique your work by evaluating against the criteria for satisfactory alginate impressions and diagnostic study casts.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 50.0
Prerequisites(s): DENT 166, DNTL 166, DNTL 167, DNTL 168, DNTL 169
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lab/Practical
DENT 261
Dental Technology 2
1
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You will study the physical properties, materials and techniques used to fabricate matrices for provisional crown fabrication, custom provisional crowns, custom mouthguards and whitening trays. In the laboratory setting, you will produce a matrix, mouthguard, and whitening tray, as well as fabricate, cement and remove custom provisional crowns on a manikin.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 20.0
Prerequisites(s): DENT 166
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lab/Practical
DENT 282
Dental Specialties
4
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You will be introduced to prosthodontic, endodontic, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontic and periodontic procedures performed within a general dental practice. You will also discuss dental care for pediatric and geriatric clients. Your studies will focus on the specialized equipment, materials and procedures as it relates to your role as the dental assistant.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): DENT 166, DNTL 166, DNTL 167, DNTL 168, DNTL 169, DNTL 170
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
DNTL 160
Clinical Dental Assisting 1
2
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You will integrate the skills and knowledge learned in preclinical courses to prepare you to assist with clinical dentistry in the Dental Assisting Clinic. You will learn how to implement infection prevention and control procedures and communicate with clients and colleagues. You will learn to follow protocols on deportment, managing medical emergencies and providing dental office reception duties.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 24.0
Prerequisites(s): BUS 160, DENT 160, DENT 163, DENT 166, DNTL 162, DNTL 166, DNTL 167, DNTL 168, DNTL 169, RDGR 160, SEM 160, DNTL 170
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Clinical/Practicum
DNTL 260
Clinical Dental Assisting 2
7
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You will continue to develop clinical dental assisting skills in the Dental Assisting Clinic and will progress towards the competence required of an entry level dental assistant. You will also further develop dental office reception skills.
Credit Units: 7
Course Hours: 112.0
Prerequisites(s): DNTL 160(concurrent)
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Clinical/Practicum
DNTL 261
Preventive Dentistry 2
3
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You will acquire the knowledge and skills required to assess, plan, implement and evaluate personal oral self care plans for clients in a clinical setting. You will develop a dental assisting care plan specific to client needs with emphasis on oral self care and nutritional recommendations. You will use oral health promotion strategies to meet the needs of a community group.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): DENT 163, DNTL 262(concurrent), DNTL 160(concurrent)
Corequisites(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
DNTL 262
Client Care Procedures
3
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You will develop skills to perform clinical dental assisting procedures. You will learn to apply products that remove stain, prevent dental decay, whiten teeth and decrease tooth sensitivity through classroom and lab experiences on manikins and peers.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 38.0
Prerequisites(s): DENT 163, DENT 166, DNTL 166, DNTL 167, DNTL 168, DNTL 169
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lab/Practical
NUTR 262
Nutrition
1
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You will learn the basics of nutrition as it relates to general/oral health and disease. You will develop a basic understanding of the functions and dietary sources of the major nutrients; discuss the nutritional needs throughout the lifecycle as well as nutrition-related oral health issues.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 20.0
Prerequisites(s): DENT 163
Equivalent Course(s): NUTR 160
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Theory
PATH 262
Pathology
3
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You will explore common diseases of the body and oral cavity and the medication used to treat common medical conditions. The dental implications of common medications will be emphasized.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 50.0
Prerequisites(s): APHY 160, DENT 166
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Theory
PRAC 274
Dental Assisting Practicum A
2
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You will assist and/or participate in a general dental practice to enhance the development of your clinical skills. You will focus on employability and chairside dental assisting skills and the dental assisting process of care.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 35.0
Prerequisites(s): APHY 160, BUS 160, DENT 160, DENT 163, DENT 166, DNTL 160(concurrent), DNTL 162, DNTL 166, DNTL 167, DNTL 168, DNTL 169, DNTL 170, RDGR 160, SEM 160, DNTL 262(concurrent)
Equivalent Course(s): PRAC 265
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
PRAC 275
Dental Assisting Practicum B
5
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You will perform the role of the dental assistant in a general dental practice to prepare you to transition to an employment situation. You will work under the mentorship of an experienced dental assistant who, in partnership with the dentist, will offer feedback and evaluate your dental assisting skills.
Credit Units: 5
Course Hours: 70.0
Prerequisites(s): COM 199(concurrent), DENT 161(concurrent), DENT 261(concurrent), DENT 282(concurrent), DNTL 160(concurrent), DNTL 260(concurrent), DNTL 261(concurrent), DNTL 262(concurrent), NUTR 262(concurrent), PATH 262(concurrent), RDGR 261(concurrent), RDGR 263(concurrent), PRAC 274(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
RDGR 261
Radiography
1
Show course details
You will study the principles of radiation physics, biology, chemistry and safety. You will also study the theory supporting exposing, processing and interpreting dental radiographs. You will discuss methods to manage various clients who require radiographs.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 20.0
Prerequisites(s): DENT 166
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Theory
RDGR 263
Clinical Radiography 2
4
Show course details
You will learn how to take dental periapical, panoramic and occlusal radiographs for diagnostic purposes. You will also operate automatic radiographic film processors and digital imaging software. You will learn to mount dental radiographs.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 55.0
Prerequisites(s): RDGR 160
Corequisites(s): RDGR 261
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lab/Practical

PLAR & Transfer Credit

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.


Transfer Credit

Many Saskatchewan Polytechnic students benefit from transferring credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit from or to another college or university. To learn more, visit our transfer credit web page.

 

Student Awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. You don't have to be a brainiac to receive a student award. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships

Accreditation

Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada, valid for 7 years until November 2017

This program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada. As a graduate, you’re eligible to write the National Dental Assisting Examining Board exam. Examination success allows you to license with the Saskatchewan Dental Assistants’ Association as well as to work anywhere in Canada.

Additional Information

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