Dental Assisting

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.

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
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 four weeks of clinical experiences, each one giving you on-the-ground training in an actual dental practice.
  • 64 students accepted each year
  • As a student, you will experience a combination of classroom, lab instruction, practicum placements and clinical in the newly renovated on-campus Dental Clinic.
  • Our enclosed and individualized operatories, upgraded ventilation, lighting, dental chairs and equipment provide a great environment for both students and clients.
  • Class hours are 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily with 30-40 hours of homework each week outside of class time.
  • All courses have an online course system, Brightspace, that provides powerful tools to help supplement your learning.
  • Lab courses involve instructor demonstration, hands-on participation and peer group activities. 
  • Regular attendance is expected, as well as active participation in group work and effective course management.
  • 16 students are accepted each year.
  • The online/blended model allows students to study class theory at home and join mandatory in-person scheduled labs/seminars and clinical experiences at the Regina campus. Scheduled labs/seminars and clinical experiences typically occur a few days per week over the course of each semester and may include evening and weekend programming. 
  • As a student, you will experience a combination of lab instruction, practicum placements and clinical in the newly renovated on-campus Dental Clinic.
  • Our enclosed and individualized operatories, upgraded ventilation, lighting, dental chairs and equipment provide a great environment for both students and clients.
  • Expect 30-40 hours of homework each week outside of class time.
  • All courses use Brightspace as the online course system
  • Lab courses involve instructor demonstration, hands-on participation and peer group activities. 
  • Regular attendance is expected, as well as active participation in group work and effective course management.

 

 

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 title NOC classification
Dental assistant (Registered, licensed or certified) Dental assistants & dental laboratory assistants (33100)
Chairside assistant - dental Dental assistants & dental laboratory assistants (33100)
Intra-oral dental assistant Dental assistants & dental laboratory assistants (33100)
Dental clinical assistant Dental assistants & dental laboratory assistants (33100)

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)
  • Effective September 2024: Grade 12 with a minimum of 70% in Biology 30 and a minimum overall average of 70% 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.
  • Accepted applicants are required to provide evidence of 2015 WHMIS Globally Harmonized System (GHS) certification upon admission into the program. Recertification will be required every three years to remain current. The cost of WHMIS certification is your responsibility.

*Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirement also accepted: 

  • Highest grade in a 20 or 30 level math

Alternative admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through an alternative admission assessment. Applicants are automatically considered for alternative admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met.

ACCUPLACER©

Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Alternative Admission using Accuplacer.

  • 250 Arithmetic
  • 256 Reading
  • 250 Writing
  • 5 Writeplacer

Post-secondary

Some programs allow applicants to meet the admission grade level requirement using 15 approved post-secondary credits. Review additional information.

If the program applied to has specific course requirements, they may be met through alternative post-secondary courses. Review already approved courses that may be used for admission purposes for your programs.

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 approximate cost for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.

2023-24 academic year

$15,650

Courses

Get credit for what you know

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

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

See link(s) below to get more information about PLAR.

Transfer credit

Many Sask Polytech students benefit from transferring course credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit to Sask Polytech or to another college or university.

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. 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 CanadaThis 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.

Dental Hygiene

Additional information