Apr 16, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2022-2023 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2022-2023 Credit Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dental Assisting

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Program Description

The Dental Assisting program focuses on patient-centered care in support of improving oral health as a key to personal health and well-being. As vital members of the dental health team, dental assistants work in private dental clinics, specialists’ offices and community health centres. Skills and content covered include clinic operations, chair-side procedures, intra-oral procedures, patient education and interpersonal skills.

Students are required to attend classes on SAIT campus for this program. Classroom learning is integrated into a dental clinic setting. The clinical components include patient education, radiographs, selective rubber cup polishing and fluoride application. This program includes an unpaid practicum at a dental office.

Program Overview

Fast Facts

  • This program should be completed full-time
  • Program Length:
    • Full-Time (3 Semesters)
  • This program is delivered in a classroom or blended format
  • Full-Time Intakes:
    • Fall
    • Spring
  • Practicum placements may occur outside of the Calgary region
  • Students require access to a personal computer and the Internet in order to complete the required courses

Your Career

Graduates work under a supervising professional in private clinics, specialists’ offices and community health centres as a registered dental assistant.

Student Success

Students who experience success in this program and profession:

  • Have higher secondary and/or post-secondary grades
  • Possess basic computer literacy
  • Are effective at communication in the English language
  • Are detail oriented
  • Enjoy working in a team environment


After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Dental Assisting certificate.

Graduates must write the National Dental Assisting Examining Board examination to be registered in Alberta. Graduates are licensed by the College of Alberta Dental Assistants as Registered Dental Assistants once they have passed the National Dental Assisting Examining Board examination.


The Dental Assisting program delivered by SAIT is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada.


The progression requirement for students taking credit courses is a Term GPA and Total Institutional GPA of 2.0, with the exception of English Language Foundations and Academic Upgrading programs.

Admission Requirements

Completion of the following courses or equivalents with an overall average of at least 60%:

  • Math 30-1 or Math 30-2, AND,
  • English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2, AND,
  • Biology 30, AND,
  • Chemistry 30.
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Program Outline

Total Credits 40.5

Program Outcomes

  1. ·  Use effective written, verbal, and non-verbal communication skills in all dental assisting practice settings.
  2. ·  Demonstrate compassion and respect in all aspects of dental assisting practice.
  3. ·  Provide patient care using the scope of practice outlined by the College of Alberta Dental Assistants.
  4. ·  Adhere to legal and ethical requirements with personal and professional accountability and responsibility to ensure the protection and safety of practitioners, patients, and the public.
  5. ·  Collaborate effectively within the interdisciplinary team to achieve a high standard of patient-centered care in all aspects of oral health care.
  6. ·  Use critical thinking skills and an evidence-based approach in all aspects of dental assisting practice to optimize patient care.
  7. ·  Plan for participation in lifelong learning and continuing education in order to excel in personal practice as a Registered Dental Assistant.
  8. ·  Educate patients, families, and other caregivers to encourage self-management and improved quality of oral health.
  9. ·  Demonstrate proficient use of technology to promote best practices in dental assisting.

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