CDA students working within the Dental lab

Certified Dental Assistant, Certificate

Excellence in the collaborative delivery of dental care

Program at a glance



Area of Study

Health Sciences

Study options


Work experience

Clinical/fieldwork placement

Open to International



10 months

At a glance image

Dental instructor reviews x-rays of people's teeth with a student

Certified Dental Assistants provide a vital health care service

Start in September!

The Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) program is fast paced, practical, hands-on and simulates the work environment. The program provides six weeks of practicum experience in a dental office to provide you with hands-on experience to be job-ready when you graduate. The CDA program is fully accredited nationally and graduates have performed extremely well on the national board exam.


You'll be working in Camosun's 24 chair, fully equipped clinic learning to prepare for and provide chair-side support to assist dentists and clients as well as independent skills and duties. You'll learn about becoming a collaborative partner in the delivery of all aspects of dental care. CDA skills include assisting the dentist at chair-side, as well as providing direct client care.

Your interpersonal skills will play a large role in your success as a CDA to meet the needs of a variety of clients.

We'll help you succeed!

You'll be given many opportunities to transfer your theory and professional communication skills into both the clinical setting at Camosun and dental offices. This helps to better understand the broad scope of your practice and to help you grow in confidence and competence.

Clinic practice is scheduled for 17 hours per week to allow you to develop clinical skills that can lead to jobs after graduation.

Hands-on learning

The field of dentistry is becoming increasingly sophisticated and technological.

In the 10 month Certified Dental Assistant program you’ll participate extensively in hands–on clinical activities. You’ll learn specific skills to assist the dentist as well as independent duties such as taking dental x-rays, impressions of teeth, placing dental dam and providing preventive care. Providing a wide variety of skills makes the job very satisfying

Community learning

You'll provide preventative dental care to the public in the Camosun Dental Clinic, practice in a live working environment through three separate practicum experiences in general dental offices in the community.

Discover your opportunities with the Canadian Forces

The Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Program has been recognized by the Canadian Forces (CF) and now qualifies for a CF Paid Education program.

CDA Online Information Session Slides

Find out more about upcoming networking and information sessions occurring at Camosun.

HHS Student Handbook

Current Information for Health and Human Services Students and CDA program specific handbook sections

An investment in your career

Invest in yourself! One year at Camosun can prepare you for a rewarding career and set you up for entry into an in-demand, financially-rewarding health care field.


Estimated tuition

Effective from September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022.

$8,586 (domestic)

$19,530 (international)

Additional Student Fees

What to expect

Located at our Lansdowne campus, the CDA program is 10 months long, full-time. Classes are scheduled for 28 hours per week with homework commitments that vary per student but amounting to about three to four hours per day including weekends.

Our program is administrated with a philosophy of self-direction and you and your 35 classmates will be expected to treat your clinical learning environment as though it were your place of employment.

Successful completion of the National Dental Assisting Examination Board (NDAEB) examination is required to qualify for registration and licensure as a CDA in British Columbia. The NDAEB examination process is external to Camosun College.

Term 1

In the fall term, you'll relate theory to practice through learning head and neck anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, radiology, nutrition, infection control, dental armamentarium and professionalism. Near the end of the term you'll participate in a one week dental office practicum.

Term 2

In the winter term you will continue to develop your theoretical knowledge and clinical skills from term one. You will also have the opportunity to apply your clinical skills outside the simulated clinical environment in community dental offices for two weeks in your second practicum.

Term 3

During the final 5 weeks of the program you will provide preventive care to children in the dental clinic for 2 weeks and participate in a 3 week practicum in a general dental office.

Curriculum & courses

Admission Requirements

Ready to get started? Get your application in for the September intake.

When you apply you will need to submit proof that you meet the following admission requirements.

Tip: Where a letter grade is specified, you must have proof of that grade or higher.

One of:

One of: 

And all of:

  • Grade 12 graduation or equivalent

For more detailed information about this program and specific admission requirements, see the Academic Calendar.

Missing admission requirements?

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Academic Calendar

Our Teaching Staff

Camosun College is fiercely proud of the excellent quality of its instruction. Our teaching staff are experienced, inspiring and supportive of our students’ individual journeys.

Faculty/staff profile

Mandy Hayre

Mandy Hayre

Chair of Dental Programs

Mandy has contributed to the profession of dental hygiene for over 25 years and loves her profession more every day!  She graduated from dental h ...

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Faculty/staff profile

Melody Weimer

Melody Weimer

Program Leader, Instructor

Melody Weimer graduated from Wascana Institute in Regina Saskatchewan with a Diploma in Dental Therapy in 1984, and a Diploma in Dental Hygiene in 198 ...

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Faculty/staff profile

Sandra Woodrow

Sandra Woodrow

Clinic and Practicum Lead, Instructor

Sandra Woodrow started her career as a Certified Dental Assistant over three decades ago after graduating from Douglas College. For many years, she wo ...

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Faculty/staff profile

Kim Stonehouse

Kim Stonehouse


Kim graduated with merit from Bellingham Vocational Technical College and successfully completed the requirements of the College of Dental Surgeons of ...

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Dental Building Public Entrance

Learn more

Find a full list of courses and specific admission requirements.

Contact information

Dental Assistant & Hygiene Department

Campus location

School of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Camosun College Lansdowne
Dental Health Centre
3100 Foul Bay Road
Victoria BC V8P 5J2

Location link

Lansdowne Campus



International Admissions

International students please contact International Admissions