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Dental Assisting

Open for Fall 2017

Length: 10 Months
Credential: Certificate
Available: Full Time Classroom

Program Highlights

Learn to educate dental patients and assist dentists and hygienists in chair-side procedures by becoming a dental assistant for private dental clinics, specialists’ offices or health centres.


Grad Employment Rate


Median Starting Salary

Upcoming Information Sessions

Tuition and Fees Per Year*

Year 1: $6,995
Year 1 (International): $22,124

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change


You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and space is available. 

When can you apply?

Fall 2017 start: applications are accepted Oct. 19, 2016 to Sept. 5, 2017.

Program Details

Program description

Watch a video about Dental Assisting studies at SAITThe 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.

The program is divided into two 15-week semesters and one eight-week semester. 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 one unpaid four-week practicum in the third semester at a dental office which may be outside of Calgary. Students in this program require access to a personal computer and the Internet to facilitate completion of required online 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 with higher secondary or post-secondary marks usually experience greater success in SAIT programs.

Basic computer skills are advantageous to dental assistants. Students who experience success in this program have effective communication skills in English. Health care practitioners are detail oriented in the care they provide and enjoy working in a team environment.

Transfer Options

Once completed, this SAIT credential may be eligible for transfer credit at another post-secondary institution. Visit Transfer Options to learn more about the transfer agreements currently available to SAIT graduates and incoming students.

Have questions? Write to us at transfer.options@sait.ca.

Admission Requirements

Admission and Selection

  • Fall 2017 start: applications are accepted Oct. 19, 2016 to Sept. 5, 2017.

Admission Requirements

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

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

Direct Entry: Four Step Process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Apply to Dental Assisting and submit your transcripts and/or anticipated final grades.

  • Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full.
  • A minimum of 74 seats will be offered for the fall intake.

Step 4: Find out how to monitor your application status after you apply.

Additional Requirements

Student information and dental health examination required by the first day of class.

Practicum Requirements

The School of Health and Public Safety has many practica partners located within Alberta and across Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited and students may be required to relocate outside of Calgary for practicum.

Successful candidates will be informed of the allocation of their practicum placement by the program. There is no guarantee that students will be placed at their desired practicum location. Special considerations of personal circumstances will not be given in regards to assigning practicum placements. Students will be responsible for fees associated with practicum such as relocation and travel costs. In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, successful candidates will be requested to provide proof of the following requirements:

  • Current Heart and Stroke Foundation Health Care Provider Level (C) CPR must be valid from October until the end of June for the academic year of study. SAIT offers the above CPR course on a continuous basis (CPRS 212 Health Care Provider). Please note that only Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada CPR certification will be accepted.

  • Updated Immunization Records: Most practicum sites require students to demonstrate updated immunization status prior to attending practicum. Successful candidates will be asked to provide an up-to-date immunization record to the SAIT Health Clinic as part of the program orientation. Failure to do so could jeopardize a student's ability to complete the practicum portion of his/her program. The receiving practicum site has the right to refuse students who cannot prove they have met all the required immunizations. Please review the immunization process document for specific details. It is advised to start the immunization process early as it can take some time to complete.

  • Security Clearance: According to the Protection for Persons in Care Act, our practica sites require that students obtain a Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check, prior to going on practicum. Any criminal code offence for which a pardon has not been received may be a deterrent to a student's entry into practicum, and therefore will result in an uncompleted program or non-graduating status. Successful candidates will be asked to provide a clear Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check record to the School of Health and Public Safety main office by orientation day. Please review the security clearance process document for specific details. Be aware that record must be dated no earlier than 90 days prior to your program orientation day (typically orientation day is held the week prior to the first day of class).

  • Health and Wellness Status: Due to the demanding nature of the work in the health care field and Occupational Health and Safety requirements, the health care field has a strong focus on health and wellness. Students with a medical condition or disability that may impact them in a practicum setting are strongly advised to discuss concerns with the program academic chair and/or SAIT Accessibility Services as soon as possible upon acceptance into the program. Please review the attached document for guidance on entering an allied health program with a medical condition or disability. 

More details on the practica requirements per program are outlined on a pre-orientation website for successful candidates.


Program outline

  • To find the course description for a course shown below please go to our Course Finder.
  • This program is being reviewed and could undergo changes.

Semester 1

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
DENT-201 Clinical Foundations 1.5
DENT-202 Preventive Procedures I 3.0
DENT-206 Restorative Procedures I 3.0
DENT-207 Dental Emergencies & Records 3.0
DENT-237 Oral Anatomy & Histology 3.0
INFC-215 Infection Prevention & Control 1.5
XRAY-200 Dental Radiography I 3.0
Semester 1 Total 18.0

Semester 2

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
DENT-227 Dental Specialties I 1.5
DENT-252 Prosthodontics I 3.0
DENT-262 Preventive Procedures II 1.5
DENT-263 Practice Management 3.0
DENT-276 Restorative Procedures II 1.5
NUTR-230 Nutrition 1.5
XRAY-250 Dental Radiography II 1.5
Semester 2 Total 13.5


Semester 3

Dental Specialties II

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
DENT-278 Prosthodontic Procedures II 1.5
DENT-294 Dental Specialties II 1.5
DENT-297 Preventive Procedures 3.0
PRAC-278 DA Practicum 3.0
Semester 3 Total 9.0
Program Total 40.5


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.


Domestic tuition and fees*

YearTuition feesSAIT feesSAITSA fees2016/17 total
1 $6,052 $420 $523 $6,995

International tuition and fees*

YearTuition feesSAIT feesSAITSA fees2016/17 total
1 $21,181 $420 $523 $22,124

SAIT fees

Campus athletic and recreation fee: $160
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): $260

SAIT Students' Association fees

Health Plan: $110**
Dental Plan: $125**
SAIT Students' Association (SAITSA): $288

Books and supplies*

  • CPRS 212 Health Care Provider course in CPR. Annual update required - CPRS 222 Health Care Provider Renewal. All CPR courses must be from the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Call SAIT Life Support Training at 403.210.4009 for further information.
  • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practicum including relocation costs.
  • There is a fee associated with obtaining a police information check (including Vulnerable Sector Check), payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
  • National Dental Assisting Examining Board exam fee is approximately $450.
  • College of Alberta Dental Assistants annual dues are approximately $300.
  • Books, supplies and uniform are approximately $1,500.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (Rx safety glasses, face shields) may range from $100 - $750 depending on individual requirements.
  • Students must have a personal computer and access to the Internet. Most classes are taught at SAIT, but some require online access. All courses require additional self‐study.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.
** For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the SAITSA website for information on opting out.

Contact Information

School of Health and Public Safety

Inspiring Stories

SAIT students have the opportunity to work on actual patients to hone their skills and put the classroom theory into practice. Stacy says SAIT follows industry standards so graduates are prepared for the real world – something employers appreciate.

Stacey Chaisson
Dental Assisting | 2015

“When they go out to work, they’ve had experience. The feedback we get from industry speaks highly of our SAIT graduates,” she says.