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.
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.
Graduates work under a supervising professional in private clinics, specialists’ offices and community health centres as a registered dental assistant.
- Graduates of the Dental Assisting program have a 98% employment rate
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.
Credentials and accreditation
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admission and selection
- Applications are accepted until the program start date.
- Fall 2020 start: applications open Oct. 2, 2019.
- Spring 2020 start: applications opened Dec. 13, 2019.
- This program does not accept international students effective Fall 2020 intake. There are many program options for international applicants – find out more!
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,
- English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2,
- Biology 30,
- Chemistry 30.
- All applicants to SAIT must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.
SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside of 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.
- Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full.
Communication during selection
Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add email@example.com and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.
Student information and dental health examination required by the first day of class.
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 practica such as entrance requirements, 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 001 BLS Provider [Level C] CPR). Please note that only the 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. The receiving practicum site has the right to refuse students who cannot prove they have met all the required immunizations.
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.
View additional Dental Assisting program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.
Courses may be scheduled between 8:00 am — 9:00 pm.
|Course code||Course name||Credit|
|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|
|Course code||Course name||Credit|
|DENT-227||Dental Specialties I||1.5|
|DENT-262||Preventive Procedures II||1.5|
|DENT-276||Restorative Procedures II||1.5|
|XRAY-250||Dental Radiography II||1.5|
|Semester 2 total||13.5|
|Course code||Course name||Credit|
|DENT-294||Dental Specialties II||1.5|
|Semester 3 total||9.0|
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*
|Year||Tuition fees||SAIT fees||SAITSA fees||Health & Dental Plan||2019/20 total|
Campus Athletic and Recreation Fee: $160
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): $302 - Check eligibility here.
Health and Dental Fees
- Health Plan: $110
- Dental Plan: $125
- For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the SAITSA website for information on opting out.
Books and supplies*
- CPRS 001 BLS Provider (Level C) CPR course. Annual update required (CPRS 002 BLS Renewal [Level C] CPR). All CPR courses must be from the Heart and 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 are required to have access to a personal computer, printer and Internet.
- Students must have their immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $50 charge to review vaccine history. Any vaccines to be administered will result in additional charges.
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.
School of Health and Public Safety
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.
“When they go out to work, they’ve had experience. The feedback we get from industry speaks highly of our SAIT graduates,” she says.