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Students provide dental exams to patients.

Dental Assisting (University of Saskatchewan)

Closed for Fall 2018

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. This SAIT program is offered through the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), Saskatoon campus.

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Next Information Session

All Information Sessions

Tuition and Fees Per Year (U of S)*

Year 1: $13,158

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


You will be offered admission to this program if you meet the admission requirements and qualify through competitive entry. Competitive entry is based on academic ranking. 

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2018 open July 1, 2018.
TermProgram start
Fall 2018 Sept. 4, 2018

The University of Saskatchewan logo

This program is offered in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan

Program Details

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.

The program is divided into two 15-week semesters and one eight-week semester. Students are required to attend classes on the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) 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 Saskatoon. 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.

  • Graduates of the Dental Assisting program have a 98% employment rate

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.

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 (NDAEB) examination to be registered in Saskatchewan. Graduates are licensed by the Saskatchewan Dental Assistants Association as Registered Dental Assistants once they have passed the National Dental Assisting Examining Board examination.

National Dental Assisting Examining Board

Applicants applying for examination from formal schools of dental assisting education not accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) must have their credentials reviewed by the Candidate Eligibility Assessment Committee (CEAC), prior to being granted eligibility for registration for examination.

As this is a new program, the program has provided a letter of intent to the CDAC to go through the process this year.

What does this mean for you as a student of the program?

Upon approval of CEAC for application for the NDAEB exam, students will apply to write their written exam.

In Canada, all Dental Assistants seeking registration must successfully complete the National Dental Assisting Examining Board written exam. As this is a new program and will not achieve accreditation until after the completion of the first year (based on the outcome of the accreditation visit), students will have the option of completing the NDAEB Clinical Practical Exam or waiting until November when the decision on accreditation status is made to register as a Dental Assistant in Saskatchewan. In the interim, after successfully completing the NDAEB written exam, students may work as a dental aide until they either complete the NDAEB Clinical Exam or await the accreditation status decision.

Following attainment of your NDAEB Certificate (successful completion of the written and clinical practical exam) you are eligible to apply for registration and licensure in Saskatchewan.

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

Applications are accepted until the program start date.

  • Fall 2018 start: applications open date: July 1, 2018

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,
  • 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 accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada.

Competitive Entry: Six 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: Review the selection information to understand the process and deadlines 

  • Applications and proof of the admission requirements (transcripts and/or anticipated final grades) along with all supporting documents must be submitted to be included in selection.
  • In the selection process, qualified applicants will be academically ranked based on admission requirements. Applicants will be offered admission or placed on the waitlist in order of academic ranking.

Step 4: Apply to Dental Assisting and submit your transcripts.

Step 5: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status. If eligible, your status will indicate that you're "In Selection."

Step 6: Continue to monitor changes to your application status through mySAIT.ca.

Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.

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 hps.info@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages. 

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 Saskatchewan, Alberta, and across Canada. Practicum placements in Saskatoon are limited and students may be required to relocate outside of Saskatoon 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 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 Basic Life Support (BLS) certification must be valid from October until the end of June for the academic year of study. Training is mandatory and students will be certified in mid-September. Students who are not able to attend the scheduled course are required to complete this training on your own prior to September 30. Please note that only Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Basic Life Support certification will be accepted.

  • Updated immunization records: 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 program requires that students obtain a Criminal Record Check including Vulnerable Sector Screening, at the time of admission. 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 Criminal Record Check including Vulnerable Sector Screening record to the Office of Student Services in Room 308 of the Dental Clinic Building by orientation day. Please review the security clearance process document for specific details. Be aware that the 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 Access and Equity Services (AES) at the University of Saskatchewan 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.

Dental Assisting Pre-Orientation

Upon acceptance into Dental Assisting, you will be required to review and complete, where applicable, steps identified in the pre-orientation for this program.


Program Outline

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

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
DENT-278 Prosthodontics 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 feesU of S fees2018/19 total
1 $12,000 $1,158 $13,158

UofS Fees*

Additional fees will be collected by U of S on top of tuition fees.

Student feeFall 2018Winter 2019Spring 2019Summer 2019
USSU $45.78 $45.78 $22.90 $22.90
Athletic $45.47 $45.47 $0.00 $0.00
Recreation $34.16 $34.16 $0.00 $0.00
Sheaf $8.88 $8.88 $0.00 $0.00
Student Wellness and Services $45.00 $45.00 $22.50 $22.50
WUSC $5.00 $5.00 $0.00 $0.00
Health Insurance $145.13 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Dental Insurance $117.55 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Infrastructure $62.56 $62.56 $31.28 $31.28
Transit (U-PASS) $82.64 $82.64 $41.32 $41.32
Total $592.17 $329.49 $118.00 $118.00

Books and Supplies*

  • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practicum including relocation costs.
  • There is a fee associated with obtaining a Criminal Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening, payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
  • National Dental Assisting Examining Board Clinical evaluation fee is approximately $1,300 and the written exam fee is approximately $450. 
  • Saskatchewan Dental Assistants Association annual dues are approximately $250.
  • 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 the University of Saskatchewan, but some require online access. All courses require additional self‐study.
  • 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 University of Saskatchewan website for information on opting out.

Contact Information

For questions on program admission, application and tuition contact:

School of Health and Public Safety, SAIT

For questions on pre-orientation and campus life contact:

College of Dentistry, University of Saskatchewan
Leslie Irwin

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.

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