Department of Certified Dental Assistant

Certified Dental Assistant students work hands-on in clinical environments

The Certified Dental Assistant Department at Okanagan College provides the education, training and experience for the diploma program, required by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. for registration as a Certified Dental Assistant.

    Certified Dental Assistants work as team members and require excellent communication skills, commitment to oral health and professionalism. This program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada and approved by the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia. To be registered as a Certified Dental Assistant (Dental Auxiliary - Level 2), a student must provide the College of Dental Surgeons with the following confirmation:

    • Grade 12 completion or equivalent;
    • Successful completion of a dental assisting program; and
    • CPR Level C and must be current at time of graduation.
    • successful completion of the National Dental Assisting Examining Board Exam

     

      Program spotlight

      The Certified Dental Assistant Certificate is a one-year, provincially regulated program that prepares students to work alongside dentists in clinical practices across B.C.

      Courses

      Search for courses and schedules for the Certified Dental Assistant program.

      Instructors

      Joanne Gibbons-Smyth

      Chair - Certified Dental Assistant
      Office: Health Building 130D
      Campus: Kelowna
      Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4221
      Certified Dental Assistant Program - Joanne Gibbons-Smith

      I have over 14 years of experience as a Certified Dental Assistant and a decade as an Instructor at Okanagan College. I am a CDABC member and CDSBC practising registrant and teach the Prosthodontic Module in our continuing studies programs, it brings me great excitement to offer changes to a program to enhance accessibility and delivery such as the prosthodontic and orthodontic modules offered at OC in which both are hybrid. I am passionate about the profession and dentistry, evidenced by being selected Valedictorian of my graduating class at VCC.  My experience in both general and dental specialty settings provides me with a vast wealth of knowledge. As both a CDA and an educator, I believe health-care professionals are responsible for not only patient care, but education and prevention. I am involved in various committees such as professional development, learning and applied research, interprofessional for educators committee and recently joined a working group for online delivery frameworks. I have been a dental accreditation site surveyor on a national level and am always willing to join provincial and national committees in the future. As the chairperson of the CDA program, I have been able to expand the program and create current curriculum that includes the wide range of technology used today in dentistry. I am presently working on a Master's of Adult Education at SFU with a future graduation date of 2022. With the construction of a new dental clinic, students can achieve their dreams in a state-of-the-art training facility and have optimal learning experiences here at OC. I believe each student should have a signature experience in their learning journey.

      Credentials:
      CDA, ID, VCC


      Lorna McFadden

      Certified Dental Assistant
      Office: Health Building 130D
      Campus: Kelowna
      Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4221

      I have been a Certified Dental Assistant for 30 years and decided it was time to pay it forward and pass along my knowledge and experience. I am an OC alumna and joined the faculty in 2015 as a clinical instructor. I have my prosthodontic module and also teach the module here at OC in Continuing Studies.  I currently work in general practice which I continue practising my skills in an industry that is always evolving. Becoming a CDA educator provides me the opportunity to encourage patient care and professional growth in my students. I enjoy leading a healthy lifestyle and the Okanagan allows me to do that!

      Credentials:
      CDA, Okanagan College
      CCH, Vancouver Academy of Homeopathy
      PID, Vancouver Community College


      Kathryn Truant

      Certified Dental Assistant
      Office: Health Building 130E
      Campus: Kelowna
      Phone: 250-762-5445
      Headshot of Kathryn Truant

      I have been a Certified Dental Assistant for over 30 years. I began my teaching journey in 2019 here at OC in the CDA program and look forward to being part of the future of dental education as an OC alumna myself. I continue to practise in the community I have had a wonderful career in dentistry in various general practices and more specifically oral maxillofacial surgery. I am working on my Master's of Adult Education at SFU to further my teaching and learning practices. I enjoy being an integral part of the dental community and hope to join provincial and national boards to promote our amazing profession. Educating and training the next generation of Certified Dental Assistants truly is a passion of mine.

      Credentials:
      MEd, Curriculum and Instruction Post-Secondary, SFU (in progress)
      Provincial Instructor Diploma, Vancouver Community College
      CDA, Okanagan College


      Tammie Barry

      Certified Dental Assistant
      Office: Health Building 130E
      Campus: Kelowna
      Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4422
      Headshot of Tammie Barry

      I am an alumna of Okanagan College, Class of 2000. I have been involved with CDABC as a board member and I am a registrant of CDSBC with a practicing license. Prior to joining the OC Certified Dental Assistant program as an instructor, I worked in general and specialty dental practices. My love of dentistry lead me to my future career as an instructor here at OC. I joined the Certified Dental Assistant program in 2014 and I also teach the Prosthodontic module through continuing studies. I am involved in committees here at OC such as the Interprofessional Educators committee which I believe is important as healthcare professionals to be united and learn from each other’s professional practice. My passion to educate new CDAs is what brought me to my teaching career and the joy I get from watching my students grow, learn and succeed is what truly motivates me as an educator.

      Credentials:
      CDA, PID, VCC


      Nina Lesage

      Certified Dental Assistant
      Office: Health Building 130D
      Campus: Kelowna
      Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4281
      Headshot of Nina Lesage

      I have been a CDA for over 20 years and work also as an Office Co-ordinator. Having sual expertise in various dental offices including my present practice has enabled me to further develop my skills and connections with patients and the dental team. I joined OC in 2015 as a clinical instructor within the CDA program, as well as continuing studies dental administration course instructor. In my own teaching and learning journey I discovered my passion for inspiring the next generation of dental professionals. I enjoy being a part of a student’s “aha” moment when learning a new skill. Being a Certified Dental Assistant is a rewarding career and being able to educate others in this profession truly inspires me.


      Nichole Stevenson

      Certified Dental Assistant
      Office: Health Building 130L
      Campus: Kelowna
      Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4281
      Headshot of Nicole Stevenson

      I have been a Certified Dental Assistant since 2004. I joined Okanagan College in 2016 and bring a wealth of knowledge from various general practices including reception. In 2018, I completed the Learner-Centered Instructor Certificate and I am working towards completing the Provincial Instructor’s Diploma program. I am the Distance Education online instructor for the DENT 001 course (Introduction to a Career as a CDA). I am honoured to be part of the team at Okanagan College. Watching students grow and apply their learning and skills is incredibly rewarding.

      Credentials:
      CDA


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