Our Dental Assistant Program

Accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada

Our Program

Training for a career in dental assisting has never been easier. Risio offers high-quality distance learning developed by industry leaders and delivered via accessible online modules.

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Program Breakdown



Days of Clinical Training

Week Practicum




11 Months

7 Online Modules

  1. Intro to the Profession of Dental Assisting: 3 wks
  2. Microbiology and Infection Prevention & Control: 4 wks
  3. The Foundation of Dental Assisting: 15 wks
  4. Vital Signs and Patient Assessment: 3 wks
  5. Emergencies in the Dental Office and OH&S: 5 wks
  6. Oral Health and Preventive Dentistry: 8 wks
  7. Digital Radiography: 6 wks

Clinical Component

  • Taken at Risio Institute following successful completion of Term 01 Online Modules: 12 Days


  • Tuition: $8700
  • Textbooks: $310



9 Months

5 Online Modules

  1. The Art of Restorative Dentistry: 10 wks
  2. Laboratory Procedures: 4 wks
  3. Specialties and Dentistry: 10 wks
  4. Dental Health & the Community: 4 wks
  5. Dental Reception: 8 wks

Clinical Component

  • Taken at Risio Institute following successful completion of Term 02 Online Modules: 9 Days


  • Tuition: $5600



A final in-office Practicum of 3 weeks (or 120 hours) is mandatory upon completion of all theoretical and clinical modules.

What Can I Do with the Diploma?

Risio graduates work in some of the country’s most dynamic practices. Explore some of the positions our students can qualify for, and learn how training with us prepares you for a versatile and rewarding career. 

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Work Integrated Learning

At Risio, current dental professionals can continue working while they train—and new students can find placement in dental offices while taking our program.

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Earn While You Learn

Our flexible online modules are designed to compliment work schedules, helping students maintain a work-life balance and avoid financial pressure.
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Gain Real Experience

We assist new students in finding work or volunteer placements in dental offices so that they can gain valuable real-world experience while training.

Alumni Satisfaction

Risio graduates are busy working in dynamic practices throughout Canada and beyond. Learn what our alumni have to say about their experience with us.

To preserve their authenticity, the following testimonials have not been edited:

"Prior to joining Risio and attending the Dental Assisting course, I was working as a dental administrator for over three years. Occasionally, I would help with processing instruments through sterilization and operatory turnovers. The longer that I was in the field, the more I had the desire to grow and expand my duties. I knew that I wanted to be more hands-on with patient care and increase my clinical knowledge.

Unsure of how I would be able to pursue a dental assisting certificate without compromising my employment left me discouraged. I had seen the Risio advertisements many times but I was apprehensive… To be honest, it was scary because it sounded too good to be true. To my relief and as a great surprise, it was exactly as it was promised to be (and more).

I am a mother of two young kids, if not for Risio, it would have been impossible to attend school and to keep working. This program helped me attain my goal of becoming an RDA, gave me the utmost confidence and increased my value within my practice. This course forces you to be hands-on with your learning. For people like me, who are visual learners, this is the perfect program.

Since completing the program, I am able to understand more in depth concepts regarding patient treatment. I am able to contribute even more as a team member. Because of my newly acquired skills and knowledge, I was recently promoted to Office Manager. I am still able to provide support to my teammates but in a different way, it is easier to help someone when you have walked in their shoes."

"I cannot express to you how incredible your program is! You have made it possible for me, a mother of two with a full time job, to be able to go back to school and work towards my dream of becoming an RDA. Without this program, it would not have been a possibility. By starting Risio Dental Institute you have created something truly amazing (and I’m not sure you guys even know HOW AMAZING), not just for me.. but also for the thousands and thousands of students that will come after me! I am so blessed to have met you ladies and to have been part of your very first intake! The 3 of you will always hold a very very special place in my heart, and I will carry your words of wisdom with me always! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!! For your knowledge, your guidance and your patience.

The clinical environment was great! I was nervous the first day of course, but you guys were so welcoming and provided corrective feedback in a way that was very helpful and hands on, but not Intimidating at all! Don’t change what you guys are doing, it’s very effective and puts students at ease."

"Risio Institute has been a breath of fresh air for online learning. I have done a few courses online and this program they have created does not compare. The thought they have put into creating a easily navigable student portal which provides notes, audio/video notes, assignments and reviews makes me feel confident they strive for their students to succeed.

I also find with the smaller class sizes it makes communication between student and instructors just amazing. The worst feeling I have for online learning is the feeling of having to figure everything out on my own, so far these ladies have made my learning experience just wonderful and it’s only the beginning.

So excited to have switched schools and start my journey to become a RDA with Risio Institute."

"I am so so so grateful for this program! As a working mom who’s dreamed of becoming a dental assistant for years, I’m so happy I have the opportunity to work full time, stay home with my family and get the career I’ve always wanted! The program is great, and working in the field has made the content easier to get through."

"Learning at the Risio Institute has been a fantastic experience! The instructors are all very knowledgeable and encouraging. Everyone at Risio are so supportive and want each of us attending to be successful. They spend extra time with each of us ensuring that if we have questions or need extra skill practice that we get exactly what we need to be comfortable and proficient in each of the skills that we are being taught. The clinic is state of the art and you feel welcome the moment you walk through the door!

Thanks to Risio, as a single parent household, I have been able to follow my dreams and pursue becoming a Dental Assistant. Without this program this would not have been possible. Thank you so much Risio!!"

"Risio Institute is the bomb dot com! As their student, I had such an amazing time. It was nice meeting all the other students from different cities and also meeting our knowledgeable & patient instructors. I felt such at ease being away from home. They made learning so fun at such a decent pace so I didn’t feel rushed. I came, not knowing what to expect and I am leaving with such confidence, made new friends and excited to share my knowledge with my team at Signature Dental."

"Risio Institute offers a very experienced team! They enable students to learn in an atmosphere that is valuable to their education and careers! The facilitators are very motivational when it comes to online learning and instructors are well educated and very comfortable teaching all the skills needed to become a certified Dental Assistant! The Clinical offered is fun and adventurous; covering all modules learned online. I would recommend Risio Institute to anyone seeking a professional career in the dental field."

"Being able to work full time as well as taking this online program has changed my life. It has been such a positive, lovely, compassionate support system from Risio. They help you strive and achieve your goals. While I was in clinical with Jewel and Chantel they made the whole experience memorable and enjoyable. Thank you for everything. Casey and Carey are phenomenal at what they do. They put in hard work and it shows. Thank you."

"Thank you Risio to provide online school. So I can work full time and study at the same time in Calgary. It is a wonderful experience to get more insight in dental industry.

Everyone are so supportive and experienced. With clinical classes, I can learn more techniques and improve my skills. I am so grateful to learn and grow my knowledge in RISIO. Thank you."

"Great staff and wonderful atmosphere. They have structured online learning which helps keep you on track and get to your goals in a well timed manner. The practical portion is lots of fun and helps to learn and use your skills. Would 100% recommend this school for dental assistant training."

"I am a risio student and I am so thankful to have found risio, and to be able to get my dental assisting certification while working full time as well as spend time with my 1 year old! The learning environment is sooo easy going, i absolutely love the layout, the online material is even better it’s thorough and strait to the point. The instructors are amazing and great at what they do, the owners Casey and Carey are beyond amazing they’re great at building a relationship with their students and are very understanding of everything! 10/10 I would recommend to other students!"

"I had a great experience learning alongside my classmates all the different types of skills that we will continue to work on going back to our respective offices. The instructors were super helpful with making sure we were mastering our skills and we were well prepared for our patient care clinic!"

"The Risio Institute has been amazing! Been a great advantage to be able to work and still earn my certification. The instructors are incredibly helpful and so resourceful! So happy I chose Risio for my dental education!"

"This is an awesome institute for learning to become a dental assistant. Lots of hands on practice and support throughout the program. There are many benefits for patients who come to an appointment to help the students learn. Who doesn't want a dental exam from a practicing dentist, potential x-rays, polishing, fluoride treatments and more...all for FREE!"

"Very friendly, welcoming atmosphere. The instructors are great and make sure that everyone is taken care of and looked out for! Very organized, and lots of skills learnt and opportunities to practice our new skills."

"Risio Institute has given me the opportunity to become a RDA while still working. It has been a great experience and coming for clinical has been great! The Instructors are amazing! Thank you girls!!"

"Very friendly, welcoming atmosphere. The instructors are great and make sure that everyone is taken care of and looked out for! Very organized, and lots of skills learnt and opportunities to practice our new skills."

"The school is great and so informative! I feel like I learnt so much in my two years of school here! The staff is also very fun and nice!"

"Highly recommend to anyone who wants to become an RDA! Great experience, great staff!!"

"Loved the program! So convienent to be able to work while doing the program."

Dentist Satisfaction

Dentists who work with Risio get access to our outstanding graduates at the end of their program. They also have an opportunity to contribute positively to the industry by providing guidance and mentorship for the dental assistants of tomorrow. Find out what the dentists who work with our students and graduates are saying.

To preserve their authenticity, the following testimonials have not been edited:

“I’m really pleased to be a part of your program. It’s simply brilliant. They get to earn while they learn and I get an outstanding dental assistant at the end that has had customized training in my office as to the way I like to do things. I have worked with many freshly minted dental assistants straight out of school and I can say without a doubt that this program produces great assistants that integrate very smoothly into the office. It opens a door of opportunity for people that just might not have that door available to them. This is especially true living in a more rural community.
Calysta is the second student/staff member to be enrolled in your program. Both students I have known personally for years, and in Rolenne’s (finished term 1) circumstance, I had worked with her for years in the OR at the local hospital. She was out of gas and needed a change. This program couldn’t have been more perfect. When Rolenne returned from her practical training term 1, she was well prepared, confident, and enthusiastic. She learned a lot and is really loving her job. It’s been fun to watch the transition.
I have great confidence that Calysta will be a star student and you guys will love having both of these people in your program moving forward.
Risio is common sense training delivered in a common sense way, great job!”

Start Your Future

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the program cost?

Tuition Fee: $14,500 total—includes clinical modules

A deposit of $300 is required to hold your place in the Program after you have been formally accepted; full remaining Term 1 payment is required by day one of the Program.

The total fee of $14,500 will be divided between two installments:

  • Payment 1: $8,700
  • Payment 2: $5,800
  • Textbooks: approx. $310
  • Approximate professional dues & licensing fees in the student’s jurisdiction: $400
  • NDAEB Written Exam: $700
  • Approximate fee for proctored exams administered by Examity Online Proctoring: $180
I love the program but can’t afford it. Are there alternatives?

The Canada-Provincial Job Grant is a training opportunity that may result in an employer receiving up to $10,000 to assist with training an employee.

Find more information on this program at:


What are the prerequisites and how can I apply?

Students may apply by completing an online application form and providing their high school transcripts:

  • English 30-1 (minimum 60%) or English 30-2 (minimum 70%)
  • One of either Science 30, Chemistry 30, or Biology 30 (minimum 60% required)

Students may apply as a mature-status student (without high school transcripts and the above designated grades). These students will be required to take an online assessment test prior to enrollment, consisting of a multiple-choice exam and short essay to assess reading and writing comprehension.

The Registrar will review the online application and requirements to determine eligibility in the Program. When eligibility into the Program is determined, the ‘Alberta Student Enrollment Contract for Licensed Vocational Training’ will be sent to the student to complete, along with the ‘Program Policy Manual’. This policy manual must be fully read prior to signing the student enrollment contract.

Once the completed enrolment contract has been received by the Risio Institute, students will be sent a formal acceptance letter into the Program. Students will then be asked to submit their payment of $300.00 to hold their spot in the Program.

Students are required to submit Immunization records for the recommended immunizations. See below for additional immunization information.

Students are required to submit the completed ‘Work Integrated Learning Form’ (signed by their sponsoring dentist) showing that they are employed or volunteering at a dental office for a minimum of 14 hours per week while enrolled in the Program.

Students are required to submit a Criminal Record Check/Vulnerable Sector Check.

Students are required to submit proof of CPR- Level HCA completion.

How can I get more information?

Send us an email. We would love to connect with you!


How long will it take to complete the program?

The program takes approximately 2 years to complete.

How do I know this program is led by dental industry professionals?

Carey-Ann Thurlow is a Registered Dental Assistant with 20+ years in the dental industry. Carey completed her MBA in 2019 through the University of Roehampton, and began her PhD in June 2021. She is passionate about both the dental industry and business administration.

Carey-Ann previously chaired a successful dental assisting program in Calgary, while also facilitating in the program. Seeing her students achieve success is just one of Carey’s many missions!

Casey Sharp is a Registered Dental Assistant with 19+ years in the dental industry. Casey completed an eLearning certificate program through the University of Calgary to gain expertise in designing and creating online learning programs.

Casey worked alongside Carey-Ann at a successful dental assisting program in Calgary and facilitated students in both clinical and theoretical environments. Casey’s passion is witnessing the outcomes of the students in the program!

Instructors in the program are required to have a minimum of 5 years experience in the dental industry and must be Registered Dental Assistants. All theory instructors must also have completed the Adult Educator Certificate.

What is the passing grade for each course?

In order to achieve a passing grade in each module, students must prove active engagement in the online learning activities (worth 20% of the grade) and achieve 75% on all final examinations. A rubric is provided to guide the student in their engagement and for assessment of the learning activities.

Is there an online instructor available to help me?

Yes! On-demand one-on-one tutoring is available through our online booking calendar for students who are interested.

Can I apply for a student loan?

Yes! The Institute received eligibility from Student Aid Alberta and Federal Student Aid for their students to apply for funding for the 2-year program! Interested applicants can email info@risiodental.com for more information on the student funding application process.

Is the Risio Institute Dental Assistant Distance Delivery Program Accredited?

We are excited to announce that Risio Institute was awarded ‘Accredited Status’ in November, 2022!

In addition, Risio Institute is approved and licensed through the Private Career Colleges branch of Alberta Advanced Education. 

Are students who graduate from the Institute eligible to write the NDAEB written exam?

Yes! The Institute was successfully evaluated by the National Dental Assisting Examining Board and has been granted ‘written exam eligibility’ for all students who successfully complete the program.

What are the benefits of online learning?

Online learning has numerous benefits. 7 of the most valuable are as follows:

  • Access to coursework from anywhere at any time
  • A balance of structure and freedom
  • Easier time management
  • The opportunity to train while working
  • The ability to collaborate with students from different regions and backgrounds
  • Instant feedback on tests
  • The ability to build vital digital skills
If I am unsuccessful on a test or evaluation, can I retake it?

Students will be given one rewrite per exam. Additional rewrites may be requested by writing to the Academic Advisor. All circumstances will be reviewed by the Directors on an individual basis.  Students will be notified of the decision in writing.

Course extensions may be requested by writing to the Academic Advisor. All circumstances will be reviewed by the Directors on an individual basis. Students will be notified of the decision in writing.

What are the recommended immunizations for the program?

According to the College of Dental Sugeons of Alberta (CDSA), immunizations substantially reduce both the number of Dental Health Care Providers (DHCPs) susceptible to infectious diseases and the potential for disease transmission to other DHCPs and patients.

All DHCPs should be adequately immunized against:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella (mandated under Public Health Act)
  • Varicella
  • Influenza
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus

Updates to the immunization recommendations for Health Care Workers may be accessed on the CDSA website.

According to the CDSA, Dental Health Care Providers are at an increased risk of acquiring hepatitis B in an occupational setting. Therefore, all DHCPs must be assessed regarding their immunity to hepatitis B and be provided hepatitis B immunization by their employer if required.