Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

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What is the advantage of a 10 week course vs. a 12 month course?

You will pay thousands of dollars more for a year-long program sitting in classroom lectures. With our intense and comprehensive curriculum, you will receive hands-on training from day one. Our instructors know what is important for you to learn. They will help you receive an education and proper training in a working dental office, so you can find a job and start earning an income faster! Vancouver Dental Assisting School offers a short-term solution to what can be a long-term program.

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I have no dental experience, what if I find the program too hard?

We want you to succeed! Our instructors are available to help you with any difficulties you might have. We will take the time necessary until you understand the concepts to be a valuable dental assistant. We will make ourselves available to you during classroom hours or after hours.

About Our Programs

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Is your school registered with the State?

Absolutely, YES. We are registered within the State of Washington. The Vancouver Dental Assisting School is a postsecondary educational institution, certified and licensed by the State of Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board. Our license certifies that our school complies with the requirements of the Private Vocational School Act, chapter 28C.10 RCW (Revised code of Washington “Private Vocational Schools Act”) and WAC 490-105.

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What are the requirements for graduation of the program?

For graduation from our 10-week dental assisting program, one must pass a clinical and written exam and complete 100 hours of clinical externship hours.

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What types of Payment Plans do you offer?

We offer many different payment options for students! Here are your options:

a) Weekly Payments, we divide up total tuition into weekly increments, so tuition is paid in full by the time you graduate.

b) Care Credit, Care Credit offers 0% interest for 12 months. Spreading payments out over a year allows for a more affordable solution to many of our students.

c) WorkSource, our program is backed by WorkSource which is a State Funded Program. WorkSource has requirements for covering your school tuition. Check with your local Worksource office on their requirements in which to have your tuition provided.

d) Scholarships, we offer scholarships to highly motivated students needing financial assistance.

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How many days a week is class and what are class hours?

Class is one day a week, either Sunday’s or Wednesday’s depending on which class you register for. Class runs from 9am-5pm each day.

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What do we do in class each day?

Class starts at 9am, for the first half of the day you will be in the classroom for lecture. Class will recess for lunch. Around 1pm you will then begin clinical training in the dental clinic until 5pm.

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Will I be working with a dentist?

Yes! You will be working alongside Dr. Herma Ranola. What is important to know about Dr. Ranola is her love of teaching. She is fun and outgoing and very approachable, which creates the ideal environment for learning. Dr. Ranola values continuing education and keeps up on the latest dental technology. She and her team members attend numerous dental conferences throughout the United States.

Post – Graduation

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What happens when I complete the course?

You will receive a certificate of completion as well as a radiology certificate and will be ready to start applying for dental assisting jobs! We help you prepare for the resume and interviewing process and will share first-hand knowledge of what dentists and office managers are looking for in a great assistant. While we do not guarantee employment, we will pass along employment opportunities to our graduates.

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How do I expand and gain my Oregon Radiology Certification?

Because we are on the border of the Oregon State-line we have many Oregon based students. Oregon offices may want you to be certified through the state in radiology. Though you will not gain this certificate when graduating our program, our instructors will help guide you in the process of gaining this certification. This certification requires students to pass with a proficiency on the DANB exam in addition to our program. Oregon State requirements are the following:

To perform dental radiography procedures in Oregon, a dental assistant must hold a state certificate of radiologic proficiency. To obtain this certificate, a dental assistant must do one of the following: 

1.  Complete all of the following three requirements and apply to DANB for a state certificate of radiologic proficiency:

a.  Complete a course approved by the Oregon Board of Dentistry (OBD)*, or submit evidence of equivalent training recognized by the Oregon Health Authority, Center for Health Protection, Radiation Protection Services and

b.  Pass the national DANB Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam or DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam, and

c. Submit verification** from an Oregon licensed dentist or Oregon licensed dental hygienist that the assistant is proficient to take radiographs

2.  Complete one of the following two requirements and apply to DANB for a state certificate of radiologic proficiency by credential:

a.  Be certified in another state that has training and certification requirements substantially similar to Oregon’s, OR

b. Obtain verification from an employer dentist that the assistant has been employed for at least 1,000 hours in the past two years as a dental assistant (in a state other than Oregon) and is competent to take radiographs.

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What is the difference between Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA) and (EFODA) Expanded Function Orthodontic Assistant?

An EFDA is a dental assistant with an expanded functions certification for a general dentistry practice. Each state is different, but some examples of expanded functions are applying sealants, taking impressions, performing coronal polishing, applying topical anesthetic or applying topical fluoride, to name a few. An expanded orthodontic assistant has an expanded functions certification for an orthodontic practice. EFODA are able to fit and cementing orthodontic bands; placing and removing arch wires; and isolating, etching, bonding and placing brackets. Washington State does not require these certifications, though some providers might ask you to obtain these additional certifications if they have practices in both Oregon and Washington.

To obtain an Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA) certificate in Oregon State.

To qualify, one must:

Pathway I:

1. Hold an Oregon Certificate of Radiologic Proficiency (see requirements above), AND

2. Successfully complete a CODA-accredited dental assisting program, AND

3. Apply for the Oregon EFDA certificate (administered by DANB).

Pathway II:

1. Hold an Oregon Certificate of Radiologic Proficiency (see requirements above), AND

2. Pass the national DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam, AND

3. Pass the Oregon Expanded Functions – General Dental Assisting exam (ORXG), AND

4. Provide endorsement from an Oregon licensed dentist stating that the applicant has completed clinical requirements, AND

5. Apply for the Oregon EFDA certificate (administered by DANB).

Pathway IIIA:

1. Hold an Oregon Certificate of Radiologic Proficiency (see requirements above), AND

2. Pass the Oregon Basic Dental Assisting exam (ORB), AND

3. Pass the Oregon Expanded Functions – General Dental Assisting exam (ORXG), AND

4. Provide endorsement from an Oregon licensed dentist stating that the applicant has completed clinical requirements, AND

5. Apply for the Oregon EFDA certificate (administered by DANB).

Pathway IIIB:

1. Hold an Oregon Certificate of Radiologic Proficiency (see requirements on above), AND

2. Pass the DANB Infection Control (ICE) exam, AND

3. Pass the Oregon Expanded Functions – General Dental Assisting exam (ORXG)‡, AND

4. Provide endorsement from an Oregon licensed dentist stating that the applicant has completed clinical requirements, AND

5. Apply or the Oregon EFDA certificate (administered by DANB)

Pathway IV:

1. Be certified in another state that has training and certification requirements substantially similar to Oregon’s requirements or obtain verification from a licensed dentist of having been employed (in a state other than Oregon) for at least 1,000 hours in the past two years as a dental assistant performing expanded functions, AND

2. Apply for the Oregon EFDA certificate by credential (administered by DANB).

To obtain Expanded Function Orthodontic Assistant (EFODA) Certification in Oregon State:

(1) By credential in accordance with OAR 818-042-0120 (Certification by Credential), or

(2) Completion of an application, payment of fee and satisfactory evidence of;

(a) Completion of a course of instruction in a program in dental assisting accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation; or

(b) Passage of the Oregon Basic, Infection Control, Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) or Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) examination, and Expanded Function Orthodontic Assistant examination, or equivalent successor examinations, administered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB), or any other testing entity authorized by the Board; and certification by a licensed dentist that the applicant has successfully placed and ligated orthodontic wires on ten (10) patients and removed bands/brackets and remaining adhesive using an ultrasonic, hand scaler or a slow speed handpiece from teeth on four (4) patients.

COVID-Related

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What extra protocols are in place after COVID-19?

At Vancouver Dental Assisting School, our student’s safety has always been our top priority. Students are provided with state required PPE (personal protective equipment) for all clinical study. Classroom social distancing has been put into place, requiring all desks to be at least 6 feet apart at all times. Classroom and dental clinic disinfection have been implemented through-out the day. Currently, we have restricted direct patient care until deemed safe by Washington State.

What Our Students Are Saying

“VDAS has been the best experience for me. I was working in two restaurants in downtown Vancouver, but I wanted to do something different with my life. I went in to see how VDAS works and Dr. Ranola was there and gave me the confidence that I needed. Jasmine is the BEST teacher I ever have had. She’s always there for you if you don’t understand anything, and she would do whatever she could to make sure you understand. Dr. Ranola always makes you feel positive and she’s always there for you during your education. BEST. DENTIST. EVER. I definitely recommend this program. It changed my life in a completely different way.”

– Fernando

“I am currently enrolled and have 3 weeks left! This has been nothing but a positive experience for me and I have loved my instructors. Not only are they really hands-on in lecture and clinical, making sure we understand everything being taught, but they also have helped set up our externships with other dental offices outside of class, where we get to shadow dentists and their assistants to get that extra experience and training. If you want to become a dental assistant, I would highly recommend this school!”

– Kyli

“I am so happy that I was able to attend VDAS! I had two amazing knowledgable teachers who taught us everything that we needed to know about dental assisting in only 10 weeks! We also had the opportunity to shadow and work with Dr. Ranola, which was a great experience! I recommend this program to anybody who wants to start a career in dentistry.”

– Samyra A.

Contact Us

Open Hours

Monday–Friday: 9am–5pm
Saturday–Sunday: Closed