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2016 Version 1.0

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3411 – Dental assistants

Dental assistants assist dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists during the examination and treatment of patients and perform clerical functions. They work in dentists' offices, community health centres, clinics and in educational institutions.

Profile

Example titles

  • Certified dental assistant
  • Certified intra-oral dental assistant
  • Dental assistant
  • Registered dental assistant
Inclusions
  • Dental aide

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
  • Prepare patients for dental examination and assist the dentist during examinations and dental treatments
  • Sterilize and maintain instruments and equipment
  • Prepare dental instruments and filling materials
  • Take and develop X-rays
  • Polish teeth and clinical crowns and apply fluoride and sealant
  • Take preliminary impressions for diagnostic casts
  • Fabricate and place temporary crowns and restorations
  • Educate patients concerning oral hygiene
  • Invoice patients for dental services
  • Schedule patient appointments and record dental procedures performed
  • Order dental and office supplies
  • May perform intra-oral duties such as remove sutures, take and record vital signs, apply desensitizing agents, topical anaesthetic, anticariogenic agents, coronal whitening and apply and remove rubber dams.

Employment requirements

  • Completion of an eight-month to one-year college or other program in dental assistance or completion of secondary school with on-the-job training is required.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in all provinces except Quebec and Ontario.
  • Certification by the National Dental Assisting Examination Board is required to perform intra-oral duties in all provinces except in Quebec, where intra-oral duties are not performed by dental assistants.

Additional information

  • In some provinces there are two levels of dental assistants: Level I - chair-side assistant and Level II - intra-oral assistant. Progression from Level I to Level II is possible with education, training and licensure.

Exclusions

  • Dental hygienists and dental therapists (3222)
  • Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants (3223)

Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
3 - Health occupations
Skill level
C - Occupations usually require secondary school and/or occupation-specific training.
Major group
34 - Assisting occupations in support of health services
Minor group
341 - Assisting occupations in support of health services
Version
2016 Version 1.0
Date modified: