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NOC 2021 Version 1.0


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33100 – Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants

Dental assistants assist dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists during the examination and treatment of patients and perform clerical functions. Dental laboratory assistants assist dental technologists and technicians in preparing and fabricating dentures and other dental devices. Dental assistants work in dentists' offices, community health centres, clinics and in educational institutions. Dental laboratory assistants are employed in dental laboratories.


Example titles

  • Certified dental assistant
  • Certified intra-oral dental assistant
  • Dental assistant
  • Dental laboratory assistant
  • Dental technician assistant
  • Registered dental assistant
  • Dental aide

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
    Dental assistants
    • Prepare patients for dental examination and assist the dentist during examinations and dental treatments
    • Sterilize and maintain instruments and equipment
    • Prepare dental instruments, fillings, compounds and various dental materials
    • Take and develop X-rays
    • Polish teeth and clinical crowns and apply fluoride and sealant
    • Take preliminary impressions for diagnostic casts
    • Educate patients concerning oral hygiene
    • Perform clerical duties such as prepare invoices, process payments, schedule patient appointments, record dental procedures performed and 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 and coronal whitening, fabricate, place, and remove temporary crowns and restorations, and apply and remove rubber dams
    • May also perform pulp vitality testing as well as periodontal screening and recording.
    Dental laboratory assistants
    • Prepare plaster models and moulds from dental impressions
    • Prepare wax bite-blocks and impression trays
    • Cast gold or metal alloys for bridges and denture bases
    • Pack plastic material in moulds to form full or partial dentures
    • Mould wax over denture set-up to form full contours of artificial gums
    • Make orthodontic bands from gold, silver, stainless steel or other metals
    • Finish metal framework of dentures and polish and buff dentures to obtain natural finish.

Employment requirements

  • Dental assistants require 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.
  • 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.
  • Dental laboratory assistants usually require secondary school and up to two years of on-the-job training.

Additional information

  • Dental laboratory assistants may progress to dental technologist and technician positions with training, experience and registration.
  • 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.


  • Dental hygienists and dental therapists (32111)
  • Dental technologists and technicians (32112)

Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
3 – Health occupations
3 – Occupations usually require a college diploma or apprenticeship training of less than two years; or more than six months of on-the-job training
Major group
33 – Assisting occupations in support of health services
Sub-major group
331 – Assisting occupations in support of health services
Minor group
3310 – Assisting occupations in support of health services
NOC 2021 Version 1.0
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