Dental assistants (NOC 3411)

Job titles

  • certified dental assistant
  • certified intra-oral dental assistant
  • chair-side assistant - dental
  • View all job titles

Nature of work

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

Fields of interest

  • Providing others with care and assistance

Main duties

  • Dental assistants perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Prepare patients for dental examination and assist the dentist during the examination
  • - 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 and apply and remove rubber dams.

Main characteristics of the occupation

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.
  • * Licensing is required to perform intra-oral duties in all provinces. In Quebec, intra-oral duties are not performed by dental assistants.

Skill type

  • Health occupations

Skill level

  • Intermediate

More 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.

Professional associations

  • Association des assistantes dentaires du Québec
  • 2030, boul. Pie-IX, bureau 403
  • Montréal, QC
  • H1V2C8
  • Phone: 514-722-9900
  • Fax: 514-355-4159
  • Email: