Dental Assistant

Dental assistants help dentists examine and treat patients, and perform some administrative tasks.

NOC Code: 3411

Job Duties

Dental assistants help dentists examine and treat patients, and perform some administrative tasks. You may work for a dentist's office, or with a government or educational institution. You may also be called a certified dental assistant, certified intra-oral dental assistant, registered dental assistant, dental clinical assistant or preventative dental assistant.

Generally, dental assistants:

  • Prepare patients for dental examination and help the dentist during checkups.
  • Sterilize and maintain dental instruments and equipment.
  • Inform patients about caring for their teeth and mouth.
  • Take and develop X-rays.
  • Clean teeth and apply fluoride and sealant.
  • Schedule patient appointments.
  • Prepare invoices for patients and insurance companies.
  • Order dental and office supplies.
  • Prepare dental instruments and filling materials
  • Take preliminary impressions for diagnostic casts
  • Fabricate and place temporary crowns and restorations

Source: Government of Canada

Job Requirements


This job requires: High School

Comparison with other jobs in this profession
JobLevel of Education Required
Dental Laboratory Bench WorkerHigh School
Dental AssistantHigh School
Dental ReceptionistHigh School
Technical Sales SpecialistCollege or University


This job requires 0 - 2 years of work experience.

Comparison with other jobs in this profession
JobYears of Work Experience Required
Dental Laboratory Bench Worker0 - 2
Dental Assistant0 - 2
Dental Receptionist0 - 2
Technical Sales Specialist2 - 5

Source: HRSDC

Essential Skills

As a dental assistant, you need to:

  • Speak, write and read English.
  • Have communication skills to get information from patients, explain procedures and make them feel comfortable.
  • Follow written directions to mix and use products.
  • Record information accurately.
  • Keep up-to-date on new procedures and products.
  • Use a computer to enter patient data and create invoices.
  • Have good problem solving skills.
  • Work well with others and on your own.

Source: Ontario Skills Passport

Language Skills

You need to communicate in person and in writing with patients and co-workers. You also need to take notes, check patient charts and other forms for accuracy, and follow written product directions. You need to use dental terminology.

Labour Market Information


While there are job opportunities in the field because the population in Canada is aging and needs dental care, the growth in opportunities also depends on the economy.

Licensing is not mandatory, but is required to perform intra-oral duties in Ontario.


The work prospects for this job are: FAIR

Comparison with other jobs in this profession
JobWork Prospects
Dental Laboratory Bench WorkerLimited
Dental AssistantFair
Dental ReceptionistFair
Technical Sales SpecialistFair

Source: Government of Canada


The average hourly wage for this job is: C$19/hour.

Comparison with other jobs in this profession
JobAverage Wage/Hour
Dental Laboratory Bench Worker$23.00
Dental Assistant$19.00
Dental Receptionist$15.38
Technical Sales Specialist$25.00

Source: Government of Canada


Educational Programs

These links will give you a list of related educational programs or where you can search for them. There may be other schools that have similar programs, such as private career colleges. You may be able to get advanced standing.

Bridging Programs

Although the field of dentistry does not specifically have bridging programs, there are several programs for internationally educated professionals which you can prepare for the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) examinations.

Language Training

Here is a list of some language training programs, such as Enhanced Language Training (ELT) and Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT).

Work Experience Programs

Many college programs and bridging programs in this field include co-operative (co-op) work experience.

Voluntary Membership Opportunities

Helpful Links

The data in this profile is provided for informational purposes only. Some of the information may have changed since this profile was written. Please check the source for the most up-to-date information.