Southern Ontario Dental College

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What Are the Dental Assistant Requirements for Aspiring Students?

Posted in Articles, Dental Assistant.

As a Dental Assistant, you could be making $60,000 per year, plus.

But what are the Dental Assistant requirements for those aspiring to work in this exciting field?

We’ve put together a list of the essentials. It has everything you will need to become a practising dental assistant in Canada.

Dental Assistant Requirements

To become a Dental Assistant, you will need to attend a schooling program. You are required to obtain a license and certifications from your provincial regulatory body. You may need to spend time in a dental practice under supervision from a dental professional.

The certifications and licenses involved might seem complicated at first, but read on as we break down the requirements for you.

What Are The Pre-Requisites?

In addition to some important life skills, you will need to obtain a high school diploma. The emphasis should on the sciences (specifically biology and chemistry).

Completion of an eight to ten-month specialized college course or equivalent program is required. This may include a work placement for on-the-job training. This requirement is determined by the province or state you intend to work in.

Furthermore, some training programs require students to maintain a CPR Level C certificate. The student is required to maintain this certification throughout their career.

What Licenses Will I Need?

To become a licensed Dental Assistant in Canada, you will need to go through the provincial Dental Assisting Regulatory Authorities (DARA). In the US the American Dental Association (ADA) is responsible for the licensure of Dental Assistants.

A Dental Assistant in Canada will need a National Dental Assisting Examination Board certificate. The Canadian Dental Assistants Association website provides examination details.

What Certifications Will I Need?

The final step to becoming a Dental Assistant is to obtain a certification. The Canadian Department of Employment and Social Development provide help with locating a regulatory authority in your local province.

We spoke with Dr William Tucker, D.D.S, of Armada Dentist in Michigan about what he looks for when hiring Dental Assistants in the US. Dr Tucker informed us that all prospective employees must have completed the Certified Dental Assistant examination through the Dental Assisting National Board.

Will I Need Continuing Education (CE)?

You will need to undergo continuing education. This is to ensure your licenses and certifications stay valid and up-to-date. CE can take several forms, such as dental conferences, training sessions or recertifications.

Information on Canadian CE is available through the local provincial dental assisting association. Further information or training is provided by a continuing education body. In the US, the Dental Assisting National Board has information on recertification.

Final Thoughts

You now know all the Dental Assistant requirements for both the US and Canada. When you’re ready to start applying for jobs, check out our top tips for writing a dental resume.

If you want to know how to start your career in dentistry, take a look at our available programs. You can also get in touch for more information.

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