Dental assistants perform some or all of the following duties:
A. Polish teeth and clinical crowns and apply fluoride and sealant
B. Take preliminary impressions for diagnostic casts
C. Fabricate temporary crowns and restorations.
D. Prepare patients for dental examination and assist the dentist during the examination
E. Sterilize and maintain instruments and equipment
F. Prepare dental instruments and filling materials
G. Educate patients concerning oral hygiene
1. Completion of a three-month to one-year college or other program in dental assistance or Completion of secondary school with on-the-job training is required.
2. Licensing is not mandatory, but is required to perform intra-oral duties in all provinces except Quebec.
3. Most recent entrants have a community college diploma and almost 3 in 10 have a trade/vocational certificate.
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The average hourly wages for Dental Assistants is $16.51/HR, which is below to the average for occupations in the health sector and close to the average for all intermediate occupations. These wages grew at a below-average rate from 2002 to 2004.