$29.84 to $37.38 per hour
Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA)
Dental assistant certificate
Registered dental assistants provide support and assistance to dentists. Before treatment, dental assistants receive and prepare patients, as well as make sure dental instruments and materials are arranged and prepared. During dental procedures, they provide chair-side assistance to the dentist and perform intra-oral procedures.
Dental assistants ensure that the dental area is clean, dental instruments are sterilized and equipment is regularly maintained. They construct custom fluoride trays and appliances, and prepare filling materials and dental impressions. As well, they assist with developing and exposing x-ray film and digital images. Dental assistants also perform administrative duties such as billing and preauthorizing insurance claims.
Dental assistants work as educators, providing oral health education to patients, students and other community groups. They precept dental assistant students and provide education and information to other healthcare professionals. Additionally, they help train, orient and support volunteers and new staff.
Registered dental assistants at typically work in hospitals and clinics. In the course of their work, they work directly with patients, dentists, other dental assistants and various health care professionals. They often work as part of a team, but also work independently when maintaining equipment.
Dental assistants may work full-time or part-time hours or on a call-in (casual) basis. They can apply for positions that are permanent, temporary or casual depending on department and facility needs. Shift schedules may include a combination of day, evening, night and weekend shifts, as well as on-call duty.
Dental assistants sit, stand, and sometimes assume awkward positions for extended periods of time. They may have to lift, reposition, and transfer patients, supplies and equipment. Dental assistants are sometimes exposed to bio-hazardous materials and may have to deal with aggressive patients. Some patients may have infectious diseases, physical or mental disabilities, or be residents of institutions who are not accepted at private clinics.