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Dental Assistants

What they do?

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

Where they find work?

1. Health care and social assistance - 96.0%

What education do I need?

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.

High School Subject that will help:

1. Computer Basics - Word and Excel
2. English
3. Sciences
4. Health

What can you expect to make:

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.

Average Wage

Dental Assistants wages

Expected Wage by Age

Dental Assistants Wage By Age


2% of Dental Assistants are unemployed. This rate is below the average for intermediate occupations.


Dental Assistants Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Dental Assistants Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Dental Assistants is considered Above Average because:

1. Employment grew at an average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($16.51) are close to the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is below average.

3. The unemployment rate (2%) is close to the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Above Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely to be above average because of a growing and aging population that requires more health services, Canadians with more dental insurance coverage, and new technologies that improve dental care. Demand may increase as m

2. Although the retirement rate will likely be average, the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely match the number of job openings.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations Dental Assistants are found in Alberta and British Columbia while the lowest concentrations are in New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Useful Experience:

1. Customer relations

Part Time Workers

Dental Assistants Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

26% of Dental Assistants are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 29,700 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, a decrease of 87% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Dental Assistants Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The retirement rate to 2009 will likely be average reflecting the age/retirement structure of the occupation.

Self Employed

Dental Assistants Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 0% of Dental Assistants are self-employed. This is considered Below average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Dental Assistants Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

% of the individuals employed as Dental Assistants are women. Compared to other industries, this is .