Dentist taking x-ray of teeth

How Much Does a Dental Assistant Make in Canada?

Students learn how to take dental x-rays during their career training


Dental assistants are in high demand in Canada. The shortage of these specialists is becoming a serious issue for the country. Experts worry that if new dental assistants don’t start coming to the market at a faster rate, the dental care situation in Canada can worsen.

The high demand for these professionals regulates the dental assistant salary in Canada. The average hourly salary is $24.02. Meanwhile, the average annual pay is $46,830. Entry-level dental assistants can earn around $40,000.

Becoming a dental assistant in Canada is an excellent way to ensure a high salary, career opportunities, and fast employment. Experts believe that the shortage is likely to continue, fueling the demand and making this profession highly appealing.

Understanding the Dental Assistant Profession in Canada

To become a dental assistant in Canada, you need to acquire relevant knowledge and skills by taking dental assistant courses. These courses can vary from one college to another but usually include the basic set of subjects, such as:

  • Dental anatomy
  • Infection control
  • Dental materials
  • Dental radiography
  • Dental procedures
  • Clinical skills

You may also find courses that teach communication skills and patient management. The duration of education depends on the institution and the type of program you choose. You can usually get a certificate in 6 to 12 months. However, diploma programs can take up to two years while degree programs take up to four years.

After completing dental assistant courses, you can take a certification exam. During the exam, you will demonstrate your knowledge in dental radiography, dental dam application, oral hygiene, taking preliminary impressions as well as application of topical anesthetics, desensitizing agents, treatment liners, bonding materials, and more.

The exam is arranged by the National Dental Assisting Examination Board (NDAEB(. After passing the exam, you are licensed to work as a dental assistant in certain provinces. You would need to check your province’s licensing requirements to ensure you have all the right certifications to begin working at a local clinic.

When you get a job as a dental assistant, your responsibilities are likely to include:

  • Maintain and update patients’ dental records in the clinic
  • Assist dentists with complex dental procedures
  • Perform routine procedures, such as dental cleanings
  • Take x-rays and share them with the dentist
  • Schedule appointments and send reminders
  • Educate patients about regular oral hygiene
  • Take billing and insurance information from patients

Skills and qualifications that dental offices usually expect assistance to have are:

  • Excellent communication and customer service skills aimed at making the patient feel comfortable when receiving dental treatment.
  • Ability to work with software in the dental office
  • Knowledge of dental instruments
  • Attention to small details to ensure seamless assistance during dental procedures.
  • Experience with dental X-rays

The demand for skills and responsibilities can vary from clinic to clinic. After gaining sufficient experience as a dental assistant, you may decide to become a dentist. This would require additional education and certification. Experience as a dental assistant can be highly valuable for those who are considering a career as a professional dentist in the future.

Average Salary of a Dental Assistant Across Canada

The salary of a dental assistant can vary from city to city and from province to province. As the demand grows, the salary can change. It also depends on many other factors, including your experience and the clinic you choose to work in.

  • Dental assistant salary in BC – $32.6 per hour
  • Dental assistant salary in Toronto – $24.48 per hour
  • Dental assistant salary in Alberta – $29.84 per hour
  • Dental assistant salary in Ontario – $24.57 per hour
  • Dental assistant salary in Calgary – $27.25 per hour
  • Dental assistant salary in Winnipeg – $24.00 per hour
  • Dental assistant salary in Montreal – $21.28 per hour
  • Dental assistant salary in Manitoba – $23.80 per hour
  • Dental assistant salary in Vancouver – $30.32 per hour
  • Dental assistant salary Nova Scotia – $25.53 per hour
  • Dental assistant salary in Ottawa – $26.36 per hour
  • Dental assistant salary in Mississauga – $24.06 per hour
  • Dental assistant salary in Saskatchewan – $27.12 per hour

The highest dental assistant salaries are in British Columbia. The lowest are in Montreal. The salaries of dental assistants usually correspond to the cost of living in the province or city that the dental offices are in.

Factors Influencing a Dental Assistant’s Salary in Canada

If you are searching for a job as a dental assistant, you may need to explore several factors that may affect your salary. They include:


Location is one of the key factors that influence your salary as a dental assistant. As you can see from the above averages, the difference between hourly salaries can be as big as 30%.

When comparing locations and related salaries, make sure you check the cost of living in the province with high salary options. Most likely the cost of living is also much higher than in other locations.

Typically, a dental assistant who works in a big city earns more than an assistant who works in a smaller town.


Experience plays a major role in the dental assistant salary. As a beginner, you can make as little as $19 per hour. As you gain knowledge and experience, the salary can increase to $25 or $30 per hour. It may take as long as 10 years of work as an assistant to achieve the highest possible salary in this position.

When you are just starting, it’s imperative to focus on gaining experience not pursuing the highest salary. The more experience you gain, the more opportunities you can take advantage of.

Specialization of the practice

The type of practice you choose can also define your dental assistant salary. For example, if the practice specializes in complex dentistry, the salary can be higher than in practices that provide general dental services.

Skills required for work in specialized dental offices are usually more diverse. If you are just starting, you may not have an opportunity to work in such a clinic. As you gain experience with general dental procedures, you could find a job in a higher-paying dental office.

How Dental Assistants Can Increase Their Earnings

If you’d like to increase your salary, you can do it in several ways, including:

  • Change the location – you can move to a province or a city that has higher dental assistant salaries. However, you have to remember that the cost of living can increase as well. You may be able to commute from an urban area to the city to reduce living costs while enjoying a higher salary.
  • Continue your education – if you decide to continue your education and earn additional diplomas and certificates, employers may be willing to pay more money for your new skills. Many schools offer remote learning opportunities to support students who are already working.
  • Focus on specialties – general dental practices are common and easy to find a job in. However, dental offices that specialize in complex procedures are likely to pay more money. You may need to work in general dentistry for a while to earn experience. Then you can switch to a specialty that interests you the most.
  • More responsibilities – if you want to increase the pay, you may ask for more responsibilities. Dental offices have a lot of administrative work they need to handle daily. If, besides assisting with procedures, you take on such work as managing patient records or ordering supplies, your pay may increase.

The best way to increase your salary is to demonstrate how valuable you are to the practice. The harder you work and the more you learn, the easier it will be to ask for a raise when the time is right.

Comparing Dental Assistant Salaries to Other Dental Professions

While the demand for dental assistants is one of the highest in the industry, other dental professionals usually have higher salaries. For example, dental hygienists make around $80,000. That’s around $40 per hour.

Dentists, dental surgeons, orthodontists, and other dental professionals pay up to $150 per hour. Many dental assistants who achieve excellent results in dentistry and gain significant experience choose a higher-paying profession in the dental care industry.

Final Thoughts: How Much Does a Dental Assistant Make in Canada?

The salary of a dental assistant can vary from $21 to $32 per hour. The figure depends on several important factors, including location, experience, specialty, and certification. As dental assistant gains experience, they can count on a higher salary and have an opportunity to move to specialty dentistry or explore other dental industry professions.

How to Become a Dental Assistant – Complete Guide

Dental Assistant Programs

In 2022, the dental industry in Canada is worth $17.7 billion. The growing elderly population is stimulating the need for dental support in the country. That’s one of the reasons why dentists and dental assistants are popular career choices.

Becoming a dental assistant is a major step toward turning into a demanded player in the dental industry. However, it requires in-depth learning and certification. Let’s take a closer look at how to become a dental assistant in Canada.

Reasons To Become a Dental Assistant

A dental assistant plays an important role in dental care. These professionals are essential to high-quality dental treatment and services. Dental assistants are the people behind the patients’ comfort and convenience.

The top reasons to become a dental assistant are:

Dental assistant – an In-Demand Career

One of the most important reasons why Canadians are wondering how to become a dental assistant is in high demand. Since more and more people are looking for dental services, new dental offices are opening up across the country.

A dental office can’t function without a certified dental assistant. That’s why new professionals are likely to find a job quickly.

Good Salaries

The average salary of a dental assistant in Canada is around $44,850 per year or $23 per hour. The highest annual dental assistant salary is in Alberta ($53,284) and the lowest is in Quebec ($38,022).

That’s a decent salary for the majority of cities in Canada. It’s worth noting that dentists make about three times as much. While you work as a dental assistant, you can gain valuable experience that can be used to get further education in the industry.

A Dental Assistant Has Several Career Opportunities

The working environment in dental clinics is usually fast-paced. Dental assistants have an excellent opportunity to learn new skills. While they are gaining valuable experience and learning from the best, dental assistants can consider career growth.

In many cases, dental assistants choose to climb the career ladder and continue their education. They learn how to be a good dental assistant and go further to become hygienists, office managers, and dentists. The salaries at these positions are much higher.

Quick Training

The first thing people ask about when exploring how to become a certified dental assistant is how long it takes. The dental assisting program usually takes less than a year to complete. You can finish training and start earning a decent salary in just eight to twelve months.

Job Security

The dental industry in Canada is steadily growing. As long as there is a demand for dentists, there will be a demand for dental assistants.

By becoming a certified dental assistant, you are obtaining job security. You can grow and develop your skills within the industry without being worried about sudden layoffs. Even if the dental clinic of your choice will be going through hard times, you shouldn’t have a problem getting a new job.

How do you become a dental assistant? Here is where you should start

How to Become a Dental Assistant – Key Steps

The first step to becoming a dental assistant is to finish secondary education. If you already have a secondary school diploma, you need to find a dental assistant training program that suits your needs.

Training and Education

High-quality training and education are integral to becoming a demanded dental assistant. Programs vary in quality and duration. In some schools, you can finish training in just eight months. In others, you have to study for over a year.

When choosing a school for dental assistants, you need to consider the following factors:

  • Level of preparation for the exam you will need to pass with the National Dental Assisting Examining board.
  • The duration of education and training and how it fits in with your studying and working plans.
  • The cost of education.
  • The proximity to your home.
  • Reviews from other people who completed the program.
  • Whether the school is accredited. You can find an accredited program here.

If you already have dental education that you received abroad, you don’t need to go through the training again. You can go directly to stage two and take the certification exam.


Once you complete your training, you need to pass certification by the National Dental Assisting Examining Board. The exception to this certification is valid only if you live in Quebec. The goal of the exam is to evaluate your skills and certify your ability to provide dental assistance.

There are two parts to the National Dental Assisting Examining Board’s exam: written and clinical practice. Clinical practice is only necessary if you completed your training in a non-accredited school or out of the country. The board offers all potential dental assistants a useful handbook to help them prepare for the exam.

If you don’t achieve a passing score, which is generally in the 60s, you get an opportunity to retake the written exam. Once you pass, you become a certified dental assistant.

The certification is a one-time procedure that doesn’t require annual confirmation or renewal.

Finding a Job as a Dental Assistant

Once you complete your training and pass the exam, you can start looking for a job as a dental assistant.

Since dental assistants are in high demand in Canada, you shouldn’t have trouble finding your first job. Consider searching for job postings in the Job Bank and Glassdoor. If you have a specific town or area in mind, you can look for local job listings.

In Canada, regardless of the province, you have a great opportunity to find a job in the area you prefer. Remember that the salaries of dental assistants can differ from province to province and even from city to city.

Keep in mind that if you pass your exam in one province but decide to move to another to get a job, you have to notify Canadian Dental Assisting Regulatory Authorities. This can help you avoid problems with the hiring process in another province.

Final Thoughts

Many people who want to work in the dental industry wonder, “How do I become a dental assistant?” In Canada, it takes less than a year to complete your training and obtain the necessary license.

To become a dental assistant, you need to finish your secondary education and get a secondary school diploma. Next, you would need to complete a training program and pass a certification exam. The entire process can take between eight and 12 months.

Dental assistants are in high demand in Canada. That’s an excellent career choice for people who want to climb the career ladder in the dental industry.

Are you interested in going to career college to become a dental assistant?

Contact KLC College today for more information about our program.

Why an Internship Is a Key Part of a Dental Assistant Diploma Program

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When you are preparing for a career in dental assistance, the learning you do in a classroom builds a strong and substantial foundation of knowledge. For example, it is critical to be familiar with anatomy and physiology, along with the names of dentists’ tools, radiography, and infection control, among other topics. However, your theoretical knowledge must be applied in order for it to be complete.

Clinical Theory classes start you on the path to the application of classroom knowledge by giving you hands-on experiences doing things like taking x-rays, doing coronal polishing, and using an oral evacuator. The next step is vital and it is your placement internship. Here are a few reasons why this element of your education is all-important.

Get to Know Your Daily Routine

If you have thought about pursuing a dental assistant career, then you are probably familiar with a list of tasks you might be responsible for once you start working. Knowing what to expect is important, but when you start an internship at a dental office you will get a true sense of how all of these tasks fit together in a regular work day. There is variety in a dental office and during your internship you will get a chance to adjust to the pace of a professional office.

 Every day of your internship you will have the chance to learn from dentists and hygienists

Every day of your internship you will have the chance to learn from dentists and hygienists

It is likely that within one day, or even a few hours of one day, you will rely on knowledge from several courses. You will get to practice performing your role within a team, gaining the guidance of experienced dentists and hygienists along the way. They will be like your real-world teachers who can field questions about how best to apply your knowledge.

Gain Confidence to Enter the Job Market

The benefits of an internship during your dental assistant diploma program do not end with real-world experience. In fact, one of the biggest advantages to an internship is that it can help increase your confidence. When you have a chance to see how your classroom lessons actually help people and support the efficiency of a professional office, you will gain confidence in your career choice and what it entails.

An internship will also improve your resume by adding work experience to it. When you apply for jobs and go for interviews, you will be able to reference tasks in the job description that you have already done. The internship also demonstrates your ability to adapt your knowledge from the classroom to the job, putting all the hard work you put into school on display.

Real World Complexity Solidifies Dental Assistant Course Lessons

When first learning information, it is important that the questions and answers are clear. However, the real world is much more complex. Situations with clients vary and there may be more than one way to solve a problem. First-hand experience with this kind of complexity and nuance makes your theoretical knowledge more thorough because you must apply it in different ways. Overall, your internship will transform lessons into valuable skills.

Practice makes perfect, and it’s important to put your skills to the test!

Practice makes perfect, and it’s important to put your skills to the test!

Are you looking to train for a rewarding career that you can feel proud of?

Check out the KLC dental assistant course listings today!

5 Tips for Students in Dental Assistant Training Studying Anatomy

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Knowledge of general anatomy will help a dental assistant excel in their job in many ways. Among other things, it will support dental assistants in educating their clients about oral health as well as give them confidence when working chair side with dentists and hygienists.

Anatomy is the study of body structures and how they connect. For some it might be one of the more difficult subjects to learn as a dental assistant. It requires memorization and might feel like learning another language because of all the Greek and Latin terminology. While learning general anatomy can feel like a daunting task, there are a few tips to make studying for your anatomy classes easier, and maybe even fun.

1. Write Things in Your Own Words

Are you having trouble remembering that ‘incisal’ refers to the cutting edge of the anterior teeth? Try rephrasing the information in your own words. It’s still important to highlight and underline definitions from textbooks and class materials. However, when you express something in your own words it provides a new way to access the knowledge. This strategy is based on the idea that your ability to explain something in your own words demonstrates understanding, which will serve you well on exams and in the long run.

Talking about anatomy in your own words will help you remember tough terminology

Talking about anatomy in your own words will help you remember tough terminology

2. Know Your Learning Style

When you do the dental assistant diploma program, you should pay attention to the learning stimuli that work best for you. For example, if you are a visual learner, focus on diagrams or look for videos that show images of the anatomy. If your style is kinetic, it will be important to draw diagrams and write out information yourself. For those who respond to kinaesthetic modes of learning, physical models or even toys you can hold and examine will help move knowledge into place. Finally, if you are an aural learner, saying the information aloud and making a recording to listen to later may be the most effective. It is likely that a combination of styles will work for you.

3. Review Your Mistakes

With all of these study tips, the hope is that you won’t make mistakes on your exams, but nobody is perfect. When you get your tests or assignments back, take a look at where you missed things and remember that mistakes are an opportunity to improve.

4. Make a Study Schedule

An important part of learning anatomy is to do it in a way that makes sure you retain the information. It’s true that you might be able to memorize a lot at once under pressure, but that kind of memorization is different from learning. In order to maintain your anatomy knowledge, you must schedule practice time to repeat and reinforce anatomy lessons. Each time you study, review what you did previously and things will move from your short term memory to your long term memory.

Organization will reduce stress whether preparing for a test or your new career

Organization will reduce stress whether preparing for a test or your new career

5. Form a Study Group with Your Career College Peers

One of the best things about going to a career college is learning alongside a group of people with similar goals. A study group will allow you to combine resources and will likely increase your confidence for tests. As is the case with other strategies, this may not work for everyone. However, there is an opportunity to share study tricks and tips, flashcards, and moral support. This kind of social learning may help keep you motivated for your own study time because you see others going through the same process.

Ready to begin dental assistant training?

Find out more from KLC today!

Thinking of a New Career? 4 Reasons Dental Assistant Training Is a Great Choice

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Want a career with plenty of rewards and room for professional growth? Then being a dental assistant might just be for you. Pursuing a new career as a dental assistant can be a fantastic option for the next step in your professional life, and there are many reasons why training to become one can be so fulfilling.

While at times challenging, becoming a dental assistant is an incredibly gratifying experience, and there are many reasons why it’s worth making the most of. Here are four ways a career as a dental assistant can be a great choice for you.

1. You Can Help Make Patients Less Scared of Visiting the Dentists’ Office

Patients often aren’t thrilled to go see a dentist—in fact, they can be quite scared of it in some cases. As a dental assistant, you can help calm those patients down and assist them in overcoming their fears, ultimately cultivating a more pleasant experience for them. Since you’ll be chatting with patients a lot, you can use your interpersonal skills and a relaxed attitude to help assuage their anxieties. That way, you’ll make them more comfortable as they wait for the procedure, which will ultimately encourage them to return to the dentist’s office to make sure their smile remains in good health.

2. You Get to Perform a Vast Number of Duties, Which Keeps Things Interesting

Dental assistants’ work days are ones with plenty of variety, and a number of tasks come into the equation. Among these tasks are sterilizing and transferring instruments, keeping and maintaining patient records, applying sealants, polishing the coronal area of patients’ teeth, and taking x-rays—all under a dentist’s supervision. This is especially pertinent as dental office procedures and radiography are important components of your dental assistant diploma program. Furthermore, dental assistants get to learn on the job, as trends, standards and techniques in the profession evolve over time. Given the diverse and hands-on nature of the job, there are rarely dull moments to be had while working as a dental assistant.

Taking x-rays on patients is one of many duties you could perform as a dental assistant

Taking x-rays on patients is one of many duties you could perform as a dental assistant

3. What You Learn in Dental Assistant Training Can Help You Educate Others About Oral Health

There are several major components of basic oral hygiene that cannot be stressed enough, with brushing and flossing chief among them. As a dental assistant, you not only get to teach patients the importance of oral health, but also show them how to brush and floss. To educate others not only about how important maintaining their oral health is, but how it can improve their morale and self-esteem, is a big part of what makes life as a dental assistant worth pursuing. You’ll have the satisfaction of know that you’re helping patients keep their mouths healthy.

4. You Can Not Only Help Improve Patients’ Oral Hygiene, But Their Quality of Life

To work in this profession, it’s important you have a compassionate personality and take great satisfaction in helping others. This is in addition to a desire to help improve their health. Not only does a dental assistant get to improve the state of patients’ oral health, but they improve their self-confidence and overall happiness as well. A healthy smile, after all, can do wonders for a patient’s sense of self-worth. With benefits like these, starting your dental assistant training can help you reap all kinds of professional and personal rewards.

Not only can you help improve patients’ knowledge of oral health, but also their self-esteem

Not only can you help improve patients’ knowledge of oral health, but also their self-esteem

Do you want to take career college courses?

Contact KLC College to find out more!

4 Job-Ready Skills You’ll Learn in Dental Assistant Training

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In your career as a dental assistant, you will work under the supervision of a dentist, performing an array of tasks and duties. Dental assistants need to possess a wide range of skills to be effective and successful in their careers. In your training program, you will learn many of these skills that you can apply directly to your first job in the field. From human relations training to radiography and infection control, practical skills will keep you successful and effective in your field.

Read on for some of the job-ready skills you’ll pick up in your program!

1. A Good Dental Assistant Diploma Program Provides Infection Control Training

Often, dental assistants are the point people for infection control in dental offices. It’s a big responsibility and very important to prevent infection and maintain proper safety, screening, hand hygiene, and protection. The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario has specific guidelines for standard of practice in infection prevention and control in dental offices.

Dental assistants prepare examination areas, develop infection control protocol, clean up after procedures, and sterilize equipment and instruments. Having infection control skills ready to go for your first job is crucial to your success, as the office may even place you as their infection control officer.

2. Human Relations Skills will Help you after Dental Assistant Training

Human relations skills prepare you to interact with different people effectively, manage and lead others, as well as make people feel comfortable and have positive interactions. As a dental assistant, you will probably be required to calm clients down who are feeling anxious and ensure that people who come into the dental office have a comfortable and positive experience when interacting with you.

Dental assistants often schedule appointments and help clients feel comfortable

Dental assistants often schedule appointments and help clients feel comfortable

Dental assistants are often responsible for interviewing patients, scheduling their appointments and providing customer service with a professional demeanour. Your effective communication skills from career training will help the office run smoothly and ensure that tasks get done.

3. Radiography Training from a Dental Assistant Diploma Program is Essential

Intra-Oral duties include technical procedures, for example dental radiography. Radiographs, or x-rays, are commonly used to evaluate dental health and will be conducted often in a dental office. Dental assistants who are qualified will take and develop x-rays, as well as maintain equipment and proper sterilization of the rooms and instruments used in the process.

Technical skills from your program will help you take and develop x-rays in your career

Technical skills from your program will help you take and develop x-rays in your career

Having training with this technology prepares you for the demands of a busy office with many scheduled procedures.

4. CPR and Standard First Aid will be Required after Dental Assistant Training

Dental assistants are required to assess emergency situations and need training in CPR and First Aid. Getting this training through your dental assistant diploma program is the simplest way to receive updated emergency skills and be qualified for your first day on the job. You must be able to recognize signs of a dental emergency so that you can keep people safe. These skills are also applicable to your daily life, as you can help others and yourself in emergency situations.

Are you interested in dental assistant training?

Contact KLC College for more information.

Nutrition and Dental Health: Advice to Give Your Clients When You Become a Dental Assistant

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The common saying ‘you are what you eat’ applies to more areas of your personal health than you may think. Good oral health is affected in part by your diet, because the food you eat gives you the nutrients your body needs to renew tissues and fight infection in your bones, teeth, and gums.

Intra-oral dental assistants work closely under the supervision of a dentist to maintain, treat, and ensure their client’s good oral care. They may also serve as a form of infection control, which means that they must be familiar with which personal behaviours influence a client’s oral health, including their diet. Sugary foods, fad diets, starches, and even supplements can all have a negative effect on oral health, and it’s important to understand how this can lead to a client frequently (or infrequently) coming in for treatment.

If you’re interested in entering a new and rewarding career as an intra-oral dental assistant, read on to find out what you should know about the role nutrition plays in oral health.

Dental Assistants Know Good Nutrition Helps Prevent Periodontal Disease

Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common dental problems you may see as an intra-oral dental assistant. Our gums—or gingivae—are tissues which help our teeth stay in place.

Foods which are high in carbohydrates, sugars, and starches can contribute to the buildup of bacterial plaque in our gums, which weaken the enamel of our teeth as well as the tissue of our gums, and can lead to cavities or infection if left untended.

Intra-oral dental assistants help clients take good care of their teeth

Intra-oral dental assistants help clients take good care of their teeth

In order to reduce the risk of periodontal disease, clients should try to limit the amount of sugary snacks, carbonated or fruit drinks, and acidic foods or beverages they consume, as these can all lead to plaque and tartar buildup.

It’s also a good idea to visit the dentist once every six months, as professional cleanings can help keep plaque under control and remove it from places which may be hard for a client to reach on their own. If you’re interested in learning the best techniques to tackle plaque and prevent periodontal disease, dental assistant training covers the finer points of good oral care, such as anatomy, physiology, infection control, and preventive dentistry.

Dental Assistant Training Can Teach You Which Foods to Recommend

The food a person eats has such a direct effect on oral health because the mouth is the first point of contact for the food and drinks they consume. Preventive dentistry is an important part of the job if you want to become a dental assistant, and practicing proper nutrition is one of the key aspects which can help clients avoid experiencing recurrent or frequent problems with their oral health.

Students at KLC College know that nutrition is an important part of oral healthStudents at KLC College know that nutrition is an important part of oral health

Students at KLC College know that nutrition is an important part of oral health

Empty calorie foods may be fun to eat, but they don’t offer much nutritional value. Candy, sweets, and fast food often contain high amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, and fats, which—as we’ve learned before—can cause the buildup of bacteria in the teeth and gums. Drinks like soda, lemonade, and sweetened coffee can create a sugar bath over your teeth as you drink them, which can hasten tooth decay as the sugar and acids weaken the enamel and surrounding tissues.

There are some foods, however, which promote good oral health. Dairy products such as plain yogurt and cheese have high amounts of calcium, and protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, and eggs contain good sources of phosphorus—two minerals which can protect and strengthen tooth enamel. Fruits and vegetables provide water and fiber, which can help clean the teeth by stimulating saliva production that washes away bacteria and neutralizes acid.

Are you ready to take the next steps towards your future career in dental health?

Contact KLC College for more information about our dental assistant diploma program.

Beginning Dental Assistant Training? Here’s Why Dental Records are So Important

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Anyone looking forward to a career as a dental assistant can expect to spend a fair amount of time retrieving, updating and reviewing dental records. These are the records of a patient’s past appointments and procedures, any recorded issues and any other information relevant to their dental care, and taken together, they form a clear picture of that patient’s dental health and history.

If you’re just beginning dental assistant training or considering enrolling, and are curious to know more about these records, here’s a quick guide that will help you understand why they’re so important.

What’s Included in a Dental Record?

The contents of a dental record will vary between patients, who each have their own unique histories of treatment, but some information like age, date of birth, place of employment and contact information will always be included.
Other documents or information that can be found in a dental record include a complete record of appointments, past treatments and complaints, allergies and medications, clinical and radiographic findings, copies of test results, consent forms for invasive procedures and anaesthetizing, and any other information pertinent to a patient’s dental health, including relevant comments from dental assistants such as follow-up instructions given after a procedure.

Students in Dental Assistant Training Know the Importance of Continuity of Care

One of the most important functions of a dental record is to ensure continuity of care for patients. This means that when a patient moves or decides to change their dental care provider, their new dentist can rely on an accurate and up-to-date summary of their dental history and any ongoing issues when making their diagnoses.

This can be particularly important for issues like periodontal bone loss, which progress over time. A dentist examining a new patient with periodontal bone loss needs to know how quickly or gradually it’s progressing, whether it’s still progressing and how long it’s been happening, for example. These are all questions that can be answered by a complete and accurate dental record.

Even if a patient isn’t changing dental care providers, professionals who have completed their dental assistant training know that this record-keeping can be incredibly important in identifying, tracking and accurately diagnosing these types of long-term or progressive dental issues.

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Dental records can be important in properly diagnosing long-term, progressive dental disease

Dental Records Can Be Important for Protecting Dental Professionals as Well

Not only do dental records ensure that patients receive the best possible care, but by keeping a clear record of treatment, dental practices can also protect themselves against complaints from patients and possible malpractice litigation. Documentation of a patient’s missed appointments or failure to follow instructions for further care, for example, can be important in accurately tracing blame for a subsequent issue, and protecting a dentist from liability for an issue which was not actually a result of any treatment they provided.

Dental Practices Have Clear Responsibilities Regarding Dental Records

Dental practices are responsible for keeping their patients’ dental records accurate and up-to-date. Patients actually own the information contained in their own records, and dentists are obligated by law to provide these records to other dental practices, or to the patients themselves if they request it. This is true even if a patient owes outstanding fees.

What this means for students in a dental assistant diploma program is that these records represent a very important element of a dentist’s legal obligations to their patients, as well an essential tool in providing them the best possible care, and so their proper maintenance, updating and storage is essential to the functioning of any well-run dental practice.

dental assistant diploma program

Accurate and up-to-date dental records are essential for any dental practice

Are you interested in going to career college to become a dental assistant?

Contact KLC College today for more information about our program.

What is Preventative Dentistry? How to Answer This Question after Dental Assistant Training

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Like many other healthcare specialities, prevention is often better than cure in dentistry. While modern dental professionals can treat a wider range of complex conditions and issues than ever before, they are still careful to emphasize the importance of preventative dentistry to patients.

The idea of preventative dentistry is that dental professionals encourage patients to take active care of their teeth through healthy oral hygiene habits, regular dental visits and preventative treatments in order to limit the risk of developing serious dental problems. In doing so, they help to save patients a lot of time, money and discomfort.

Dental assistants play a huge role in preventative dentistry, assisting in treatments and helping to educate patients about proper dental health. If you are considering this career, keep reading to learn more about what preventative dentistry involves and why it’s so important.

Dental Assistant Program Grads Promote Preventative Oral Health Habits

One of the most important components of preventative dentistry is ensuring patients adopt a regular dental health routine. By brushing and flossing on a daily basis, they can dramatically reduce harmful plaque buildup which could cause tooth decay or gum disease.

In addition to encouraging regular brushing and flossing, it’s important that patients are educated in how to do it correctly. Brushing too hard or for too long can wear away tooth enamel, while flossing too aggressively can damage the gums. Dental assistants are often tasked with demonstrating the proper techniques to patients.

Professionals with dental assistant training can demonstrate proper brushing techniques to patients

Professionals with dental assistant training can demonstrate proper brushing techniques to patients

The Role of Nutrition in Preventative Dentistry

During their Level II dental assistant training at KLC College, students complete a module called Preventive Dentistry and Nutrition. The reason these two areas are grouped together is because they often go hand in hand. Dietary habits can have a huge bearing on how likely a patient is to experience dental problems.

In order to limit risks, dental assistants should encourage patients to limit the amount of sugars and carbohydrates in their diets, as these foods can increase the risk of tooth decay. They should also promote a diet that is rich in certain vitamins and minerals that can help strengthen teeth. Calcium is arguably the most important, as it strengthens tooth enamel, but Vitamin D is also crucial, since it increases mineral density and helps our bones to absorb calcium. Dairy products are an excellent source of both. Vitamin A, which is found in root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes, can play a big role in oral health too, because it helps to keep gums strong.

The Importance of Regular Check-Ups and Preventative Dental Treatments

While good oral health and nutrition will severely lessen a patient’s risk of developing dental problems, it is still important they have regular check-ups. This is a crucial part of preventative dentistry, as it allows dental professionals to identify any issues early, making them easier to treat.
A dentist will be able to catch the early warning signs of many dental problems through a physical examination, and can also use x-rays to spot issues which are not visible to the naked eye. Graduates of KLC College’s Level II dental assistant diploma program are qualified to perform dental x-rays in the province of Ontario.

Dentists may also provide a number of preventative treatments for patients, such as topical fluoride therapies, which can make teeth stronger and more resistant. For younger patients, dental sealants are another option, and help to protect the chewing surfaces of teeth from wear and decay.

Students learn how to take dental x-rays during their career training

Students learn how to take dental x-rays during their career training

Do you want to become a dental assistant?

Contact KLC College today to find out more about the career training we provide.

An Essential Student’s Guide to Dental Assistant Training Terminology

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Working as a dental assistant doesn’t just mean having a great smile, although that is a plus. There are also many phrases and terminology that are used every day to identify different areas and problems, as well as procedures involved in effective dental care.

According to the Canadian Dental Association, more than 70% of the world’s population is in need of appropriate and affordable dental care. Oral hygiene can contribute to a variety of complications and issues, and in order to properly address a patient’s needs, aspiring dental assistants need to be aware of the common terms and phrases that are used in their workplace. Read on for an essential guide to dental terminology.

Identifying Parts of the Mouth and Teeth in Dental Assistant Training

One of the first things to learn in dental assistant training is how to tell parts of the mouth and teeth apart. A good place to begin is with the maxilla and the mandible, which are the upper and lower jaws, respectively.


There are specific terms for components of the mouth, jaw, tooth, and tissue

There are specific terms for components of the mouth, jaw, tooth, and tissue

The maxilla and mandible both typically have 16 teeth each, and are protected by the palate, or the roof of the mouth. Our teeth are supported by periodontal tissues and held in place by the root, which is located within the tooth socket.

Inside the tooth itself, there are four major tissues. The enamel is the outermost layer and located near the crown of the tooth. Dentin, which supports the crown, is the substance between the enamel and the root canal which holds the connective tissue and blood vessels inside the tooth. The root itself is covered in cementum, a calcified substance that attaches the tooth to the bone.

Potential Dental Issues to Watch for

Teeth, as with any part of the body, can be subject to decay, disease, or injury. It’s important to learn the proper terms for dental issues during a career training program in order to be able to appropriately address problems that you may see in the dentist’s chair.


Cavities and gingivitis are the most well-known dental problems

Cavities and gingivitis are the most well-known dental problems

One of the most common complications is a cavity. This is when decay forms a large hole inside of the tooth. In order to check for cavities, dentists use an explorer, or tooth counter, which is only meant to touch the surface of the teeth.

Gingivitis will also sound familiar. Its name comes from the gingival portion of the gums, also known as the cervical area, and pertains to a swelling or inflammation caused by gathered plaque or tartar around the teeth, which are reserved buildups of acids and bacteria. These two problems, while unfortunate, are some of the most common complaints that a dental assistant will encounter, and have relatively simple solutions compared to more complex issues.

Terminology Used in Common Dental Procedures

Once the root of the problem has been addressed, there are a variety of reparatory measures which can be undertaken, with treatment generally depending on the severity of the underlying cause.

In cases of a cavity, many can simply be filled to support the tooth’s structure. Similarly, crowns, or artificial covers, can be put in place at the top of a damaged tooth. In the event that a damaged tooth is extracted or removed, spacers are placed to prevent tooth movement and keep the bite even.

An abscess, where bacteria have been allowed to grow and cause inflammation in the root canal, is a common complication of tooth decay. This means that the abscess must be drained of infected pus and material before it can be treated, and restorative dentistry may be necessary to repair the damage.

Are you interested in enrolling in a dental assistant diploma program?

Contact KLC College today for more information!