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Intra-oral dental assistants work in parallel with the dentist to assist with procedures such as teeth cleaning, filling cavities, polishing and even some light clerical work. Intra-oral dental assistants differ from chairside assistants in that they are certified as a Level 2 dental assistant and are thus able to directly interact with patients – something that a Level 1 dental assistant is not permitted to do. The extra certification involved in becoming an intra-oral dental assistant means that students must be committed to the extra training and work involved.

The Intra-Oral Dental Assistant Level II program at the Canadian Academy of Dental Health (CADH) is a 42-week diploma program comprised of full-time classroom, clinical and laboratory instruction. The program is offered in the mornings from 8am-1pm, afternoons from 1-6pm and evenings from 5-10pm four days a week, with an additional Saturday class.

The program gives you access to a modern dental laboratory and dispensary with digital dental imaging, a library resource centre complete with Wi-Fi accessibility and a lounge area, and a wealth of on-site digital references available at the many digital workstations on campus. The CADH clinic has 22 digitized radiographic dental operatories, meaning you have access to state-of-the-art facilities in addition to the unmatched training in the dental discipline.

CADH’s program is excellent preparation for students wishing to become a Certified Dental Assistant. Successful graduates are eligible to apply for certification with the Ontario Dental Assistants Association (ODAA) after successfully completing the National Dental Assistants Board Examination (NDABE). It is necessary to successfully complete the examination to be eligible to work as a Level II Dental Assistant in Ontario.

Some of the courses you’ll be taking in the Intra-Oral Dental Assistant program include:

–          Infection Control in Dentistry
–          Dental Practice Management
–          Oral Health Management
–          Computer Essentials
–          Pharmacology, Anesthesia and Pain Control
–          Communications: Psychology; dealing with Clients with Special Needs
–          Intra-Oral Skills

Prospective students hoping to enroll in the Intra-Oral Dental Assistant program should possess excellent communication and customer service skills, be able to think quickly and to remain on their feet throughout the day, and have an excellent attention to detail.

Career Opportunities

An aging population means that more people are seeking preventative and restorative dental care, with demand for skilled individuals to populate dental clinics skyrocketing. The oral health field is one of the fastest growing job sectors right now, with employment in the dental field expected to increase over 30% in the next ten years.

Armed with certification as an intra-oral dental assistant, the range of careers that graduates will be qualified for is vast – anything from a dental assistant to consulting to taking the plunge and becoming a full-fledged dentist, the sky is the limit in the dental field!

Typical work weeks in a dental office are around 40 hours and graduating students can look forward to job placement assistance and a rewarding career.

Typical Job Duties

As a dental assistant, some of the more typical duties include:

–          Polishing teeth
–          Polishing crowns
–          Fluoride application
–          Dental impressions
–          Making crowns
–          Cleaning and preparing dental instruments
–          Taking and developing X-rays
–          Fluoride application
–          Educating patients on oral hygiene

Dental assistants will also need to know the ins and outs of medical billing and various insurance providers, as well as occasional clerical work and deciding proper treatment options for patients.