With the proper certification, a dental assistant works directly alongside the dentist – assisting with teeth cleaning and polishing, helping to fill cavities and providing general assistance. For safety reasons, tasks like fluoride treatments, making preliminary dental casts for repair work and dental prostheses, suture removal and other more medical aspects of dentistry are left in the hands of people with the extra training and certification it takes to become an intra-oral dental assistant.
The Intra Oral Dental Assistant diploma program at the National Academy of Health and Business prepares students for careers in dental offices, dental clinics, hospitals and educational institutions. Theoretical dental knowledge combined with excellent practical training that mirrors responsibilities you’ll have in a real-world dental clinic means that you’ll be career ready at the end of your training.
Graduates of the Intra-Oral Dental Assistant diploma program must pass the National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) Level 2 certification examination in order to be able to use their skills in a dental office in Ontario. Passing this examination means that successful graduates may then apply to the Ontario Dental Nurses and Assistants’ Association (ODNAA) for Level 2 certification from the Canadian Dental Association, giving them national certification and allowing them to work in dental offices across the country.
Level 2 skills learned from the Intra Oral Dental Assistant diploma program are those skills that have the dental assistant interacting directly with the patient and providing various procedures, rather than just assisting the dentist with tools and clerical work like a Level 1 dental assistant.
The NAHB consists of 39 weeks of study and a two week practical job placement.
Some of the topics you’ll cover in the Intra Oral Dental Assistant diploma program at NAHB include:
– Dental assisting
– Oral facial sciences and body systems
– Microbiology, disease transmission and infection control
– Diagnostic records
– Data gathering
– Preventative dentistry
– Dental radiography
– Dental practice management
With the aging population retaining their teeth for much longer than in the past, due to the increased availability and success of dental care, there are more people over the age of 50 who are visiting dental offices than ever before. What this means for the industry is that demand for dental care and capable professionals is climbing steadily and expected to keep increasing over the next ten years. Employment in the dental field is expected to increase by more than 30%.
Careers as a dental assistant involve assisting the dentist during examination and performing both clinical and administrative tasks. Dental assistants can look forward to a clean, friendly environment and typical work weeks of about 40 hours per week.
Typical Job Duties
As a dental assistant, some of the duties you’ll be expected to perform are:
– Polishing teeth and crowns
– Applying fluoride
– Taking dental impressions
– Making crowns
– Preparing dental instruments
– Oral hygiene education
– Taking and developing X-rays
Other responsibilities may include clerical work such as desk reception, preparing the examination and surgery areas for dental work or assisting dentists with specific procedures. If dental assistants work in reception in the clinic or dental practice, they may be the first point of contact, helping patients decide what treatment is right for them.
Additionally, as dentistry is usually covered by various providers of medical insurance, support workers of all kinds must be adept at dealing with billing clients.