Introducing Sprott Shaw’s Newest Program: Dental Assistant

Have you always wanted to pursue a career in the dental industry? Do you have a contagious passion for excellent oral hygiene? If you answered yes to either of these questions, a career as a dental assistant could be exactly what you’re looking for!

dentists working on patient

Today, a career as a dental assistant is flourishing and expected to grow throughout the next few years. In British Columbia, the provincial labour market outlook forecasts an average employment growth rate of 2.1% from 2018 to 2023 as well as an additional 2.3% from 2023 to 2028.

Because of this, now is the perfect time to enroll in Sprott Shaw’s newest program, Dental Assisting.

Help brighten smiles by becoming a dental assistant through Sprott Shaw!

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?      

A dental assistant is a dental health professional who works with and under the supervision of a dentist. Dental assistants often take on a variety of chair-side and intra-oral tasks including patient care, recordkeeping, appointment scheduling, and more.

Like many other industry roles, being able to work as a team is crucial to becoming a successful dental assistant. As part of the dental team, dental assistants need to understand how to: assist with dental procedures; provide quality oral care; prepare equipment and supplies; manage patient records; and ensure that clinical and office procedures run efficiently and effectively.

Some of the responsibilities and tasks that dental assistants may be assigned include:

  • Assisting with patient care during dental procedures
  • Preparing and supporting patients for treatment by practicing universal and standard precautions
  • Organizing and preparing for the procedure
  • Attending to the patients’ comfort and collecting and updating health histories
  • Assisting with all dental procedures including although not limited to preventative, orthodontic, and prosthodontic procedures
  • Providing oral hygiene instructions, post-operative care, and nutritional counselling to help educate patients and caretakers
  • Performing the routine maintenance of instruments and equipment so patient care is delivered safely and effectively 
  • Executing fundamental practice management procedures including inventory control of dental supplies, patient booking, and payment collection

What Is Included In Your Dental Assistant Program at Sprott Shaw?

Portrait of young female dentist with patient in the dental office. Doctor wearing glasses, mask, white uniform and pink gloves. On the background monitor with X-ray the patient's teeth. Dentistry

The Dental Assistant program at Sprott Shaw is a 45-week diploma program that equips students with specialized knowledge, critical thinking skills, and decision-making skills to thrive in the competitive dental field. Throughout their studies, students will develop and master all the technical, professional, and interpersonal skills needed to perform within the clinical and administrative scope of their dental practice.

Dental assistants can be classified into two distinct levels – Level 1 and Level 2. At Sprott Shaw, we offer both Level 1 and Level 2 in one comprehensive program. After Level 1, students are authorized to execute chair-side assistant tasks like passing instruments and materials to the dentist, sterilizing and disinfecting equipment, and placing x-rays. After completion of Level 2, upon becoming licensed, students are authorized to perform intra-oral skills on patients.

Our Dental Assistant program includes over 540 hours of clinical experience including two practicum experiences so students can familiarize themselves with the field and best practices before graduation.

Graduates of our program will be able to work in general and specialty dental practices, hospital dental clinics, community health agencies, educational institutions, and much more.

Why Should I Choose Sprott Shaw for my Dentistry Education?  

As we previously mentioned, our Dental Assistant program includes both practicum and practice opportunities for Level 1 and Level 2 components of the program. Our students can rest assured they are prepared and ready for the industry ahead.

Our hands-on lab features state-of-the-art dental operatory chairs that have different features and elements catered to different environments and situations – allowing our students to be informed and knowledgeable for all kinds of conditions and circumstances.

Woman Getting Dental Work Done

Our dental clinic is predominantly digital, ensuring that our students are familiar with the newest technology in the industry. With digital x-rays, digital charts, dummies with root canals and fillings, and more, our students will be prepared for whatever the dental industry throws at them. Throughout the program, students will also have opportunities to job shadow, attend field trips, and meet with field professionals in the dental industry.

Our Dental Assistant program is designed to meet the regulations governing certified dental assisting practices as defined by the BC College of Oral Health Professionals. With the completion of the program, students will be eligible to write the National Dental Assisting Board examination. Passing this exam and applying for licensure with the BC College of Oral Health Professionals will allow our students to become Certified Dental Assistants.

The launch of this new program will begin in the Lower Mainland and may grow across the BC province if we see a demand for it.

Interested in learning more about the career or how you can become one? Contact one of our advisors to learn more!

Need assistance?

Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

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