College of Alberta Dental Assistants


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Skills/Authorized Practice


Dental Assistants may perform duties and Restricted Activities* for which they are authorized by the College and are competent after proper education, training, and experience. Not all dental assistants are authorized to perform all of the skills listed below. You can check our Dental Assistant Registry to see if a dental assistant has a current practice permit and which skills they are authorized to perform.

Intra-Oral Skills

  • dental radiographs* (RAD)
  • impressions (IMP)
  • dental dam (DD)
  • selective coronal polishing and anticariogenic agents (PF)
  • pit and fissure sealants (PIT)
  • desensitizing agents (DES)
  • matrices and wedges (MW)
  • topical anaesthetic (TA)
  • suture removal (SUT)
  • bases and liners (BL)
  • provisional coverage and restorations (includes placement and removal of gingival retraction cord) (PCR)
  • dental probing* (PRB)

Orthodontic Skills (ORTH)

  • insert orthodontic appliances*
  • insert and remove orthodontic separators
  • prepare teeth for bonding or cementation of bands and bonding of orthodontic brackets and bondable attachments
  • select, fit and cement orthodontic bands with self-curing or light curing cement, and remove excess cement with hand instruments and slow-speed rotary handpiece*
  • position and bond orthodontic brackets and bondable attachments with light-cured bonding agent, and remove excess bonding agent with hand instruments and slow-speed rotary handpiece*
  • insert, ligate and remove orthodontic archwires using individual or chain elastomeric ligatures, separate and continuous wire ligature ties and self-ligation mechanisms*
  • insert and remove orthodontic accessories*
  • trim and/or bend distal ends of orthodontic arch wires
  • remove orthodontic bands with hand instruments, and remove cement with hand instruments and slow-speed rotary handpiece
  • remove orthodontic brackets and bondable attachments with hand instruments, and remove bonding agent with hand instruments and slow-speed rotary handpiece
  • apply non-medicinal material to reduce the effect of irritating components

Preventive Dentistry (limited scaling) Skills (SC)

  • evaluate periodontal scaling instruments for appropriate sharpness
  • perform periodontal scaling instrument sharpening
  • perform periodontal scaling using hand instruments and ultrasonic instruments* (subgingivally to a maximum depth of 4mm)

Registration is mandatory when a person meets the requirements for registration and intends to provide dental assisting services directly to the public.1

*Restricted Activities: Dental assistants who are authorized by the College may perform restricted activities under the direction and supervision of a dentist, dental hygienist or denturist.2

Questions? Contact the Registrar.

  1. Health Professions Act, RSA 2000, c H-7, s 46.
  2. Government Organization Act, RSA 2000, c G-10, schedule 7.1; Dental Assistants Profession Regulation, (AR 252/2005) s 12-14.