Dental assistant smiling under mask during training

The Fastest Way to Become a Dental Assistant in Canada

Carey-Ann Thurlow

December 15, 2023

Summary:

  • The demand for skilled dental assistants is increasing, offering a promising career path for recent high school graduates and early career planners.
  • Risio Institute’s Dental Aide Program provides a comprehensive introduction to dental assisting, covering essential skills such as dental and clinical basics, sterilization, and more.
  • The program, ideal for entry-level positions and transitioning into dental assisting, can be completed online in six months or less.
  • Risio’s Dental Assisting Diploma Program offers the natural next step after completing the Dental Aide Program—with work-integrated learning that prepares students for a professional career anywhere in Canada.

With staffing shortages in practices throughout much of Canada, the demand for skilled dental assistants is on the rise. That makes dental assisting an attractive prospect for recent high school graduates and other early career planners—but how can you get started when you don’t have much (or any) experience?

Risio provides some of the best online dental assistant education in Canada—so we know the ins and outs of the industry as well as anyone. Below, we show you the fastest possible way to go from no experience to a career in dental assisting.

Skills to Pay the Bills: What Dental Assistants Need to Know

A career in dental assisting, while rewarding, is not without its challenges. Here’s a breakdown of the core soft and hard skills dental assistants need:

Dental assistant greeting patients in practice office

Soft Skills

  • Effective communication
  • Scheduling
  • Managing patient anxiety
  • Handling late patients and cancellations
  • Earning respect for the profession
Dental assistant polishing patient's teeth in practice

Hard (Technical) Skills

  • Knowledge of Dental Instruments and Equipment
  • X-Ray Skills
  • Infection Control & Sterilization Practices
  • Digital Literacy & Numeracy

There’s more too, depending on the province or territory where you work—not to mention the requirements of the specific practice where you’ll be employed. That’s why comprehensive training and the right qualifications​​​​​​​​ are vital for any dental assistant starting out.

Learn more about the most important skills for dental assistants in Canada.

Smiling dental assistant with equipment in the background

Risio Institute’s Dental Aide Program: A Competitive Edge:

Risio Institute’s Dental Aide Program offers an excellent starting point for aspiring dental assistants. This online, self-directed program can be completed in three months or less, and provides foundational knowledge in:

  • Dental Basics:
    • Key terminology
    • Tooth ID
    • Numbering systems
    • Key procedures
    • Radiography
    • Treatment planning
  • Clinical Basics:
    • Delivering care
    • Suction techniques
    • Handling dental handpieces
    • Tray setup essentials
  • Sterilization:
    • Microbiology basics
    • Disease prevention
    • Infection control
    • Disinfection techniques

Priced at $985 with additional costs for textbooks, this is an accessible option for early career planners​​.

See the details of the Dental Aide program here.

Why Risio’s Right for Early Career Planners

The program is designed to be an effective primer for young people considering dental assisting as a first career after high school, as well as those seeking fundamental knowledge to help them transition into dental assisting from unrelated fields. It is ideal for

  • Anyone looking for entry-level positions such as sterilization techs in dental offices
  • Anyone working in dental administration who wants to understand the clinical side of the industry​​

Furthermore, students who complete this program can enroll in the Risio Dental Assistant Distance Delivery Program and automatically receive credit for Module 2​​.

Dental assistant holding tools after becoming qualified through Risio

Advancing with the Dental Assisting Diploma Program

Our Dental Aide program is the ideal way to get started on your journey if you don’t have any dental experience—but once you’ve used it to land your first job as a sterilization technician or administrative assistant in a practice, you’ll need to take the next step towards becoming a fully-designated dental assistant.

That’s what Risio’s Dental Assisting Diploma Program is for. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Length: 3 terms over 21 months in the Alberta program or 4 terms over 20 months in the Ontario program
  • Cost: approximately $15,000
  • Structure: 12 online modules with 21 days of clinical training and a 120-hour in-office practicum

Most importantly for early career planners, the program comes with 14 hours per week of work-integrated learning at a real-world dental practice built into the curriculum. That means you get:

This approach, integrating work and study, equips students with the qualifications and experience needed to excel anywhere in Canada​​.

The Diploma Program is particularly suitable for recent high school graduates interested in a career in dental assisting, administrative staff in dental practices aiming to transition into clinical roles, and professionals from other fields seeking a rewarding new career path​​.

Reach Your Potential with Risio

For young individuals at the start of their careers, the journey to becoming a dental assistant in Canada can be both exciting and challenging. Risio Institute’s Dental Aide and Diploma Programs provide a structured and efficient pathway to achieving this goal.

We encourage you to explore these programs and take the first step towards a fulfilling career in dental assisting. Explore and apply for Risio’s programs to jump-start your career in this dynamic and evolving field.

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