Dental Assistants Regulations

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Dental Assistants Regulations
made under Section 45 of the

Dental Act

S.N.S. 1992, c. 3

O.I.C. 94-473 (May 31, 1994), N.S. Reg. 92/94

as amended up to O.I.C. 2007-581 (November 6, 2007), N.S. Reg. 424/2007


1     These regulations may be cited as the Dental Assistants Regulations.

Section 1 added: O.I.C. 2002-6, N.S. Reg. 3/2002.


1A  In this regulation


                (a)    "Act" means the Dental Act, S.N.S. 1992, c. 3, as amended;


                (b)    "accredited dental assistants' program" means a dental assistants' trainingprogram that at the date of graduation by an applicant for registration has beenaccredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada or itspredecessor, the Council on Education of the Canadian Dental Association, orthe Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association;

Clause 1(b) amended: O.I.C. 97-588, N.S. Reg. 119/97.


                (c)    "Association" means the Nova Scotia Dental Assistants Association;


                (d)    "Board" means the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia;


                (e)    "Dental Assistants' Register" means the Register of Dental Assistantsestablished and maintained by the Registrar pursuant to the Act;


                (f)    "licensed dental assistant" means a dental assistant whose name has beenregistered in the Dental Assistants' Register and who holds a current licenceissued pursuant to the Act to engage in the practice of dental assisting;


                (g)    "registered dental assistant" means a person whose name has been registered inthe Dental Assistants' Register whether or not that person holds a currentlicence to engage in the practice of dental assisting;


                (h)    "Registrar" means the Registrar of the Board;


                (i)     "unprofessional conduct" by a dental assistant includes


                         (i)     the contravention or violation of any provisions of the Dental Act orregulations made pursuant to the Act,


                         (ii)    failure to abide by the terms, conditions or limitations of any licenceissued under the Act,


                         (iii)   incompetence in the practice of dental assisting,


                         (iv)   conduct that is detrimental to the best interests of one or more patients,


                         (v)    performing services other than those authorized pursuant to the Act orregulations,


                         (vi)   engaging in the practice of dental assisting while the ability to performservices is impaired by alcohol or other drugs,


                         (vii)  engaging in the practice of dental assisting while the ability to do so isimpaired by an infirmity or reasons of health,


                         (viii)  failure to comply with a decision of the Discipline Committee or theBoard,


                         (ix)   failure to observe the Code of Ethics for Dental Assistants as prescribedby the Board,


                         (x)    providing false or misleading information to the Board,


                         (xi)   conviction for any offence related to or which brings into question theability to practice dental assisting.

Section 1 renumbered 1A: O.I.C. 2002-6, N.S. Reg. 3/2002.


Designation of dental assistants

2     The members of the associate health profession of dental assisting shall be known as"dental assistants" and, subject to the provisions of the Act and this regulation, may engagein the practice of dental assisting as herein defined.


3     Only a person who is registered with the Board and who holds a current licence shall beentitled to engage in the practice of dental assisting.


4     A dental assistant registered under the Act may use the designation dental assistant,licensed dental assistant or registered dental assistant.


Scope of dental assisting functions and standards of practice

5     (1)    A licensed dental assistant may perform the following the intra-oral duties:


                (a)    placing and removing a rubber dam;


                (b)    taking an impression;


                (c)    exposing dental radiographs;


                (d)    preparing a simple bite registration;


                (e)    applying any of the following:


                         (i)     anticariogenic agents,


                         (ii)    treatment liners where there is no pulpal involvement,


                         (iii)   matrices and wedges,


                         (iv)   pit and fissure sealants,


                         (v)    disclosing agents,


                         (vi)   topical anesthetic,


                         (vii)  desensitizing agents;


                (f)    coronal whitening using non-prescription materials;


                (g)    reversible dental procedures not listed in clauses (a) to (f) at the direction of thedentist;


                (h)    oral health and hygiene instruction;


                (i)     subject to Section 10, rubber cup polishing of the coronal surfaces of the teeth;


                (j)     dietary counseling related to dentistry;


                (k)    any duties that the Board prescribes.

Subsection 5(1) replaced: O.I.C. 2007-581, N.S. Reg. 424/2007.


       (2)    Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed to authorize a licensed dental assistantto undertake or a licensed dentist to delegate any of the following:


                (a)    diagnosis or treatment planning;


                (b)    severing or cutting hard or soft tissue;


                (c)    prescribing or administering drugs;


                (d)    prescribing or designing any intra-oral appliance or prosthesis;


                (e)    placement, condensing, or carving any restorative material;


                (f)    placement or removal of bonded orthodontic appliances or cementation orremoval of orthodontic bands or brackets, or the activation of orthodonticarchwires;


                (g)    the use of any rotary or mechanical device in the oral cavity except aspermitted in subsection (1)(i);


                (h)    scaling of hard or soft deposits on teeth.


       (3)    Under no circumstances shall non-registered persons employed in dental offices bepermitted to perform any intra-oral duties.


       (4)    The standards of practice for dental assistants may be prescribed by the Board.


6     (1)    A licensed dentist may employ a licensed dental assistant to engage in the practice ofdental assisting.


       (2)    Subject to the provisions of Section 7 of this regulation and subject toSection 17(2)(b) of the Act, a person entitled to engage in the practice of dentalassisting may do so only in the employ and under the supervision of a licenseddentist.


       (3)    A licensed dentist shall be responsible for all aspects of care given by a licenseddental assistant employed or working under supervision of a licensed dentist and thelicensed dentist shall be held accountable for the quality and delivery of that care.


       (4)    For the purposes of this regulation, "supervision of a licensed dentist" means thedentist is physically present with the office premises while the licensed dentalassistant engages in the practice of dental assisting.


7     (1)    Any authority, institution or board, having the written permission of the Board, mayemploy as a dental assistant a person specifically named in such written permissionwho holds a current licence to engage in the practice of dental assisting.


       (2)    Such written permission shall be given by the Board only to an authority, institution,or board which retains the services of a licensed dentist.


       (3)    A person entitled to engage in the practice of dental assisting and who is named insuch written permission may engage in the practice of dental assisting in the employof the authority, institution or board, but may only do so


                (a)    under the supervision of a licensed dentist; or


                (b)    with the written permission of the Board granted pursuant to Section 17(2)(b)of the Act.


Qualifications and registration

8     (1)    A person who has completed an accredited dental assistants’ program and who holdsthe National Dental Assisting Examination Board Certificate is eligible to beregistered in the Dental Assistants’ Register.


       (2)    A person who satisfies the Registrar that the person has graduated from anaccredited dental assistants’ program is eligible to be granted a conditional licence topractise dental assisting for a period of 1 year from the date of issuance of thelicence.


       (3)    A conditional licence referred to in subsection (2) shall not be renewed and theholder of such a licence is not eligible to continue the practice of dental assistingunless the person holds the National Dental Assisting Examination Board Certificateand satisfies the other requirements for registration.


       (4)    A person who has graduated from a non-accredited dental assistants’ program isrequired to hold the National Dental Assisting Examination Board Certificate and, inaddition, may be required to pass a clinical examination, complete an upgradeprogram or both, in order to be eligible to be registered in the Dental Assistants’Register.


       (5)    In this Section, “Agreement on Internal Trade” means the agreement signed by thefederal, provincial, and territorial governments of Canada, which came into force onJuly 1, 1995, to facilitate the free movements of persons, goods, services, andinvestments throughout Canada.


       (6)    For the purposes of labour mobility under the Agreement on Internal Trade, a personwho has a non-restricted licence obtained in any Canadian licensing jurisdictionbefore July 1, 2001, and who has 900 hours of clinical practice experience in thefield of dental assisting during the last 3 years is recognized as holding the necessaryqualifications for licensure as a dental assistant and is eligible to be registered in theDental Assistants’ Register.

Section 8 replaced: O.I.C. 2007-581, N.S. Reg. 424/2007.


9     (1)    The Registrar shall enter the name of a person in the Dental Assistants' Register who


                (a)    meets the qualification requirements of Section 8;


                (b)    completes an application in a form satisfactory to the Board;


                (c)    pays the registration fee as prescribed by the Board;


                (d)    is of good moral character;


                (e)    is not the subject of any pending complaint or sanction in another licensingjurisdiction;


                (f)    if the subject of a pending complaint in another licensing jurisdiction, providesfull details to the Registrar and satisfies the Registrar that such complaint is nota reason to refuse registration;


                (g)    meets any other reasonable conditions of the Board or the Registrar.


       (2)    Where an applicant has not fulfilled all the requirements for registration as set out inthe Act and this regulation, the Board may take such action and impose suchconditions of registration and licensing as the Board deems appropriate in thecircumstances.


10   A licensed dental assistant shall not perform rubber cup polishing of the coronal surfacesof the teeth of any patient without first satisfying the Registrar that he or she has completeda training program on the subject approved by the Board.


10A  Effective April 30, 2001, no person shall qualify for an annual licence and no person shallbe qualified to have his or her name in the Dental Assistants’ Register unless the personhas successfully completed a training program approved by the Board in rubber cuppolishing of the coronal surfaces of the teeth.

Section 10A added: O.I.C. 2000-402, N.S. Reg. 136/2000.


Assistants' register and registration

11   The Dental Assistants' Register may be in such form as the Registrar determines and maybe a book, binders, electronic database, or other form.


12   The Dental Assistants' Register shall contain the following information for each dentalassistant:


                (a)    name;


                (b)    address;


                (c)    date of registration;


                (d)    unique registration number;


                (e)    academic qualifications;


                (f)    additional qualifications;


                (g)    record of discipline proceedings, if applicable.


Annual licensing

13   (1)    For the purpose of this Section, "licensing year" means the period from May 1st tothe following April 30th.


       (2)    The Board shall determine the annual licensing fee for a Licensed Dental Assistantfor the ensuing licensing year.


       (3)    Notice of the annual license fee shall be sent to each Licensed Dental Assistant byApril 1st immediately preceding the commencement of the licensing year.


       (4)    A Dental Assistant applying for a license for the ensuing year shall pay the annuallicense fee to the Registrar on or before April 30th immediately preceding thecommencement of the licensing year.


       (5)    The annual fee for membership in the Association shall be determined by theAssociation.


       (6)    The Association shall on or before April 30th in each year notify the Registrar of thenames of the Dental Assistants who have not paid the annual membership fee for theAssociation's current year.


       (7)    A Dental Assistant who has been struck from the Dental Assistants' Registerpursuant to subsection 24(2) of the Act for late payment of Association membershipdues or the annual licensing fee payable to the Board shall be reinstated effective thefirst day of the current licensing year upon payment of the amounts owing togetherwith the reinstatement fee set by the Board.


       (8)    Every Dental Assistant who holds a current license issued by the Board shall, at thetime of paying the annual licensing fee referred to in subsection (2), provide theBoard with a signed statement indicating whether or not the person has beenengaged as a Dental Assistant within the preceding twelve months.


       (9)    A Dental Assistant who has not been engaged in the practice of dental assistingwith[in] the preceding five years at the date of license renewal shall be required topass examinations prescribed by the Board and meet the requirements of the Boardbefore the license shall be issued.

Section 13 replaced: O.I.C. 97-588, N.S. Reg. 119/97.



14   The provisions of the Discipline Regulation pursuant to the Act shall apply to licenseddental assistants.