Proposed Standards of Practice

September 20, 2023

We Want Your Feedback

Council approved circulating proposed additions to our Standards of Practice for you to review. For reference, you can see our current Standards of Practice here.

Please use our feedback form to give us your feedback by October 23, 2023.

We will consider your feedback and, as appropriate, may recommend adjustments to Council.

Proposed Addition

We are proposing to add criteria to Standard 3 – Patient-Centred Practice. The new criteria will be added as items b) through f) and the existing criteria will be renumbered. With the addition, Standard 3 will read:

3 Patient-Centred Practice

3.1 Dental Assistants place patients’ well-being first.


3.2 Dental Assistants

a) are guided by the patient’s needs;
b) listen to the patient’s perception of the problem, issue or concern;
c) acknowledge the patient’s lived experiences and concerns as their reality;
d) explain the treatment recommended based on the diagnosis and allow for the patient’s feedback before moving forward;
e) seek informed consent, including any modifications to the treatment plan made by the directing oral health professional to accommodate the patient’s wishes;
f) move forward with treatment in partnership with the patient;
g) must not procure or perform female genital mutilation;1
h) continually evaluate processes and outcomes to meet and improve the standard of care for patients;
i) maintain complete and accurate patient records in compliance with the policies and protocols of their place of practice and all relevant legislation or professional regulatory requirements;
j) respect and maintain the confidentiality of patient-related information;2
k) advocate for patients to assist them in meeting their oral health care needs; and
l) avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest.

1 Health Professions Act, s. 1.11(1)
2 Personal Information Protection Act, Health Information Act, etc.

About the Additions

Dental assistants spend a lot of time directly interacting with patients. They are uniquely positioned to ensure patients feel seen and heard. By including these criteria in Standard 3, we can underscore the importance of cultural safety and provide guidance to dental assistants for including cultural safety as part of their regular practice.

Why are we making these changes?

As a College, we have engaged speakers to help us understand the role of cultural safety and humility in health care during our Planting Seeds, Growing Leaders events over the last couple of years. The criteria we are proposing to add to Standard of Practice 3: Patient-Centred Practice capture the role dental assistants can play in bringing cultural safety into the provision of oral health services. Practicing cultural safety supports better patient experiences.

Your Opinion Matters

Any changes to the Standards of Practice may impact dental assistants’ practice. Your input on these proposed additions to our Standards of Practice is important to us. We want to understand your point of view.

Provide Feedback button

After Council considers feedback from stakeholders, makes any adjustments and approves the Standards of Practice, we will post them on our website. We will also let all dental assistants know by email.

Current date: May 23, 2024

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