Types of Registers and Registrants

We maintain three registers: general, provisional and courtesy.

Our registrant types are:

  • Registered, Provisional and Courtesy Dental Assistants who have met our requirements and are authorized to practice
  • Leave of Absence, Suspended and Cancelled who are not authorized to practice

Registers

Our three registers have unique purposes and requirements, which we explain below. However, this information is common to all:

Regardless of which register a dental assistant is on, they must also hold a valid Practice Permit to be able to practice. They may provide care, including entry practices and advanced practices, according to any conditions or authorizations on their practice. You can find these details by using our Registry.

Once they are on a register, they must continue to meet our requirements to stay on the register. For example, demonstrating good character, annual renewal and continuing competence.

Dental assistants may cancel their own registration. We also may cancel a dental assistant’s registration (for reasons like failing to meet requirements or as part of discipline orders). When a dental assistant’s registration is cancelled, we remove them from the register they were on.

General Register

Most of our registrants are on our General Register. Dental assistants on this register have met all of our requirements for registration (see RP1 Initial Application in our Registration Policies).

While on the General Register, a dental assistant may choose to apply for Leave of Absence (non-practicing) status. When they do, we suspend their Practice Permit. They remain on our General Register, but they must not practice.

When a dental assistant fails to meet annual renewal requirements, we suspend their Practice Permit. They remain on our General Register for a limited time, but they must not practice. They may reinstate their Practice Permit while they are on our General Register. If they don’t reinstate within the given time, we will cancel their registration and remove them from the General Register.

Provisional Register

Dental assistants on our Provisional Register are working toward meeting our requirements for registration. They must have already completed formal education and be in the process of completing national board requirements or upgrading (see RP2 Provisional Registration in our Registration Policies).

They must practice under direct supervision only.

Once they are on our Provisional Register, they must complete all outstanding national board requirements or upgrading within 365 days. After completing their requirements, they are eligible for transfer to our General Register. If they don’t complete their requirements within the given time, we will cancel their registration and Practice Permit, and remove them from the Provisional Register.

When a provisional dental assistant fails to meet annual renewal requirements, we suspend their Practice Permit. They remain on our Provisional Register for a limited time, but they must not practice. They may reinstate their Practice Permit while they are on our Provisional Register. If they don’t reinstate within the given time, we will cancel their registration and remove them from the Provisional Register.

Courtesy Register

Our Courtesy Register is for out-of-province dental assistants who need to practice dental assisting in Alberta for a specific purpose and on a short-term, temporary basis only. For example, attending education that involves providing dental assisting services or teaching dental assisting.

Dental assistants on this register have met our requirements for courtesy registration (see RP3 Courtesy Registration in our Registration Policies).

We enter them on our Courtesy Register and issue their Practice Permits for the duration of the planned activity only. When their Practice Permit expires, we will cancel their courtesy registration and remove them from the Courtesy Register.

Registrants

Registered Dental Assistant

  • has met the requirements for registration
  • is on the General Register
  • has a Practice Permit
  • is authorized to perform:
    • administrative duties
    • infection prevention and control procedures
    • laboratory procedures
    • chairside assisting
    • any or all of the allowed entry and advanced practices*
  • is covered by professional liability insurance
  • may use the protected titles “registered dental assistant/RDA” and “dental assistant/DA”
  • may supervise a Provisional Dental Assistant

*Check our Dental Assistant Registry to see what an individual dental assistant is authorized to do.

Provisional Dental Assistant

  • has completed education and is in the process of completing national board requirements
  • is on the Provisional Register
  • has a Provisional Practice Permit
  • is authorized to perform, while supervised by a Registered Dental Assistant, dentist, dental hygienist, denturist or other person approved by the Registrar:
    • administrative duties
    • infection prevention and control procedures
    • laboratory procedures
    • chairside assisting
    • any or all of the allowed entry and advanced practices*
  • is covered by professional liability insurance
  • may use the protected title “dental assistant/DA”

*Check our Dental Assistant Registry to see what an individual dental assistant is authorized to do.

Courtesy Dental Assistant

  • has met the requirements to practice for a short-term, specific purpose such as:
    • attend an education course that involves intra-oral practice
    • instruct at an education course that involves intra-oral practice
    • evaluate the credentials of registration applicants
    • may practice at specified practice sites as approved by the Registrar
  • is on the Courtesy Register
  • has a Practice Permit
  • is covered by professional liability insurance

Leave of Absence (non-practicing)

  • has chosen to take a leave from practice
  • is not authorized to practice
  • may not use the protected titles “registered dental assistant/RDA” and “dental assistant/DA”
  • is on the General Register
  • has a suspended practice permit
  • is not covered by professional liability insurance

Suspended

  • is not authorized to practice
  • may not use the protected titles “registered dental assistant/RDA” and “dental assistant/DA”
  • is on the General Register
  • has a suspended practice permit*
  • is not covered by professional liability insurance
  • must reinstate their permit before practicing

*We may suspend permits for reasons such as:

  • a dental assistant does not renew their permit
  • a dental assistant does not meet Competence Program requirements
  • as a result of disciplinary action

Cancelled

  • is not authorized to practice
  • may not use the protected titles “registered dental assistant/RDA” and “dental assistant/DA”
  • is not on a register
  • has cancelled registration and practice permit*
  • is not covered by professional liability insurance
  • must apply for registration and a practice permit before practicing

*We may cancel registration and practice permits for reasons such as:

  • a dental assistant requests it
  • as a result of disciplinary action
  • failure to apply for renewal or status change
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