Roles in the Office

Each country and culture is different when it comes to the responsibilities of each of the members of the dental team. Even the size of the office, or if it’s located in a rural vs urban area can have an effect on each of the roles.

Because each licensing body is different, variations to each including their ability to perform certain procedures and examinations by each of these positions may change depending on what part of the world, or even province/state you live.

A few common positions, at least in Nova America include:



The front of office staff at as the face of the business, greeting patients, scheduling appointments and often handling the financial transactions.

Office Manager

The office manager handles a number of key functions around the practice, as in addition to providing health care services, a dental practice is also a business. This include such responsibilities as human resources, scheduling, finances, accounting, knowledge of office protocols & regulations, employee management

Dental Assistant

The dental assistant is required by the dentist to assist in all procedures to ensure they have support at all time. They also prepare and clean the operatory, expose radiographs and make impressions.

Dental Hygienist

The key responsibilities include accessing patient’s oral health, debridement and scaling, fluoride application, preventative services and patient education, smoking cessation counselling,

Dental Technician

In Canada, dental technicians are usually not onsite. Their responsibilities include working with a dental prescription to fabricate crowns, bridges, dentures, and mouth guards. This makes them a valuable member of the dental team, even though they are not often seen by patients.



Although they may be referred to by a different title all over the world, dentists are trained professionals in examinations, diagnosis, prevention and treatments of all things having to do with your neck, lips, gums, tongue and teeth.

Within the dental community, you will also have dentists who are referred to as “specialists”. This means they have taken extra steps to study certain areas of practice, and focus their practice in that area. In Canada, the following areas are recognized dental specialties:

  • Endodontics
  • Oral Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral Medicine and Pathology
  •  Dental Public Health
  •  Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
  •  Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
  •  Pediatric Dentistry
  •  Periodontics
  •  Prosthodontics