Dental Technicians assist and support Dental Officers in delivering dental services to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and, occasionally, their families and dependants.
A Dental Technician has the following primary duties:
- Perform preventive dentistry procedures and deliver preventive dentistry instruction
- Produce dental x-rays and preliminary impressions for study casts
- Perform clinical dental laboratory procedures
- Perform preventive maintenance on dental equipment
- Manage dental supplies and records
- Drive and maintain the Mobile Dental Clinic
- Operate and maintain the Air Transportable Dental System
Dental Technicians normally work in a professional dental office. When in the field with an Army unit, they may work in a Mobile Dental Clinic or an Air Transportable Dental System. They may also work onboard a ship. Dental Technicians may be posted to a base within Canada or deployed on operations around the world.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Dental Technician is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Dental Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training. At the rank of Sergeant, they are eligible for training as a Dental Hygienist.
Related civilian occupations
- Dental Assistant
- Dental Hygienist
Basic military qualification
The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the CAF physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
Basic occupational qualification training
Dental Technicians must complete Basic Driver Training, which prepares them to drive the Mobile Dental Clinic Trailer and other medium-duty vehicles. Upon completion of Basic Driver Training, Dental Technicians will then enter the Dental Technician Course at the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre in Borden, Ontario. The Dental Technician Course is a four-week program focused on field operations and dental clinic administration.
Dental Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Palliative Dental Emergency Procedures
- Dental Clinic Management
- Field Dental Support
As they progress in their career, Dental Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Instructional Techniques
- Dental Hygiene
If you already have a Level II Dental Assisting Diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board Certificate, including a registration/licence with the provincial regulatory body where applicable (provincial regulatory organizations) and 900 hours clinical experience within the last three years, the CAF may place you directly into the any required on-the-job training program following basic training. No minimum experience is required for new graduates. Basic training and military occupation training is required before being assigned.
Non-commissioned Member Subsidized Education Program (NCM STEP)
Because this position requires specialty training, the CAF will pay successful recruits to attend the diploma program at an approved Canadian college. NCM SEP students attend basic training and on-the-job training during the summer months. They receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full-pay in exchange for working with the CAF for a period of time. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the CAF and the appropriate college. For more information, see Paid education.
This occupation is available part-time within the following environment: Army
Serve with the Reserve Force
The role of the Canadian Forces Health Services Reserves is to provide trained personnel to support, augment and sustain Canadian Forces Health Services organizations for Forces operations and training activities, while building and maintaining links between the Forces and the local community.
As a health care professional in the Health Service Reserves, you must have an unrestricted licence to practise in your clinical field (including certification in your specific specialty) and have the ability to maintain clinical currency within your civilian workplace.
This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time with a military unit in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.
Dental Technicians serve may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army or the Royal Canadian Air Force as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. They are employed to assist and support Dental Officers in delivering dental services to Forces members and, occasionally, their families and dependants. When they are employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve at a location within Canada.
Reserve Force training
Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training, Dental Technicians attend a course on driver training on medium-duty vehicles and the Mobile Dental Clinic trailer and then a four-week Dental Technician Course at the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Center in Borden, Ontario.
Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 85 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.
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