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This consultation ended January 30, 2016

CDSBC invites feedback on Dispensing of Non-Prescription Medication by Certified Dental Assistants

November 30, 2015

The Board of the College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC) has approved the draft document, Dispensing of Non-Prescription Medication by Certified Dental Assistants for a 60-day public consultation. The consultation period was open until January 30, 2016.


Since the Standards & Guidelines for Minimal and Moderate Sedation was published in May 2014, CDSBC has received questions about whether or not Certified Dental Assistants are allowed to dispense medication.

In response, the CDA Advisory Committee drafted the document, Dispensing of Non-Prescription Medication by Certified Dental Assistants. The document outlines when dentists are allowed to delegate and supervise CDAs in the dispensing of medication.

The key points are as follows:

  • Dentists may not delegate the administration or dispensing of drugs specified in Schedule 1, 1A or 2 of the Drug Schedules Regulation.

  • Dentists may delegate and supervise the dispensing of non-prescription drugs (drugs other than Schedule 1, 1A and 2) to a CDA provided they follow the requirements set out in the document.

Once approved by the Board, Dispensing of Non-Prescription Medications by Certified Dental Assistants will become a standard for the profession.


Administer: Provision of medications immediately preceding or during treatment

Dispense: Means give or provide medications including drugs purchased by the practitioner and/or samples, but does not include administration by or on behalf of the practitioner to a patient in the course of treatment.

Prescribe: To issue a prescription, that is direction given by a practitioner that a stated amount of drug be dispensed for the person named therein.

How to submit feedback

Feedback was received no later than January 30, 2016 and was submitted in one of two ways:

  • By email: (include the word "Dispensing" in the subject line
  • By mail: CDSBC Board, c/o Registrar's Office, 500 – 1765 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver B.C. V6J 5C6

Consultation and Next Steps

The consultation is open to members of the public, dental professionals and CDSBC’s partner organizations. CDSBC’s registrants (dentists, dental therapists and certified dental assistants) are invited to comment on the document.

Other organizations that are invited to comment include the Ministry of Health, the British Columbia Dental Association, and the regulators for dental hygienists, denturists, and dental technicians, UBC Dentistry, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, Doctors of BC, dental component societies in B.C. and provincial dental regulators across Canada.

CDSBC will collate the feedback for consideration by the CDA Advisory Committee. The intent is to submit the final document to the CDSBC Board for final approval in early 2016, after which it will become a standard for the profession.