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Target audience

AudienceStatutory refugees, Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, Stateless people, Beneficiaries of temporary protection
Level of FrenchB2, C1, C2


Be in possession of a residence permit or a receipt

Where is it?

Become a dental assistant in France

Updated on il y a un an

What is it?

The dental assistant supports the dentist during medical and surgical procedures by greeting patients and setting them up in the waiting room, taking x-rays, cleaning and sterilizing dental instruments and equipment, and providing information to patients about dental care.

In addition to technical tasks, the dental assistant is also responsible for the administrative management of the dental office: answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, collecting payments, managing administrative and medical records, or even the management of stocks of equipment and medicines.

To work as a dental assistant in France, you must hold a professional title of dental assistant registered with the RNCP (National Directory of Professional Certification).

This diploma is generally obtained after 12 to 18 months of study in a specialized school, with practical internships to gain experience in a professional environment.

There are four possible training paths to obtain the dental assistant diploma:

  • Option 1: initial training (for students who have just obtained their baccalaureate or an equivalent diploma), including apprenticeship training for those under 30 years old. That is, you can take the training and work in a dental office. But for that you have to find your own employer.
  • Option 2: continuing vocational training (for people already engaged in professional life and in this sector),
  • Option 3: training under a professionalization contract for those over 30, to follow the training while working in a firm,
  • Option 4: Validation, partial or total, of acquired experience (VAE). To obtain a VAE, you must have worked in the field, complete a file and pass an interview.
To study to become a dental assistant, you need to have the Diplôme National du Brevet (GCSE) or equivalent and an intermediate B2 level of French.

How to do it?

There are three options for obtaining the dental assistant diploma:

Option 1: complete the entire training course (18 months)

Option 2: partial or total validation of experience (VAE) for people who have already worked in this profession.

Read the Réfugié fact sheet "Have your experience recognized with Expérience sans Frontières".

Option 3: fast-track dental assistant studies for people who hold a diploma allowing them to practise as a dental surgeon in their own country.

Preparation for the dental assistant diploma is provided in a training centre approved by the CPNE-FP ( National Joint Committee for Employment and Vocational Training) for private dental practices.

Click here to see the list of centres.

To register for the selection process, you need to submit an eligibility file directly to the training institute of your choice.

Candidates are selected in two stages:

1- eligibility based on application

2- admission interview

If your application is accepted and you already have a diploma or qualification entitling you to practise as a dental assistant or dental surgeon obtained outside a Member State of the European Union, you may be exempted from part of the training by the CPNE-FP: see stage 3.

The training lasts between 12 and 18 months (1878 hours) with:

  • 343 hours of theoretical training
  • 1,535 hours of practical training

Practical training can be carried out in independent dental or stomatological surgeries or in health centres, multidisciplinary health centres, health poles, health establishments or care centers providing a dental or stomatology service or maxillofacial surgery.

Follow the work-study program

Alternation means being employed by a liberal dental or stomatological practice, or in a health center, etc. who will finance the studies. In exchange, you have to commit to working for the employer outside of training time. You will be paid.

This contract can be an apprenticeship contract (for those under 30) or a professionalization contract (for those over 30)

If you already have a diploma or a title allowing the exercise of the profession of dental surgeon obtained outside a Member State of the European Union, you can be exempted from part of the training by the CPNE-FP .

To do this, you must enroll in a training school authorized by the CPNE-FP (list of these centers available on this link).

Registration is done on file. The file must contain the following documents:

  • A copy of an identity document.
  • A copy of your diploma or title translated into sworn French,
  • Your CV,
  • Your letter of motivation addressed to the CPNE-FP (in this letter, you ask according to your diploma the dispensations of some teaching units in this training),
  • Translation into French by a translator approved by the French courts of all documents.

To read: the sheet "Requesting the official translation of a document"

Please note that these documents must be in PDF or Word format (no other format will be accepted).

You can send these documents by email to:

If your file is accepted and validated by the CPNE-FP, you will be exempted from 6 credits. This means that instead of taking 8 teaching units, you will only take 2:

  • UE 3: Infectious risk management and equipment maintenance (49 hours)
  • UE 4: Management, transmissions and follow-up of the patient file (77 hours)
It will also be necessary to hold the Certificate of training in gestures and emergency care level 2 (AFGSU 2) (21 hours).

What happens next?

  • If you are 25 or under, you can apply for a grant from the Local Employment Mission.
  • In addition, if you have already worked in France, you can obtain assistance from Pôle Emploi.
  • The Region can also fund a monthly grant for paramedical professions. For Île-de-France, you will find the necessary information here.

It is possible to work directly as a dental assistant upon graduation.

To specialize

It is possible, internally, to obtain technical specializations in:

  • Periodontology,
  • implantology,
  • surgery,
  • dentofacial orthopedics,
  • oral hygiene...
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