Dental Assistant

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • Dental Assistants work under the direct supervision of a Dentist.
  • The tasks that a Dental Assistant perform are the most varied in the dental office.
  • Perform a variety of duties including: chair-side assisting, dental office procedures, and dental radiography.
  • The chair-side dental assistant assists the Dentist during patient care. Duties in this role may include, but are not limited to: preparing patients for treatment, operatory maintenance, oral evacuation, identification and transfer of dental instruments, matrix band assembly, anesthetic syringe assembly, fluoride application, exposure and processing of radiographs, and mixing dental materials.
  • In the role of receptionist/office assistant, duties may include recall systems, appointment scheduling, filing, maintaining patient records, dental insurance, financial arrangements and collection, and answering telephones.
  • Dental Assistants work primarily in general dental offices. Can also find employment with federal agencies such as Veteran's Administration, United States Public Health Services, the Armed Forces or state, county, or city health facilities. There is some opportunity to work in dental labs, hospitals and insurance companies.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Dental Assistants like working with people.
  • Attributes should include being neat, well-groomed in appearance, conscientious in work habits, and have good interpersonal skills.
  • Need strong communication skills, enjoy working with your hands as well as your mind, and want a career with responsibility.
  • Do not like the risk of contracting contagious diseases. 

Getting Started