Dental Assistant Description
Working under the supervision of a dentist, a Dental Assistant, performs a variety of oral treatments on patients. A dental assistant also prepares the treatment rooms and equipment. Dental assistants are oral health care professionals who use a variety of dental procedures and educational sessions on patients.
Dental Assistant Core Task and Skills Required
As an essential member of a dental team, Dental Assistants work under the direction of the dentist to provide direct care to patients by performing different oral treatments, educating patients, preparing treatment rooms and instruments, maintaining records, and communicating with patients and staff.
- Prepare treatment rooms
- Work directly and indirectly with patients
- Assist dentist during certain oral hygiene procedures
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments
- Taking radiographic or X-ray images
- Assist dentist with dental and medical emergencies
- Communicate with patients and dentists
- Educate patients by giving instruction related to oral hygiene, plaque control, and postoperative procedures
- Developing and maintaining infection control protocols
- Taking vital signs
- Obtain medical history of patients, document information
- Taking impressions of patients’ teeth to produce study casts
- Use computer programs
- Schedule appointments
- Order supplies
- Maintain confidential records and logs
Dental Assistant Salary
The average salary for a dental assistant is $20.69 per hour, or $36,000.00 annually
Dental Assistant Hours
Dental assistants can work full-time or part-time. While most work Monday to Friday during the day, others work evenings and weekends, depending on the hours of operation of the clinic they are working for.
Dental Assistant Training
To become a dental assistant, individuals must complete a dental assistant course from a recognized college. Programs can range from one year for a Dental Assistant I to a two year program for a Dental Assistant II.
Useful Information About Being a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants receive ongoing training related to new oral care technologies, software programs, and new treatments. They are also trained in office procedures and policies as outlined by the clinic.