Dental Assistant Job Description 2021 Update : Current School News

Dental Assistant Job Description 2021 Update

Filed in Job by on October 8, 2021



– Dental Assistant Job Description –

Learn the Dental Assistant job description to advertise yourself or that will attract candidates who are qualified for the job. Feel free to revise this job description to meet your specific job duties and job requirements.

Dental Assistant Job Description 2021 Update

Dental Assistant

Dental assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dentist in the delivery of quality oral health care and are valuable members of the dental care team.

If you have strong communication skills, enjoy working with your hands as well as your mind and want a career with responsibility, dental assisting is for you.

What does a dental assistant do? Read on to find out the answer to that question

Who is a Dental Assistant?

Dental assistants are responsible for providing the patient with high-quality care by performing a variety of office, laboratory, and patient care duties.

This usually entails helping the dentist handle patients, instruments, and supplies during the treatment of the teeth, mouth, and gums.

Dental assistants also document patient care and take x-rays.

A dental assistant helps with a variety of health care tasks, from taking dental x-rays and caring for patients, to helping file records and appointment scheduling.


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What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

Dental Assistants work at dentist’s offices, orthodontic practices and dental surgery centres to help administer patient care during dental cleanings and oral surgery.

Dental Assistants educate patients about procedures and dental maintenance, give instructions for oral care, order x-rays and other scans and reach out to patients about scheduling routine appointments.

They set up dental exam tables, assist during cleanings and fillings and hold dental instruments like suction tubs and mirrors while the Dentist works.

Dental Assistants also keep track of administrative duties like scheduling patients, stocking supplies and billing patients or insurance providers.

Dental Assistant Job Description Template

We are hiring a dental assistant for our busy dental practice. This is one of the many ways a dental assistant job advert goes.

You will help with preparing patients, sterilizing instruments, setting up rooms, and some dental hygiene tasks.

To do well in this role you should have a dental x-ray certification and provide a great level of patient care.

Dental Assistant Responsibilities

  1. Preparing patients for dental work.
  2. Helping with infection control by sterilizing and disinfecting instruments, setting up instrument trays, preparing materials, and assisting with dental procedures.
  3. Assisting dentists in managing medical and dental emergencies when necessary.
  4. Assisting dental hygienists with procedures when necessary.
  5. Providing great patient care.
  6. The recording of treatment information in patient records.
  7. Exposing dental x-rays from dental diagnostics and caring for dental x-ray equipment.
  8. Giving patients information on dental hygiene, oral health care, and plaque control programs.
  9. Collecting and recording medical and dental histories and patient vital signs.
  10. Providing postoperative instructions as directed by the dentist.
  11. Caring for dental equipment.
  12. Forming preliminary impressions for study casts and occlusal registrations for mounting study casts.
  13. Ordering dental supplies and maintaining dental equipment inventory.
  14. Fabricating temporary restorations and custom impressions from preliminary impressions.

Dental Assistant Requirements

  1. Dental x-ray certification.
  2. High school diploma or West African School Certificate (WAEC) or National Examination Council Certificates (NECO)
  3. Possession of B.Sc, HNDNCE, OND concerning the applied position from a recognized institution (an accredited dental assisting program).
  4. NYSC Discharge/Exemption Certificate.
  5. Completion of Dental Hygiene Program.
  6. Experience using computers for a variety of tasks (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.).
  7. Good written and verbal communication skills.
  8. Consistently professional appearance and attitude.
  9. Able to provide great patient care.

Most dental assistants are Registered Dental Assistants (RDAs).

While requirements vary by state, it is common to require the following to become an RDA: completion of an accredited dental assistant program, completion of a minimum number of work hours, certification in CPR, and passing of a practical and written exam.

Dental assistants must have strong interpersonal and listening skills.

Career Advantages

  1. Variety: Dental assisting is a challenging and rewarding career, demanding versatility and a willingness to assume responsibility for many different tasks.
  2. Flexibility: Since dental assistants are in demand, career options include both full-time and part-time positions.
  3. Excellent working conditions: Dental offices are interesting, pleasant, people-oriented environments in which to work.
  4. Personal satisfaction: Dental assisting involves people contact, and with this personal interaction comes the personal satisfaction of knowing you’ve really helped someone by helping to provide a valuable health service.
  5. Fact Sheet (PDF)

Earning Potential

The salary of a dental assistant depends primarily upon the responsibilities associated with the specific position and the geographic location of employment.

Dental assistants earn salaries equal to other health care personnel with similar training and experience such as medical assistants, physical therapy assistants, occupational therapy assistants, veterinary technicians and pharmacy assistants.

Earning Potential


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Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Assistants

1. What is the difference between a Dental Assistant and a Dental Hygienist?

Dental Assistants are in charge of general patient care and administrative support while Dental Hygienists spend most of their time working one-on-one with patients during cleanings.

Dental Hygienists undergo more rigorous training than Dental Assistants because they need to be able to recognize oral diseases, recommend treatment and use dental tools to scrub out stains, remove plaque and add sealants to teeth.

Dental Assistants spend most of their time processing the logistics of a dental visit, offering assistance when needed and communicating with patients to answer questions and schedule future appointments.

2. What makes a good Dental Assistant?

A good Dental Assistant needs to have many technical skills and personal characteristics that allow them to focus on efficient administration and attentive patient care.

Good Dental Assistants are highly focused and have a steady hand, allowing them to position dental tools correctly and hold them still throughout a procedure.

They are also organized and friendly, able to act as a welcoming receptionist behind the front desk, clearly explain dental issues to patients and track patient records.

Excellent Dental Assistant is careful and tidy and is able to consistently clean up during procedures to follow safety, health and sterilization standards.

3. What are the daily duties of a Dental Assistant?

On an average day, a Dental Assistant arranges the patient schedule, sends reminder texts to patients and briefs Dental Hygienists and Dentists on their list of procedures for the day.

They help patients sign in, process their insurance information, administer pre-appointment questionnaires.

Before a visit, Dental Hygienists prepare exam rooms by wiping down surfaces and preparing medications.

During a procedure, Dental Assistants can hand instruments to the Dentist and perform supervised cleaning activities.

Afterwards, the Dental Assistant explains aftercare instructions, cleans the exam room and performs exit paperwork.

4. What are the different types of Dental Assistants?

There are several types of Dental Assistants that have different levels of responsibility based on their certifications and experience.

Certified Dental Assistants, Registered Dental Assistants, Certified Orthodontic Assistants and Certified Functions Dental Assistants are some of the main certification titles available that allow Dental Assistants to specialize in a particular area of care.

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