What is a Dental Assistant and What Do They Do?

The main role of a dental assistant is to assist dentists during procedures using four-handed dentistry. Though this is the primary role, they have many other roles that may vary depending on the dental office.

Our goal is to prepare students for any and all types of dental offices and tasks a dentist may require them to perform.

Some of these roles are (but not limited to):

  • Seating patientsdental assisting
  • Dental charting
  • Help patients to feel comfortable
  • Assist dentists by handing them instruments during procedures
  • Sterilize instruments
  • Take and develop patient x-rays
  • Give patients pre- and post-procedure instructions
  • Schedule patient appointments
  • Prepare operatories by cleaning the room between patients, and setting up for the next procedure
  • Restocking operatories with dental supplies
  • Taking patient impressions
  • Pouring patient models
  • Making soft night guards, bleaching trays, and sports guards

Watch the video below for a description of the dental assistant’s role:

Why a Career in Dental Assisting?

Becoming a dental assistant can be a very rewarding experience with positive job benefits:

  • Pay: Dental assistants are typically paid a healthy hourly rate.
  • Hours: Most dental assistants work daytime hours during the week.
  • Expected Job Growth: According to the US Department of Labor, the dental assistant field is expected to grow by 31%, which is much faster than average careers.
  • Health Benefits: Most dentists provide some form of healthcare benefits that their employees may participate in.
  • Rewarding: Working in the dental field allows assistants to help others in need.  It is an extremely gratifying career.

*Dental Assistant Statistics may be found at:    www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm

Hear what some of our alumni have said about the Dental Assisting Program: