Dental Assistant Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | September 3, 2023
Dental Assistant job description, duties, tasks, and responsibilities
Dental Assistants prepare dental offices for patients’ visits. Image source:

This post covers the dental assistant job description, to help you learn the duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

The main duty in a dental assistant job description is to prepare a dental office for patient visits.

He or she may also engage in some small jobs like reading and developing x-rays, organizing files and preparing tooth impressions and dental molds.

Performing these tasks allows the hygienist and dentist to give more time exclusively to patient’s care.

Dental assistants often times rarely have formal dental training but do typically become very versed in common practices and procedures while on the job.

They can play a more active role in patient care when needed — though majority of their duties is usually being carried out “behind the scenes.”

A very common dental assistant duty is the preparation of exam rooms by setting out instruments and making sure everywhere is clean.

The assistant will check in order to be sure that all tools are both operational and present, and will also make sure that supplies like fluoride rinse, toothpaste, as well as plastic gloves are in stock.

After an exam, the assistant would be responsible for re-setting and cleaning the space. This usually involves sweeping, general dusting, mopping as well as sterilizing all equipment.

At the end of the day, dental assistants typically close down the office and shut off all appliances.

They do not always provide direct patient care, yet this does not mean that they can’t have outside interactions.

Therefore, a lot depends on the practice here, even at that, assistants are often times responsible for escorting patients to exam rooms.

They often do this by offering mouthwash for a pre-cleaning rinse or by providing a protective bib.

Dental assistants also work on patients who need impressions taken off their teeth.

Preparing and filling molds is generally a simple procedure, it must however be done in a specific way to ensure good results.

Assistants in a dental office are usually the people in charge of taking the impression, as well as filling in the mold, which they would thereafter turn over to the dentist in charge for further study.

Dental Assistant Job Description Example/Sample/Template

Presented below is an example of a typical dental assistant’s job description, consisting of important duties, tasks, and responsibilities they are expected to perform:

  • Applying the four-handed dentistry concepts
  • Assist with specialty procedures which include periodontal therapy, endodontic, prosthodontics, oral surgery and implant placement as well as restoration
  • Anticipate specialists/surgeons needs at each stage of treatment
  • Take preliminary impressions;
  • Select and manipulate different kind of gypsums and waxes; trims, pours, and evaluate the quality of diagnostic casts
  • Fabricate custom trays
  • Responsible for laboratory maintenance, dental clinical and record keeping
  • Gather diagnostic information
  • Pulp vitality testing
  • Selecting shades and placing retraction cord.
  • Will fabricate temporary crowns and remove permanent cement from supragingival surfaces
  • Employ four-handed practices to assists dentist with patient treatment
  • Make sure that operatory is clean, disinfected and stocked before seating patient
  • Review patient’s health history
  • Make chart entries with directive from the dental provider
  • Takes x-rays
  • Protect patients from unnecessary radiation while taking X-rays
  • Educate patients regarding proper flossing and brushing techniques
  • Sterilizes instruments when needed
  • Comply with dental regulatory guidelines and protocols
  • Prepare patients for oral examination
  • Assist clinicians and owner doctors in provision of treatment.

Dental Assistant Job Description for Resume

The job description sample shown above can serve as a source of valuable information in preparing a resume for the position.

Here is a complete sample resume that you can study and learn how to write a resume from: Dental Assistant Resume Example.

Dental Assistant Requirements: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for Career Success

To succeed on the job, dental assistants are usually required to possess the following skills, knowledge, and abilities:

  • CPR certification
  • Must have dental Assistant experience
  • High school equivalent
  • Proficiency in dental assistant terminology and procedures
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Excellent patient care skills
  • Friendly, positive demeanor
  • Good manual dexterity
  • Strong computer skills.

See more dental assistant skills needed to succeed on the job.

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