Dental Assistant Job Description

A dental assistant can perform many duties. Their job responsibilities are to prepare and develop patients for dental treatments, teach patients how to care for their teeth, assist with teeth cleanings and evaluations, take X-rays and obtain a temporary or permanent temporary license to practice in the state they are working. Most states require a dental assistant to be insured. This is to protect the client and allow the dental assistant to be compensated if they are injured on the job. To be an assistant in a dental practice, one must have a high school diploma or GED (General Equivalent Diploma) to work as a dental assistant.

Dental Assistant


The training for this career is given by some colleges and schools. For people who have a desire to have a dental assistant job, but are not sure what they would do once they get the proper training, there is an alternative. There are many online institutions that offer online courses for dental assistant training. These programs are usually shorter than the regular college courses and cost less, as well. They are also much easier to fit into the busy lifestyles of most working adults today.


Dental assistants generally have a high school diploma or GED. Some also must have a background in chemistry, anatomy, physics and other health related fields. The main job duties of a dental assistant are to examine and diagnose patients for dental problems and then prepare and implement treatment plans. Dental Assistants are required to wear dental protective gear such as rubber gloves, long sleeves, eye protection and appropriate shoes. Some dental offices even provide oxygen to patients assisting them with procedures.

Dental Assistant

To qualify as a dental assistant, you must complete the required training and work towards the certificate. Many community colleges and vocational schools offer courses in dental assistant programs. Others can be found through local colleges, technical schools or the American Dental Association. If you decide to attend one of these schools, it is important to check out the program details and the cost of the course. It is also a good idea to inquire about job placement and if you would be able to get any hands-on training.

Upon completion of the course, you will receive a certificate, which will show that you have completed the program. The certificate should indicate what your job duties will be and how long you will be employed. You will probably be paid an hourly wage or a salary. Most dental offices prefer to hire individuals who have at least a high school diploma. To some, this is a prerequisite for the position because of the lack of practical experience on the job.

Once you have been hired and the job duties begin, you will have to perform routine duties in addition to lab work. Examples of routine duties include charting patient information, taking x-rays, sterilizing and preparing dental tools and instruments, preparing patient tray, and other similar tasks. You may be asked to handle other tasks as needed. You must be willing to do all tasks required by the dentist and report to him or her on a daily basis.

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