Aid dentist as required, especially in areas such as direct patient care, office duties, and preparing materials for treatments. Dental assistants are typically responsible for directly supporting dentists to ensure that procedures run smoothly. They manage equipment such as suction hoses to keep the patient’s mouth dry and workable during treatment, sterilize instruments, and develop X-rays/perform other lab tasks under dentist oversight. Additionally, they coordinate with clients to deliver information on effective hygiene techniques, schedule appointments, and arrange billing/payment. Because many of their tasks involve interaction with dentists and patients, they need to have strong interpersonal skills.
Depending on state regulations, dental assistants may perform coronal polishing to eliminate soft deposits, protect teeth from cavities with sealant or fluoride, and/or prepare patients for procedures by applying topical anesthetic. Some are also expected to prepare materials for temporary crowns and casts of teeth.
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Top hiring companies in your area for Dental Assistant positions
Required or preferred licenses and certifications for Dental Assistant positions.
The following top skills are often required or desired to land a Dental Assistant position= trending
Thinking about a career in the dental field? Not sure whether to pursue a hygienist or assistant position? While there are some core traits that all dental professionals should have – caring demeanor, attention to detail, dexterity, physical stamina – the career paths and requirements for a hygienist and assistant differ significantly. Compare these roles side-by-side to determine which option is best for you.
In addition to the commonly known Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential, DANB also offers the specialized/advanced Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA), Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA), and Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant (CRFDA) designations.
For dental assistants, and healthcare support occupations on the whole, the future is bright. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is expected to increase 25% between 2012 and 2022 with 74K+ new positions opening up.