Job Description: What Does A Dental Assistant Do?

Becoming a dental assistant is an excellent career choice that provides an excellent salary, as well as superior vacation and health benefits. The path to becoming certified in this position is relatively quick and easy. For those who are considering embarking on the certification process, it may well be timely for them to stop and consider for a moment the following question: “What does a dental assistant do?”

What Does A Dental Assistant Do?

The answer to this question is as follows: Many things, and different things from office to office and state to state. A general job description of the position and duties of a dental assistant may run as follows:

Working Directly With The Dentist

  • dental assistant at workA person in this position will work directly alongside the dentist. They will gather all of the tools needed for the procedure, as well as hand these tools to the dentist when needed.
  • A dental assistant may be responsible for keeping these dental tools in a sterilized condition, and in their proper place when not being used. Additionally, they will be responsible for gathering the proper x-rays and teeth molds for the dentist to refer to during the procedure itself.


Working With The Patients

  • A dental assistant will also work directly with the patients who come to the dentist’s office for their various procedures. They will show the patient into the room and make them comfortable while they wait for the dentist to appear.
  • A dental assistant may be asked to supervise all the minor pre- and post-operation details, such as taking x-rays and teeth molds for the dentist to reference in the actual operation. They may be asked to administer the anesthesia for an operation, as well as to remove dental sutures from the patient’s mouth after an operation has occurred.


Managing Duties In A Dentist’s Office

  • An assistant may well be asked to perform many important tasks dealing with the management of a dentist’s office. For example, they may be asked to assume the role of answering the telephone and taking down a patient’s information in order to set up an appointment with the dentist.
  • They may well be the person who is expected to meet and greet new patients. They will very likely be the person who is in charge of creating and maintaining all of the records for each individual patient.
  • An assistant may have other duties, such as ordering dental and office supplies. Finally, they may be in charge of taking and processing all payments made by patients for the services that the dentist has provided.


Performing Routine Laboratory Work

  • An assistant may perform routine work in the laboratory of a dentist’s office. Such duties may include making plaster teeth molds and other simple devices for the dentist to use during his daily procedures.
  • The dental laboratory is also the place where an assistant will handle the washing and sterilizing of removable and disposable dental devices, such as dentures, mouth guards, and the like.


As can be seen, the duties of a dental assistant are numerous and varied, but easily learned and performed.

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