What does a Dental Assistant do?

Dental assistants are responsible for providing the patient with high quality care by performing a variety of office, laboratory, and patient care duties. This usually entails helping the dentist handle patients, instruments, and supplies during the treatment of the teeth, mouth, and gums. Dental assistants also document patient care and take x-rays.

Most dental assistants are Registered Dental Assistants (RDAs). While requirements vary by state, it is common to require the following to become an RDA: completion of an accredited dental assistant program, completion of a minimum number of work hours, certification in CPR, and passing of a practical and written exam. Dental assistants must have strong interpersonal and listening skills.

What responsibilities are common for Dental Assistant jobs?
  • Take and document patient dental history and updates, as well as overall health and medication history
  • Assist dentist by handling supplies and instruments as requested
  • Prepare tables and trays for dentist with necessary instruments and supplies
  • Clean and sterilize instruments, and prepare treatment rooms as needed
  • Take, expose, and mount high quality dental radiographs
  • Ensure appropriate supply of equipment and materials
  • Perform patient charting as instructed by the dentist
  • Welcome patients and get them situated in the appropriate treatment room
What are the typical qualifications for Dental Assistant jobs?
  • High school diploma or general education degree (GED) required
  • Licensed as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) or a Registered Dental Assistant in Extended Functions (RDAEF)
  • Current CPR certification preferred
  • Radiology certification preferred
  • 1-2 years of experience as an RDA
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Proven ability to follow outlined policies and guidelines
  • Possess a professional and positive attitude
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.2 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.3 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Dental Assistant Salaries

Average Base Pay

£20,658 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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£16K
Median: £21K
£27K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Dental Assistant Insights

Read what Dental Assistant professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Yalobusha General Hospital
Dental Assistant
15 Aug 2021

“My supervisor was very understanding and worked with me the best he could it was a very rewarding job”

Diamond BracesDiamond Braces
Orthodontic Assistant
4 Jan 2021

“You have all the opportunities to learn and grow and become the best at what you do.”

Clairemont Pediatric DentalClairemont Pediatric Dental
Dental Assistant
21 Dec 2021

“Dr.Nguyen its super flexible and reasonable with the schedule which is one of the many reasons why I love working here.”

Aspen DentalAspen Dental
Dental Assistant
2 Aug 2021

“All training provided (I didn't go to school for anything remotely dental).”

Barotz Dental
Dental Assistant
21 Jun 2022

“It’s salary paid so if a procedure takes longer than normal you still get paid for an 8 hour day.”

Dr. Everett Renger Orthodontics
Dental Assistant
13 Aug 2022

“It was great to work to a very fun and happy orthodontits”

Rutgers UniversityRutgers University
Certified Dental Assistant
3 Aug 2021

“You can work and learn it’s a nice place to work especially if you love what you do”

Aspen DentalAspen Dental
Dental Assistant
20 Jan 2022

“I dont mind that much though because I know we're providing life changing treatment and helping patients!”

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