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Dental Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Dental Assistant, or Dental Technician, is responsible for helping a licensed Dentist in their day-to-day duties and responsibilities. The tasks of a Dental Assistant generally include record-keeping, performing X-rays, and scheduling appointments with patients.

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What does a Dental Assistant do?

A Dental Assistant is responsible for helping to provide patient care and supporting the Dentists they work with. The role comes with a variety of responsibilities such as teaching patients proper dental hygiene, preparing the room and its equipment, and performing basic dental procedures.

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Dental Assistant Job Description Examples:

Dental Assistant duties and responsibilities

When writing a job description for a Dental Assistant, it’s important to specify the main functionalities of the role. Some of the most important duties and responsibilities required to excel as a Dental Assistant include:

  • Helping with administrative tasks in the office such as scheduling and record-keeping
  • Preparing and taking X-rays of patients
  • Greeting patients upon arrival
  • Teaching and advising patients on proper oral hygiene
  • Assisting in dental procedures
  • Sterilizing equipment and following proper hygienic protocol
  • Assisting the dentist with emergency dental work
  • Managing the inventory of dental equipment and supplies

Dental Assistant skills and qualifications

A successful Dental Assistant candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications required for the duties of this job, including:

  • Knowledge and understanding of good oral hygiene
  • Knowledge of various dental procedures and instruments
  • Ability to perform basic dental procedures such as cleaning, X-rays and dental impressions
  • Customer service skills
  • Ability to perform office management tasks such as scheduling appointments, and ordering supplies
  • Knowledge of dental technology
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Organizational skills

Dental Assistant experience requirements

In most cases, prior work experience as a Dental Assistant is required. Two to three years of experience is generally considered a good amount for job applicants applying to a Dental Assistant position. Job applicants with experience working with EMR (electronic medical records) make great candidates for the role, especially for dental practices that are technologically advanced. Candidates who have experience in a customer-facing role may also be given consideration.

Dental Assistant education and training requirements

A candidate with a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited University may be preferred for the position, although this is often not a requirement. Candidates may also need a degree from an accredited provincial Dental Assistant program such as the Ontario Dental Assistant Association (ODAA). Be sure to look for a job applicant who has a National Dental Assistant Examining Board certification. It is also important to look for an applicant who has obtained proper CPR and first aid certifications.

Dental Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Dental Assistant is $22.91 per hour. Pay can vary depending on many factors including experience, location, or the company that is hiring.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Dental Assistant isn’t quite what you are looking for, other related job descriptions include:

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Dental Assistant job description FAQs

What should you look for in a Dental Assistant resume?

When reviewing job applicants for a Dental Assistant role, it’s important to ensure that a candidate meets your experience, education, and training requirements. A candidate with experience in processing insurance claims should be preferred. Look for a job applicant who can speak multiple languages, if that is beneficial to the dental practice. Lastly, look for a job applicant that is teamwork-oriented by looking for someone who has sports or other group activities listed as an extracurricular.

What qualities make a good Dental Assistant?

Attention to detail is an important skill for applicants to have in this role since oral procedures come with serious risks. A Dental Assistant should also have a cheerful disposition, and be able to help make patients feel more welcome and comfortable. It is also important for a Dental Assistant to be able to maintain a good professional relationship with the Dentists they work with.

What makes a good Dental Assistant Job description?

A good job description for a Dental Assistant starts with a brief description of the business as well as detail the typical job schedule, and include the location of the dental practice. It should state the specific job duties, responsibilities, and requirements clearly. The description may also include other considered qualifications. It must also confirm that the position comes with government-mandated benefits.

What is the difference between a Dental Assistant and a Dental Hygienist?

A Dental Assistant is educated more on the practice of dentistry including administration, whereas a Dental Hygienist is typically educated in dental theories and community health. Dental Assistants help Dentists perform their daily duties. A Dental Assistant may also perform administrative work such as scheduling appointments with patients. In contrast, Dental Hygienists generally focus on treating patients. The duties of a Dental Hygienist can include providing preventative care, assessing the health of a patient’s mouth, and examining a patient.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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