The Knowledge Nook

What Are The Duties of a Dental Assistant?

Posted by Tami Russell on Jun 6, 2017 10:27:27 PM


If you’ve considered a career as a Dental Assistant, then you’ve no doubt wondered about the daily duties of these vital healthcare professionals.  Here’s a look at what is normally considered within the routine, expected tasks of a Dental Assistant.

A Dental Assistant’s job is often described as the critical link between the patient and the dentist.  It is a job for people who enjoy working with people.  Characteristics of a good Dental Assistant include cheerfulness, an empathetic nature, and helpfulness.

Dental Assistants may be expected to

  • Greet patients, conduct intake and ensure that patients are comfortable
  • Prepare patients for procedures and treatment
  • Prepare and sanitize the work area and any necessary instruments
  • Assist dentists with complex procedures (often handling (and becoming very familiar with) instruments.)
  • Instruct patients in proper dental care
  • Collect and process X-rays or other lab tasks, including making dental impressions
  • Work in the front office by answering phone calls, scheduling appointments or working with invoicing systems and records

 How Do I Become A Dental Assistant?

The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners has a wealth of information on what it takes to become a Dental Assistant.  Read more by clicking the link.

As the site explains, those interested in becoming a Dental Assistant may earn different certificates once they receive basic training in the field and begin their careers.  These certificates are issued by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, and can include:

  • Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Certificate
  • Pit and Fissure Sealant Certificate
  • Coronal Polishing Certificate
  • Nitrous Oxide Monitoring Certificate

According to the Texas State Board website, Dental Assistants must pass a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) course, given by a TSBDE-approved RDA course provider.

In addition, Dental Assistants who hold the RDA certificate will be expected to complete CE (continuing education) programs each year.  The Texas State Board gives a detailed account of what this CE entails, including a list of approved CE course providers who offer CE training throughout the year.  Employers are often another source of information on required CE training.

Does the job of Dental Assistant sound like something you might enjoy? Check out all the links above, and see if this profession is right for you.

PDI's Dental Assisting program is now enrolling for Fall 2017.  Check out all the details here.

Topics: dental assistant

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