Dental Career Profiles: Dental Assistant

Dental Career Profiles: Dental Assistant

Interested in a career as a dental assistant? This article will give you the information you'll need to decide if dental assisting is the right career path for you. Let us answer some of your questions about job responsibilities and requirements.

Job Responsibilities & Requirements

What does a dental assistant do and how is it different from a dental hygienist? Although both of these professions share similar responsibilities, they are also very different. Below is a list of some of the common job responsibilities for dental assistants:

  • Preparing patients for treatment
  • Sterilizing instruments
  • Assisting dentists during procedures by providing tools and materials
  • Helping patients schedule appointments
  • Teaching patients about proper oral health
  • Taking patient x-rays

Much like dental hygienists, it is also very important for dental assistants to have excellent people and communication skills, as they will be interacting with patients constantly on a daily basis. As the dental industry evolves, assistants must have a variety of skills and be constantly learning and improving.

The difference between dental assistants and dental hygienists is that hygienists usually have a higher level of training and exertise. Hygienists are required to successfully complete an accredited program and become licensed by their practicing state. Depending on the state, dental assistants can sometimes work in the field without a college degree. Some states do require dental assistants to be licensed or registered.

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