Dental assistant: A helper for your teeth

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Dental assistants work under the direction of a dentist and assist him in performing his routine tasks. If you want a dental assistant's job, then you can find many dental assisting programs with durations of one or less than one year. The job of the dentist involves handling more complex procedures and if they hire an assistant then they can devote their maximum time to important tasks.

Duty of a dental assistant

It is the duty of a dental assistant to maintain the records of the patients that visit the clinic, perform small dental tasks, assist the dentist in major surgeries, etc. If you want a dental job, then first you have to clear the written and practical exams. Dental assistants can learn more skills “on the job” but to have basic knowledge it is important for them to have passed the exams. Dental assistant’s job requires the knack and capability of working with others. They must also have a good physical nimbleness.

When a dentist treats the patient, it is the duty of the assistant to hand over all the required material or apparatus to the dentist. The mouth of the patient must be dry and if it is not, then the assistant has to use a suction device to keep it dry. A dentist uses the same equipments for all the patients. In order to maintain hygiene, the assistant has to clean or sterilize all the equipments thoroughly every time.

As per the directions given by the dentist they have to prepare x-ray films, materials required for restorations and impressions, apply anesthetics to cavity or gums of teeth, etc. In filling the process they can help the doctor and if required they have to remove excess cement. Sometimes assistants may also have to perform laboratory duties. From impressions they can make casts of the teeth. They may also have to make the transitory crown or clean the detachable appliances.

If assistants are handling office duties then they have to fix appointments, look after the payments of the patients, maintain their clinical records, receive patients, etc. Thus a dental assistant’s job involves handling of various duties such as office duties, treating the patient, laboratory duties, etc.


Students who are interested in making a career as a dental assistant can join courses related to chemistry, biology, healthcare, etc. There are various programs with short term durations which include practical training for all kinds’ dental assistant jobs. Students can gain more practical experience only when they work in a dental clinic. There are many junior colleges which offer programs of two years duration and joining such programs may give associate degrees to the student. Every dentist has his own way of treating the patient or handling the office. Skillfully interacting with patients, performing duties, knowing dental terminologies, names of instruments, etc. are all requisites for a dental job.

Employment opportunity

Dental jobs have good employment opportunities and are expected to grow by 29 percent by 2016. As compared to other occupations, it is considered as one of the fastest growing occupations and is expected to grow more in future. People who have completed this training program can work with dentists in clinics, hospitals, physician’s office, educational services, and etc. Part time as well as full time jobs are available in this field.


Jobs as dental assistant have a great opportunity in future, as a dental assistant can become a dental manager, dental sales representative or dental instructor. Working as a dental assistant can also help one to earn a handsome amount of money.
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