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Dental Assistants

Also called: Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Dental Assistant (DA), Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA), Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

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What they do:
Perform limited clinical duties under the direction of a dentist. Clinical duties may include equipment preparation and sterilization, preparing patients for treatment, assisting the dentist during treatment, and providing patients with instructions for oral healthcare procedures. May perform administrative duties such as scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes.
On the job, you would:
  • Prepare patient, sterilize or disinfect instruments, set up instrument trays, prepare materials, or assist dentist during dental procedures.
  • Record treatment information in patient records.
  • Expose dental diagnostic x-rays.

Knowledge

Health
  • medicine and dentistry
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Business
  • customer service
Education and Training
  • teaching and course design

Skills

Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • reading work related information
Social
  • looking for ways to help people
  • understanding people's reactions

Abilities

Verbal
  • listen and understand what people say
  • communicate by speaking
Hand and Finger Use
  • keep your arm or hand steady
  • put together small parts with your fingers
Ideas and Logic
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • use rules to solve problems

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Cooperation
  • Attention to Detail
  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Self Control
  • Concern for Others

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Medical software
  • Henry Schein Dentrix
  • Kodak Dental Systems Kodak SOFTDENT Practice management software PMS
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
Electronic mail software
  • Email software

Education

Education: (rated 3 of 5)
certificate after high school or
associate's degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
Salary
$40,080
$27,980
$56,930
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about dental assistants.