Skip navigation

Dental Assistants

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

Watch Career Video

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.
  • Assist dentist in management of medical or dental emergencies.

Knowledge

Business
  • customer service
  • management
Health
  • medicine and dentistry
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Engineering and Technology
  • computers and electronics

Skills

Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • talking to others
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it

Abilities

Verbal
  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Hand and Finger Use
  • keep your arm or hand steady
  • put together small parts with your fingers
Ideas and Logic
  • use rules to solve problems
  • order or arrange things
Attention
  • do two or more things at the same time

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Self Control
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Integrity
  • Adaptability/Flexibility

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Medical software
  • Henry Schein Dentrix Hot Technology
  • Patterson Dental Supply Patterson EagleSoft
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
Electronic mail software
  • Email software

Education

Education: (rated 3 of 5)
certificate after high school or
high school diploma/GED
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses Apprenticeship.gov

Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
Salary
$41,180
$28,940
$58,390
Check out my state Local Salary Info Find Jobs

Explore More

See more details at O*NET OnLine about dental assistants.