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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:
Assist dentist, set up equipment, prepare patient for treatment, and keep records.
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.


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


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


  • 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


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


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

Examples of Registered Apprenticeship programs include:

  • Dental Assistant

Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

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