daily life of a Dental Assistant
are Dental Assistants happy with their job

Dental Assistants

Other names for this job might include Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Registered Dental Assistant, Dental Aide, Dental Assistant (DA), Dental Nurse, Dental Office Manager, Dentist Attendant, Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA), Expanded Function Dental Assistant, Oral Surgery Assistant

  • $36920
  • 74%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


Being A Dental Assistant: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Dental Assistants do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Dental Assistant or not.

Job summary

Dental Assistants assist dentist, set up equipment, prepare patient for treatment, and keep records.

We asked Dental Assistants how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


74% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 73% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Dental Assistants Prepare patient, sterilize or disinfect instruments, set up instrument trays, prepare materials, or assist dentist during dental procedures. They Expose dental diagnostic x-rays.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Dental Assistant is to Record treatment information in patient records.

Some may also Take and record medical and dental histories and vital signs of patients.

In a normal work day, another thing that Dental Assistants do is they Provide postoperative instructions prescribed by dentist.

In addition to that, they Assist dentist in management of medical or dental emergencies..

A typical day for A Dental Assistant look like this:

Clean medical equipment.
Prepare medical instruments or equipment for use.
Assist practitioners to perform medical procedures.
Operate medical equipment.
Maintain medical records.

We asked some Dental Assistants a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?35% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?23% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?84% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?86% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?49% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?66% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?16% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?66% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Dental Assistants do, they Make preliminary impressions for study casts and occlusal registrations for mounting study casts. They might also Fabricate and fit orthodontic appliances and materials for patients, such as retainers, wires, or bands.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Make patient-assistive devices or device models.
Make patient-assistive devices or device models.
Fit patients for assistive devices.

Working life

Working hours

Less than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Dental Assistant, you can expect to work Less than 40 hours per week.

Do Dental Assistants work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Dental Assistants work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Dental Assistants work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Organizers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

You also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Career type

Healthcare and Medical
Therapeutic Services

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