What Do Dental Assistants Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Dental Assistants assist dentist, set up equipment, prepare patient for treatment, and keep records. They also prepare patient, sterilize or disinfect instruments, set up instrument trays, prepare materials, or assist dentist during dental procedures.

Other tasks include:

  • Record treatment information in patient records.
  • Expose dental diagnostic x-rays.
  • Take and record medical and dental histories and vital signs of patients.
  • Assist dentist in management of medical or dental emergencies.
  • Provide postoperative instructions prescribed by dentist.
  • Instruct patients in oral hygiene and plaque control programs.

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

Job satisfaction

74%

How meaningful is this job

73%


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.



Featured Dental Assistant Schools

Typical Day At Work

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 record treatment information in patient records.

A typical day for a Dental Assistant will also include:

  • Expose dental diagnostic x-rays.
  • Take and record medical and dental histories and vital signs of patients.
  • Clean teeth, using dental instruments.
  • Provide postoperative instructions prescribed by dentist.
  • Instruct patients in oral hygiene and plaque control programs.

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
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 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 their typical day, Dental Assistants also make preliminary impressions for study casts and occlusal registrations for mounting study casts. They may also pour, trim, and polish study casts.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Dental Assistants Order and monitor dental supplies and equipment inventory. They might also Clean teeth, using dental instruments.

In addition, they Clean and polish removable appliances.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Fabricate and fit orthodontic appliances and materials for patients, such as retainers, wires, or bands.

To some Dental Assistants, it is also their responsibility to Fabricate temporary restorations or custom impressions from preliminary impressions.


Working life

Working hours

Less than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

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?

Every day
86%


Once a week
6%


Do Dental Assistants work outdoors?

Never
94%


Once a week
6%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Organizers and The Builders

People who are suitable for this job tends to like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas..

They 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.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Dental Assistants

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Related to Dental Assistants Job Description

Dental Assistants job description, what do Dental Assistants do, typical day for Dental Assistants, what is it like to work as a Dental Assistant, how many hours do Dental Assistants work, day to day work of a Dental Assistant

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm
http://www.adaausa.org/
http://www.ada.org/
http://www.danb.org/


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