Dental Assistants

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

Median Annual Wage: $35,390

Education: Post-secondary certificate (63%); Associate's degree (12%); High school diploma or equivalent (9%)

Projected Growth: Much faster than average (22% or higher)

Related Job Titles: Registered Dental Assistant (RDA); Certified Dental Assistant (CDA); Certified Registered Dental Assistant; Oral Surgery Assistant; Surgical Dental Assistant; Dental Assistant (DA); Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA); Expanded Function Dental Assistant; Orthodontic Assistant (Ortho Assistant); Orthodontic Technician

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Dental Assistants.

More Healthcare Support Careers

  • 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.
  • Order and monitor dental supplies and equipment inventory.
  • Fabricate temporary restorations or custom impressions from preliminary impressions.
  • Make preliminary impressions for study casts and occlusal registrations for mounting study casts.
  • Pour, trim, and polish study casts.
  • Clean and polish removable appliances.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Dental Assistants.

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Dental Assistants.

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