What Do Dental Assistants Do? (Answered)

If you’re interested in becoming a dental assistant, you might be wondering what do dental assistants do? If this is you, you’ve come to the right place, as this blog post provides you with everything you need to know about what dental assistants do. Also, if you’re considering becoming a dental assistant, consider enrolling in FCC’s Dental Assistant Training Program. The program can be completed in as few as 10 months, preparing you for an entry-level dental assisting career. Now, let’s explore what a dental assistant’s job consists of doing.

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What Do Dental Assistants Do?

Dental assistants perform many duties within a dental clinic. These duties include assisting dentists with procedures such as fillings, crowns, root canals, extractions, and cleanings. Dental assistants also assist dentists with preparing examination rooms, preparing operating rooms, cleaning rooms after procedures, and a variety of other administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments and updating patient medical records.

Dental Assistant Administrative Tasks

  • Scheduling patient appointments
  • Answering phone calls
  • Updating and maintaining patient records
  • Assisting patients within checking in
  • Assisting patients with payment options and billing issues
  • Insurance claim management
  • General office administrative tasks

Dental Assist Clinical Tasks

  • Assisting dentists with procedures such as fillings, cleanings, extractions, root canals, etc.
  • Sterilizing dental equipment
  • Organizing dental instruments on trays
  • Preparing exam rooms and tools
  • Cleaning up after procedures
  • Assisting dental hygienists with cleanings
  • Performing X-rays or assisting dentists with X-rays

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in dental assisting, explore Florida Career College’s Dental Assistant Training Program. Our program will provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to become a successful and effective dental assistant. In addition, as a dental assistant, you will be helping people look and feel better, making dental assisting a very rewarding career option. If you choose to enroll in FCC’s dental assisting program, keep in mind that you can become a dental assistant in as few as 10 months.

What Skills Should Dental Assistant Have?

One of the primary tasks that dental assistants will likely have to assist dentists with is the performance of procedures such as fillings, extractions, cleanings, root canals, etc. As such, medical assistants should have knowledge of commonly performed dental procedures so that they can anticipate the next steps and assist dentists with the procedures.

Additionally, dental assistants are usually tasked with performing x-rays, blood pressure readings, and obtaining dental impressions, so it’s vital that dental assistants learn these skills so that they can perform them on the job. FCC’s dental assistant training program does an excellent job of training dental assistants when it comes to performing common tasks, enabling them to perform their job duties efficiently and correctly.

Furthermore, to become a successful dental assistant, one must possess good communication skills to be able to communicate with dentists, staff, and patients. Good communication is required to discuss processes, symptoms, and procedures with patients.

Dental assistants must also be familiar with subjects that include dental science, radiography, preventative dentistry, and prosthodontics, to name a few.

Here are some skills that, if possessed, will make you an excellent dental assistant:

Administrative Skills For Dental Assistants

  • Ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Ability to use computers and dental programs
  • Good organizational skills
  • Tracking supplies and ability to order appropriate supplies

Technical Skills

  • Knowledge of common dental procedures (cleanings, fillings, root canals, extractions, etc.)
  • Ability to take dental x-rays
  • Ability to make dental impressions
  • Ability to spot and appropriately react to dental emergencies

Interpersonal Skills

  • Compassion and Empathy for people
  • Ability to listen and quickly follow directions
  • Attention to detail
  • A willingness to quickly learn, adapt and grow
  • Great eye-hand coordination

If you’re starting a career as a dental assistant, you may not possess all of these skills, but the good news is that you’ll be able to learn them by enrolling in FCC’s Dental Assistant program. Our program will teach you many of the skills you need to become a valuable dental team member. After learning new skills, you will be able to improve them and refine them with training and practice in the field. Mastering these skills will allow you to deliver safe and efficient services within a dental clinic environment.

Interested In Our Dental Assistant Program? CLICK HERE >

Where Do Dental Assistants Usually Work?

Dental assistants typically work in dental offices to assist dentists with both front-office and back-office work. Front office assisting involves assisting dentists with greeting patients, scheduling appointments, and updating patient medical records. Back office assisting involves assisting dentists with tasks such as performing x-rays, setting up dental exam rooms, and assisting dentists with procedures such as cleanings, fillings, root canals, extractions, etc. That said, even though most dental assistants work in dental clinics, some dental assistants also work in physician offices, governmental offices, universities, and colleges.

What Does a Day in the Shoes of a Dental Assistant Look Like?

Typically, a dental assistant’s day begins thirty minutes to an hour before a dental clinic opens. Before the dental clinic opens, dental assistants will usually begin by preparing examination rooms for patients. After preparing examination rooms, a dental assistant will typically look at her schedule and prepare dental records for incoming patients. Once patients begin arriving at a dental clinic, dental assistants will greet them and take them to the examination room, where they will place the patient’s bib on and update their medical records. Once they’re ready for the procedure they’ve come in for, you may assist the dentists with the procedure by, for example, holding the suction instrument to ensure that the patient’s mouth remains clean and dry while the dentist is working. This is what a typical day in the life of a dental assistant looks like.

Dental Assistant vs. Medical Assistant

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as either a dental assistant or a medical assistant, you might be curious about knowing what the difference is between a dental assistant vs medical assistant. Medical assistants assist doctors both in the office and the exam room, performing a wide range of duties that depend on the specialty of the doctor they’re assisting. On the other hand, dental assistants typically work in dental clinics or offices and assist dentists with front office administrative tasks and back-office tasks, such as assisting dentists with performing routine procedures such as fillings, extractions, cleanings, etc.

How Can You Become a Dental Assistant?

It may come as a surprise to you, but some states do not have set education, training, and licensing requirements for an individual to become an entry-level dental assistant so long as the person works under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. That said, some of the states have set forth special licensing and training for performing certain tasks while dental assisting, such as radiography/x-rays, coronal polishing, and other expanded functions. If you would like to learn more on how to become a dental assistant, please visit the Dental Assisting National Board website to learn more about the requirements in your specific state.

Having said, having the training, knowledge, and hands-on experience from a dental assisting program can help you stand out within a competitive market. Students enrolled in FCC’s Dental Assistant Training Program can complete the program along with hands-on training in as few as 10 months. Those who’ve completed the program emergy career-ready and prepared to seek further certifications, such as Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) that can further improvement their employment potential.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Dental Assistant?

FCC’s Dental Assistant Training Program can be completed in as few as 10 months, depending on how fast you can complete the program. The curriculum at FCC consists of both classroom lectures and hands-on training in a clinical setting. The dental assisting program at FCC provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to perform dental assisting duties in a clinical or office setting.

How Does the Job Market Look Like For Dental Assistants?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks job outlook statistics, the job outlook for dental assistants for the next 10 years is above average, with employment opportunities growing by 11% between now and the year 2030. That’s about forty-four thousand job openings for dental assistants every year throughout this projection. So, if you’re thinking about a great career choice where you will be able to work in a healthcare setting, explore FCC’s dental assistant training program to kickstart your career as a dental assistant.

What Does FCC’s Dental Assistant Training Consist Of?

Florida Career College Dental Assistant Training focuses on teaching students the skills, tools, and knowledge necessary for a dental assistant to perform their job duties competently. The Dental Assistant Training Program at FCC can be completed in as little as 10 months and includes a mix of classroom instructions, hands-on lab training, and real-world experience that strives to prepare students for dental assisting careers upon completion of the program.

Courses Within the Dental Assistant Training Program Include:

  1. Dental Science/Medical Emergencies
  2. Chairside Assisting
  3. Radiography
  4. Dental Material
  5. Preventative Dentistry
  6. Dental Specialties
  7. Prosthodontics/Administrative Assistant
  8. Externship

It’s important to note that this program includes a 170 hours externship where students will be able to develop real-world experience in a dental clinic, office, or practice. Overall, FCC’s program prepares students for entry-level dental assisting positions. Our students have been able to obtain entry-level positions as dental assistants, orthodontic assistants, oral surgery assistants, surgical dental assistants, and registered dental assistants.

Interested In Our Dental Assistant Program? CLICK HERE >

If you would like to learn more about FCC’s Dental Assistant Program, please explore the Dental Assistant Program Page, call us at 1-888-852-7272, or send us a message through our online form.