Dental assistants are individuals who provide care to patients when they enter the office. The dental assistant will also perform a wide range of administrative services. Some of the roles and responsibilities include:
- Scheduling appointments
- Organizing patient dental records
- Preparing and receiving patients for treatment
- Checking insurance
- Handling billing
- Ordering supplies
- Explaining oral care to patients
There are no official educational requirements for individuals who wish to pursue a career in the field of dental assisting. In some cases, the assistant has a high school diploma and learns how to complete daily tasks through on-the-job training. In other cases, an individual might enroll in a postsecondary dental program to obtain more comprehensive training.
The dental assisting program will typically last 1 year. The programs tend to emphasize technical training through clinical, laboratory, and classroom instruction. In some cases, a vocational school or community college might offer a 2 year associate’s degree program. This program will combine technical training, extensive clinical practicums, and general education.
Employment for dental assistants is expected to grow at a rate of 18% between the years of 2014 and 2024. This is much faster than the national average for all vocations. Research linking general health to oral health will likely fuel the demand for dental services.
The average annual salary for a dental assistant was $35,980 in 2015. However, it’s important to know that there are a wide range of factors that can impact how much an individual earns within this sector. Some of those factors include education, experience, and employer. Job location is another factor that can impact an individual’s annual earnings.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Dental Assistants
- Study.com: Dental Assistant Requirements
- Dental Career Guide: Dental Assistant
Dental Assistant Resume Example
North Metro Orthodontics, Chicago, IL (January 2014 – September 2016)
- Supported administrative office practices, scheduled patients, tracked incoming and outgoing labs, coordinated medical procedures reporting, and monitored required supplies in addition to dental care delivery and patient processing
- Prepared treatment room, coordinated patient intake and outtake, sterilized instruments, and organized all treatment materials
- Handled instruments and materials and performed procedures in compliance with the dental practice act and OSHA and BBP guidelines
- Provided information to patients and employees by answering questions and requests
- Documented dental care services by charting patient records and completing insurance and billing for completed procedures
- Maintained dental supplies inventory by checking stock to determine inventory level, anticipating needed supplies, placing and expediting orders for supplies, and verifying receipt of supplies.
Kelsey & Jo Orthodontics, Chicago, IL (August 2008 — August 2013)
- Supported orthodontic care delivery by preparing treatment rooms, patients, instruments, and materials
- Instructed patients in oral hygiene and proper care of orthodontic appliances.
- Handed necessary instruments to the orthodontist and provided assistance during treatments
- Established a trusting rapport with patients, ensuring a positive orthodontic experience
- Established and maintained a clean and safe working per OSHA standards.
Northwest Dental Care Center, Chicago, IL (January 2004 — January 2008)
- Assisted the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures
- Sterilized and disinfected instruments
- Answered and placed phone calls regarding patient appointments
- Contacted insurance companies regarding coverage and payment plans
- Performed clerical duties such as copying, faxing, filing, and emailing
- Sent payment notices to insurance companies and patients
Great Expressions Dental Centers, Chicago, IL (January 2000 — January 2004)
- Prepared and sterilized the instruments and materials required to treat each patient
- Explained treatment plans and obtained written consent for all procedures
- Assisted the dentist during treatment and explained post-operative instructions and general oral healthcare to patients
- Aided with the Fabricating and the cementation of provisionals
- Wrote up and pulled charts for the upcoming week
- Ordered supplies, inventory, and daily and weekly sterilization tests
- Knowledge of dental software, Dental Vision.
University of Florida – Associates degree in Dental Assistance