Dental Assistant

Dental Assistants

Alt Names:  Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Registered Dental Assistant (RDA), Certified Registered Dental Assistant (CRDA), Orthodontic Assistant

Career Description

Dental Assistants work as the “right-hand men” of Dentists. Duties for these professionals range from record keeping to patient care.

Job Responsibilities

  • Assist dentists during dental procedures

  • prepare and provide information to patients prior and post procedure

  • Sterilize medical equipment

  • Take and record medical records regarding dental history

  • Process x-rays and do lab tasks under the direction of dentist

Education & Training    

  • Obtain dental assisting certificate from accredited programs taught by dental schools, community colleges, vocational schools, etc

  • Typical program completion takes 9-11 months

Important Courses & Info:

  • Some schools offer training via distance, part time, or acceleration training programs

License and/or Certification

  • Requirements for certification varies by state

  • Must complete accredited Dental Assistant program

  • In order to be a certified professional, one must pass the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam


2010 Median : $33,470 [Source:BLS.Gov]

 Valuable Skills & Qualities

This occupation is good for people who are:

  • Helpful

  • Empathetic

  • Dexterous with both hands

  • Knowledgeable

  • Good communicators

Work Environment/ Setting  

  • Dentist offices

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