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What do I need to study to become a Dental Assistant?


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What is a Dental Assistant?

Most dental procedures require the hands-on involvement of a Dental Assistant, making them an important part of any dental practice. Providing support to the dentist and other clinicians, they greatly increase efficiency and enable the provision of a higher standard of dental care.

One of the major aspects of a Dental Assistant’s work is patient care. They greet patients, help them feel at ease, prepare them for treatment, and educate them on procedures and proper oral care.
Another key responsibility is to function as an extra set of hands, working alongside the dentist or hygienist during examinations and treatments, passing equipment, mixing materials for fillings, operating suction devices and recording information.

The Dental Assistant ensures that proper standards of infection control are maintained, prepping and cleaning rooms and equipment before and after each patient. They may also be tasked with some clerical duties such as managing stock, updating patient records, documenting procedures and processing X-rays.

What do do?

  • Greeting patients and helping them feel at ease.
  • Performing reception duties, updating patient records and managing stock.
  • Preparing patients, rooms, materials and equipment before procedures.
  • Documenting treatments and processing X-rays.
  • Assisting dentists and other clinicians by organising and passing instruments and materials during dental procedures.
  • Operating water sprayers and suction devices during examinations.
  • Upholding standards of infection control, cleaning and processing instruments and rooms after use.
  • Educating patients on procedures, oral hygiene techniques and post procedure treatment plans.

Career snapshot for Dental Assistant

  • The average age of working is 27.
  • 2.20% of are male.
  • 58.20% of work full-time and on average they work around 35.5 hours per week.
  • With A Certificate II or III, get paid $893 per week Before Tax.
  • Unemployment levels are average.
  • In 2015 records showed 18,400 employed .
  • The projected growth of the profession is estimated to be moderate with employment numbers around 19,300 by 2020.