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picture of a dentist and dental assistant with a patient

  Dental assistants perform many tasks, ranging from patient care and taking x rays to recordkeeping and     

  scheduling appointments. Their duties vary by state and by the dentists’ offices where they work. 









Dental assistants typically do the following:

  • Ensure that patients are comfortable in the dental chair
  • Prepare patients and the work area for treatments and procedures
  • Sterilize dental instruments
  • Help dentists by handing them instruments during procedures
  • Keep patients’ mouths dry by using suction hoses and other equipment
  • Instruct patients in proper oral hygiene
  • Process x rays and complete lab tasks, under the direction of a dentist
  • Keep records of dental treatments
  • Schedule patient appointments
  • Work with patients on billing and payment

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Dental Assistants, 
on the Internet at (visited May 25, 2016).

Did you know?

The library has the following items on Reserve at the Circulation Desk on North Campus for checkout.

Numbered tooth model

picture of a numbered tooth model

2 puppets with teeth and oversize toothbrushes to use to instruct children on proper brushing technique

Picture of a puppet with teeth


Heather Ervin's picture
Heather Ervin
North Campus

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