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What does a Dental Assistant do?

A dental assistant helps the dentist deliver more effective dental treatment, and they are an integral part of the dental team. They are exposed to different and unique trainings that differentiate them from other dental aides through the types of roles they play and their interactions with patients.


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Working as a Dental Assistant

Dental assistants function as part of the dental team in the following ways:

  • Supporting the dentist during different treatment processes
  • Taking dental radiographs (x-rays) of patients
  • Inquiring about patients' medical history
  • Taking patients' pulse and blood pressure
  • Disinfecting dental tools and equipment
  • Assisting patients to help them feel relaxed before, during and after dental treatment or surgery
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How much does a Dental Assistant make in the United States?

Average base salary

Average $20.67
Low $14.26
High $29.95
Non-cash benefit
View more benefits

The average salary for a dental assistant is $20.67 per hour in the United States. 90.6k salaries reported, updated at December 1, 2022

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Where can a Dental Assistant earn more?

Compare salaries for Dental Assistants in different locations
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How much do similar professions get paid in United States?

Orthodontic Assistant

2,620 job openings

Average $20.43 per hour

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Common questions about for a Dental Assistant

How can a dental assistant become certified?

Dental assistants can become certified by clearing the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination. This exam is conducted by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

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What are the major differences between a dental assistant and a dental hygienist?

Dental assistants check-in the patient and prepare them for their appointment, while a dental hygienist will work with the patient by cleaning their teeth and checking the mouth for any dental hygiene issues.

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What is included in the certified dental exam that is taken by dental assistants?

Dental assistants take the Certified Dental Exam to become certified. The test contains multiple-choice questions in three categories: general chairside, infection control, and radiation health and safety.

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What are the benefits of being a dental assistant?

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What qualifications are required for being a dental assistant?

How expensive it is to become a dental assistant?

What key skills can a dental assistant put on their resume?

What skills are required for becoming a dental assistant?

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What are the main responsibilities of a dental assistant?

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Is dental assisting tough to learn?

Which colleges offer dental assisting courses?

How many hours in a week do dental assistants work?

Who is a professional dental assistant?

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What are the responsibilities of a level 1 dental assistant?

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Can a dental assistant become a dentist?

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