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What Is a Dental Assistant?

Dec 04, 2008

A dental assistant helps to take care of a dental office, with patient care, office duties, or lab duties. Some dental assistants in larger offices can focus on one area of responsibility, and in smaller offices may have some responsibilities in each role.

Duties as a dental assistant may involve:

  • Greeting patients when they enter the office
  • Handing the dentist instruments
  • Sterilizing equipment and setting up new dental trays
  • Answering phones and setting up appointments
  • Sending bills

Educational requirements:

There are many dental assistant programs available, but it is recommended that you choose one that is recognized by The Commission on Dental Accreditation(CODA). Most programs take one year to complete, but there are two year associate degree's available as well.

Expected salary:

The average salary for a dental administrative assistant is $32,380 and employment in this field is growing faster than average at 36% from 2008-2010.

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