Dental assistant

Dental Assistants support Dental Practitioners in providing services to patients. They typically meet first with patients to assess patient needs before the Dental Practitioner, Hygienist or Therapist exams the patient.

Duties and tasks

  • Assist Dental Practitioner in dental cleaning including holding suction tubes and water spray
  • Give information to patients on proper cleaning and dental maintenance techniques, procedures and conditions
  • Prepare and sterilise instruments for Practitioners depending on procedures being performed
  • Process X-rays, gather medication and perform any additional tasks to assist Dental Practitioners, Hygienists and Therapists to meet with patients quickly and provide the best care possible
  • Process billing payments and other office duties as needed
  • Regularly check equipment and instruments for quality and cleanliness
  • Use appointment schedule and sign-in register to call patients and prepare them to be seen by the Dentist

Skills required

  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Good Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Organisational Skills
  • Strong Communication Skills
  • Time Management

Working conditions

Dental Assistants typically work a Monday to Friday week treating patients with scheduled appointments and seeing emergency patients. They work in an indoor medical setting environment with dental tools, equipment and beds for examining patients. They may also need to assist in administrative duties at the front desk and waiting room area.

Professional associations / Industry information

Australian Dental Association (ADA) 

Dental Board of Australia 

Related jobs and job titles

  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Nurse
  • Dental Technician
  • Dental Therapist
  • Oral Health Therapist
  • Registered Nurse

Related degrees

Related subjects