What do dental assistants do? A Complete Guide

The dental field is calling and you want to answer! Your love for dentistry and your heart to serve others have led you to this exciting career. Before you enroll in a dental assistant training program, it’s important to ask the question “what do dental assistants do?” Dental assistants keep a dental office running smoothly and efficiently. As they complete tasks and assist other staff, they bring smiles to the world.

If this is the path you want to take and you have been googling “dental assistant college near me”, there is a place for you! Continue reading to discover a great dental assistant training program, the current dental assistant career outlook, and is dental assistant a good career?


Take the first step in your career journey today!


What Dental Assistants Do?

When people ask “what do dental assistants do?” Many think of their own time in the dentist's office. Dental assistants play a huge role in the success of a dental office through their various job responsibilities. Common dental assistant job duties could include:

  • Prepare patients for treatments and dental work
  • Set up and organize work area for the dentist
  • Sterilize dental instruments and tools
  • Hand instruments to the dentist as directed
  • Process x rays and complete lab tasks, under the direction of a dentist
  • Maintain accurate records of dental treatments 1

Dental assistants are the extended arms of dentists. Their attention to detail helps the dentist provide excellent care. Whether it’s scheduling appointments, processing a bill, or suctioning that extra bubblegum toothpaste up, these professionals make the dental world go round.

Through a dental assistant training program, you could learn important dental assistant job duties and more! Before you begin, let’s take a look at the question, “is dental assistant a good career?”


Is Dental Assistant a good career?

As you take the next steps toward this new career, you want to make sure the dental assistant career outlook is positive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029.2 This positive forecast is great news for aspiring dental assistants.

With the baby-boomer population requiring dental care and more research showing the link between oral and physical health, dental offices will continue to need dental assistants.2 Now that you know the dental assistant career outlook is good, it’s time to see if you are built for the job!


Am I right for this career?

You know this is a good career but is this the right career for you? Becoming a dental assistant requires certain qualities. Many of these skills could be learned but some just come naturally. Ask yourself, “Do I have the following qualities?”:

  • Attention to detail
  • Work well with your hands
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Listening Skills
  • Organizational Skills 3

Dental assistants need to be able to work in tight spaces with their hands, record health info accurately, and get along with others. If you see these qualities in yourself, a dental assistant career may be the right path for you! Enrolling in a dental assistant training program could help increase your skillset and prepare you for future dental assistant job duties.


Dental Assistant Schooling

If this career is right for you, completing a dental assistant training program could help prepare you for the dental field. Some programs could take students up to 40 weeks to complete with an externship.

When choosing a great program, make sure they emphasize the question: “what do dental assistants do” and teach other important dental assistant qualities. The right dental assistant training program could also help you qualify for an entry-level position in any of the following offices:

  • Pediatrics
  • Orthodontics
  • Endodontics
  • Hospital dental departments
  • And more

With so many options and a passion for the dental field, it’s time to learn the answer to: “what do dental assistants do” and become one yourself!


The right Dental Assistant college near me is National Career College.

Ask yourself the question “where is the best dental assistant college near me!” The good news is, you don’t have to look far! National Career College offers in-classroom training for aspiring dental assistants living in California. In as little as 40 weeks you could graduate with your dental assisting degree and begin pursuing this new career.

NCC provides a higher education experience where students could learn the duties and responsibilities of a dental assistant! Stop putting your future on hold. Reach your professional goals and call National Career College today to start your journey!


Learn more about Dental Assistant at National Career College



  1. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm#tab-2
  2. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm#tab-6
  3. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm#tab-4