Dental Assistants


Dental Assistants


Dental assistants perform a variety of duties in the dental office, including helping the dentist examine and treat patients and completing laboratory and office work. They assist the dentist by preparing patients for dental exams, handing the dentist the proper instruments, taking and processing X-rays, preparing materials for making impressions and restorations, and instructing patients in oral health care. They also perform administrative and clerical tasks so that the office runs smoothly and the dentist's time is available for ...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



On-the-job training



Business Management


Personality Traits

Hands On


Dental assistants' salaries are determined by their specific responsibilities, the type of office they work in, and the geographic location of their employer. The median annual earnings for dental assistants was $38,660 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The highest 10 percent earned more than $54,800 a year, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $26...

Work Environment

Dental assistants work in offices that are generally clean, modern, quiet, and pleasant. They are also well lighted and well ventilated. In small offices, dental assistants may work solely with dentists, while in larger offices and clinics they may work with dentists, other dental assistants, dental hygienists, and laboratory technicians. Although dental assistants may sit at desks to do office...


Employment for dental assistants is expected to grow much faster than the average for all careers from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. As the population grows and more people become eligible for health insurance as a result of federal health insurance reform, more people will seek dental services for preventive care and cosmetic improvements. Also, as dentists increase ...