What are the Duties of a Dental Assistant?

Allied Health Program

Have you always flossed and brushed? Even enjoyed getting your teeth cleaned? If so, you might be the perfect match for a career in dental assisting. But before you decide to become a dental assistant, it’s helpful to have a thorough understanding of what exactly a dental assistant does on a day-to-day basis. At Arizona College, we want all of our prospective students to be equipped with all the information they need to know before they begin their coursework.

Let’s take a look at the various duties of a dental assistant below:


No matter where you find your start, it’s likely you’ll be handling the administrative work, on top of your hands-on dental assisting duties. Responsibilities such as maintaining accurate patient records, instructing patients on the basics of proper dental health and scheduling patient appointments all could fall under your job description.

Patient Service

Dentists see several patients a day. Some for quick routine checkups, but others for cavity fillings, root canals, tooth extraction and more. The dentist’s office is a source of anxiety for many people, so as a dental assistant, it’s your job to greet patients, make them feel at ease, and comfortable both before and while they’re in the chair.


Of course, in addition to the administrative and patient service duties, dental assistants play a pivotal role in the actual execution of providing dental care to patients. Dental assistants prep patients for procedures or exams, assist dentists during those procedures by handing them instruments and sterilize the instruments that have already been used. Dental assistants routinely take X-rays of patients’ mouths, as well as check gums and teeth for signs of disease as part of standard six-month teeth cleanings.

During these cleanings, you’ll apply fluoride and sealants as you remove plaque and other stains from the patients’ teeth. Your dental assistant job could also involve a lot of technician work. If this is the case, you’ll become familiar with major restorative dental work, such as crafting dental prosthetics, dentures and crowns.

The great thing about attending Arizona College’s Dental Assisting program is learning a comprehensive curriculum taught by experienced faculty and with the use of modern facilities and equipment. No matter what role and specific duties you’ll conduct in your dental assisting career, you’ll be well positioned to hit the ground running.

Think you’d enjoy performing these duties of a dental assistant? Fill out the Request Information form and an Arizona College representative will be in touch to discuss the first steps of your exciting new career.