How to Become a Dental Assistant

Taking any profession in life requires passion and drive, especially in the medical world. When it comes to dentistry, the field is very thorough in providing the very best to patients. It is why there are more than one dental practitioners that work within a dental practice, each one serving a specific role.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

As suggested by the name, dental assistants offer help in the dental practice. They handle different tasks that make it easier for the dentist to perform his/her own. For the most part, the dental assistant takes care of dental x-rays, booking and scheduling appointments for patients, record keeping for patient dental history, among other patient care tasks.

Even then, a lot of what a dental assistant will do depends on the dentist in charge. It is a dentist that allocates different duties to an assistant, as per the current needs of the workplace. In some states, the assistants are allowed to perform some specific tasks like fluoride applications, sealant applications, and teeth whitening treatment, to mention a few.

When you visit a dental facility, you are most likely going to meet a dental assistant before you meet the dentist. Dental assistants are mostly available full time. They cater to most of the patient’s needs so that the dentist only intervenes for the necessary bits of the treatment process.

How Do You Become A Dental Assistant?

Working in dentistry requires a special level of training, regardless of which position you take. A lot of dental works need in-depth knowledge of the human bone and tooth structure. For dental assistants, you need an education and formal training from community colleges, technical institutes, vocational schools, dental schools or universities. Even then, in some states, dental assistants do not require formal training or education. They can learn in the job how to be useful, based on the tasks assigned by the dentist in charge. It is, however, an added advantage to know about the human teeth, in case you are assigned intricate tasks, which is why you should consider joining a dental school in Alpharetta.

What Are The Skills You Need For This Job?

​Much as some states might give you a pass for formal education in becoming a dental assistant, you will require certain skills to thrive in this job. There are different tasks you may have to handle in time, which is why you need the following skills sets:

  • Detail Oriented – assistants must be keen on details in the workplace. The work requires remembering small details about patients and aligning them with the treatment plan offered by a dentist. Besides your dentist will require you to prepare him/her for a treatment procedure, and you must know what to present to ensure a smooth experience. You must also realize that working in a human tooth requires huge attention to details and should, therefore, reflect in your persona.
  • ​Interpersonal Skills – if for nothing else, you must have stronger Interpersonal skills than those of the dentist in charge. For the most part, you will need to interact with both patients and dentists. Your interpersonal skills are what will help you stretch out to both ends to accommodate the different people around in a dental practice.
  • Dexterity – This skill covers the ability to work well with hands. Like a dentist requires it to offer the best care to patients, an assistant as well needs it. A dental assistant has to work in tight spaces and use specific instruments and tools. Given that the tasks allocated to you will differ from time to time, this skill is a must-have. It means being good with your fingers, hand muscles, as well as your eye coordination when you work.
  • Organizational Skills – a dental assistant has to be quick in organizing the records of patients, as well as the precise tools needed for different dental treatments. You need to have the ability to compartmentalize things in your kind and execute them in your work environment.


When you visit the AS4U Career Center, the one thing that is emphasized is the need to be passionate about this career. There is a lot of duties you will not be able to handle if you are not passionate about Dental works. Working on the mouth of another human being is not easy unless you are passionate about what you do.


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