Dental Assistant – A career with a bright future

Dental assistants are members of a highly respected health care-related profession, as they – both directly and indirectly – support dentists in the delivery of dental care.

Apart from sound professional knowledge, dental assistants must have good social skills to work with patients, manual dexterity, an interest in technical equipment as well as a series of personal qualities which are essential in practically all professions, above all reliability, trustworthiness, integrity, punctuality, a strong sense of commitment and responsibility as well as the ability to work independently and with accuracy.

Our dental assistants are trained in a so-called dual system, which includes classes at vocational school and on-the-job training at a dental office or clinic for about three years.

The responsibilities of a dental assistant include

  • taking care of patients at reception, scheduling appointments and other general office duties
  • acting as a link between dentist and patient
  • providing chairside assistance
  • performing direct patient care procedures
  • applying state-of-the-art infection control and environmental protection measures

Routine tasks of a dental assistant involve passing dental instruments, e.g. mouth mirror, dental tweezers, swabs or probes, assisting with taking and developing radiographs as well as preparing tooth fillings and dental impression materials. During dental procedures, they help to keep the operating site free of blood and saliva by providing suction with a large-bore aspirator.

Apart from these chairside tasks, dental assistants also do administrative work, e.g. scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records, handling billing and payments, placing orders for dental supplies and materials. The extent of paper work very much depends on the type and size of the dental facility where they work (private practice or dental clinic).

In addition, dental assistants advise and instruct patients on dietary issues, oral and dental hygiene as well as on home care routines to attain or maintain healthy gums.

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