Your complete guide to dental assistant duties.

Dental professionals who establish their practices on a small scale and with low resources often have to multitask. Since they have to work within a limited budget and cannot hire dental assistants, they try to learn about the duties of less mandatory roles to manage those tasks on their own.

In this article, we will discuss all important details of the role and skills of a dental assistant and how the Podium Software is the ideal solution for small business owners seeking highly competent dental assistants for various tasks.

What is the role of a dental assistant?

Illustration of a day in the life of a dental assistant

The specific role of a dental assistant is to provide high-quality care to the patients along with managing a host of patient-care, laboratory, and office duties as well. Included in this job requirement is assisting dentists when handling patients, supplies, and instruments, etc., for the procedures.

Here are the specific duties of a dental assistant:

  •   Lending a helping hand to dentists in handling supplies, instruments etc. for the dental procedures
  •   Collecting and documenting patient history, including overall health, medication, and dental history
  •   Maintaining required supplies and materials that dentists use for their procedures
  •   Collecting, exposing, and mounting top-quality dental radiographs
  •   Preparing trays and tables for the dentist with all supplies, instruments, and materials they will need for the dental procedures
  •   Sterilizing, cleaning, and readying instruments and rooms for treatment procedures
  •   Dental assisting also includes performing patients charting if a dentist asks for it
  •   Welcoming patients and making them comfortable in treatment rooms prior to the procedures

What are the skills of dental assistants?

For those who wish to pursue a career in dental assisting need more than certification. To be a competent dental assistant, one has to develop certain essential skills to be a professional at the various jobs.

Oral hygiene procedures are highly intricate and sensitive and it is not the competent skills of dentists that are crucial for making the treatment worthwhile for patients. The quality of equipment, technical skills of assisting professionals, medical know-how, and other dental assistant skills are equally critical.

It is not merely dentists who need high-level training, education, and certification in inpatient care, but an assistant needs to have. Let’s looked at some of the essential skills for successful dental assistants:

1. Detail Oriented

The primary responsibility of dental assistants to put their patients at absolute ease when they come for dental procedures to the clinic. Hence, a detail-oriented personality will ensure the dental assistant ensures top-level safety and comfort of the patients, in terms of equipment, instruments, etc., that dentists will use.

With this skill, dental assistants will excel at essential tasks, including:

  •   Meeting all job requirements proactively
  •   Completing tasks in time
  •   Maintain accurate patient records
  •   Recording patient details
  •   Maintain thorough cleanliness, hygiene, and sterilization of all tools, equipment, tools
  •   Quick to note when a patient is in pain, nervous etc.

2. Highly Organized

Being highly organized helps dental assistants excel at tasks, such as:

  •   Documenting records and storing tools, supplies, etc. in the correct places
  •   Documenting all relevant and correct patient data
  •   Helping a dentist excel at his/her job by maintaining the high-quality supply of essentials, making timely appointments etc.

3. Multi-tasking

The ability to perform several tasks together is as essential as certification for a dental assistant. Multi-tasking will help the office run smoothly, the patients have seamless experiences, and the dental hygienists, dentists, and other relevant professionals perform at their best in the clinic.

By multi-tasking, we mean that the dental assistant will have to simultaneously prepare procedure rooms, tables, and trays bearing essential tools for the dentists while attending calls, setting up appointments, and assisting the other dental professionals in the office as part of their job.

Dental assisting is a challenging career path, and often dental assistants have to juggle multiple tasks within an hour on a daily basis. If one cannot cope up with this job requirement, then they will not succeed as a dental assistant.

4. Excellent Dexterity

Often dental clinics have a confined space, and dental assistants have to assist dental hygienists in rendering treatment on a small part of the body in a limited space. Thus, having quick eye and hand dexterity is a critical skill that will be helpful when handling tiny equipment and tools with the dentist.

5. Excellent Communicator

When patients come in for dental procedures, they’re sure to be nervous, skeptical, and even fearful. Such medical procedures are highly sensitive and complex, and dental assistants must excel in the skill of putting patients entirely at ease.

Strong communication skills will help dental assistants serve as a powerful liaison between the dental professional and the patients. From convincing patients of the credibility of a dentist to encouraging them to schedule an appointment, dental assistants need to be smooth and powerful communicators.

Some other essential skills of dental assistants include:

  •   Being good listeners
  •   Excellent representatives of the dental business
  •   Empathetic
  •   Willing to go the extra mile to ensure top-level patient care
  •   Encouraging dental programs to facilitate various parties, including patients, staff, dentists, etc.

How to fill in for dental assistants.

Now that we know what essential roles and duties assisting professionals have to fulfill, let’s look at the alternative solutions for small-scale practice owners with low statistics.

If you own your own dental establishment but cannot yet bring on an individual to perform the various jobs, Podium Software is your best option. This software offers a range of innovative products that facilitate dental offices in a variety of tasks.

Let’s take a look at them below:


This is one of the most effective, time-saving products by Podium. Webchat helps you save a tremendous amount of time while helping you follow your leads and enjoy rapid conversions quite effectively.

This software tool helps you strike up powerful and engaging conversations with your customers over their choice of communication mode. You start with a name and contact number on this software; hence you can direct all your focus on convincing customers of your top-quality services and staying in contact even when they’re off your dental website.


Reviews help you gain the right leverage for your business, especially when it’s in the developmental stage. With this software tool by Podium, you can encourage customers to come to your lobby, see evidence of excellent services you are offering, and then ultimately schedule an appointment with you.

When you do not have enough resources to hire an individual to carry out your dental marketing and social media advertising, Podium tool can give your business the right exposure.


With Podium’s feedback tool, you can conduct customer surveys that not just work but help you scale your business. Like all the other products, Feedback helps you save time and win over customers while performing essential tasks, such as getting rapid responses from your customers when you text them.

With Feedback, your assistant jobs become easy. You only need to use the automated messages to ask a question, and the software takes over the legwork from there.


Podium offers opt-in opportunities through its campaigns, such as payments, reviews, and others, that help expand your database and your business grow as you go about your practice.

What to look for hiring an assistant.

When your practice has grown to the extent that you can hire in-house assistants, here are the qualities and background experience you must look for:

  •   Key certifications and licenses- ensure that your potential assistant is not only a high school grad but also has relevant education and training. These requirements can vary by state, so a good idea is to ensure the required documentation that your state laws demand.
  •   Like we discussed above, several job skills are necessary, and your potential assistant must have organizational skills, excellent chair-side manners, can take down dictations competently, powerful communicator, etc.

Chart of Median Salary of Dental Assistants

Additionally, you must also ensure the assistant possesses accredited training experience from training programs or has specialty in your relevant practices. According to recent stats, you must pay your assistant an hourly wage of $17.29.


For dental practices, assistants perform a host of tasks, from organizing, assisting, maintaining, and restocking essentials and taking maximum care of customers. Unfortunately, when business owners establish oral practices on a small scale, they are often short of resources to hire a qualified and trained individual to perform multiple tasks.

Instead of undertaking all the responsibilities, dental professionals can use innovative software tools that Podium offers to make their job easier without burdening their wallets.

Bryan Oram
Bryan Oram AVP of Healthcare Enterprise Sales

Bryan Oram is a Healthcare professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects healthcare businesses with their patients.

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