What do dental assistants do? and do you need school for it?

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Question by LizGomez: What do dental assistants do? and do you need school for it?
So I am from Chicago,IL, ( a 19 yr old college student looking for a part-time job) and I searched up jobs on craigslist.com. I saw a dental assistant job that said No-Experience necessary. Then it didn’t ask me for any resume, it just asked me to send a picture of me smiling and to tell them my hobbies and if I respect my parents. I was like “this has got to be a joke?”. But I did it anyways, and so they responded me to go and apply. I was just wondering what exactly a dental assistant does? Is it necessary to have some type of certificate of dentistry? I imagine it is an office job. Please let me know! I would appreciate it very much!
I am also cautious of this since it seems out of the ordinary.
I know it seems like a scam, but they gave me the address of the place. I have researched dental assisting, and it doesn’t seem simple, I know it is not. But I want to figure out if it is possible they train you? I thought it was a scam too but I kind of agre with the 2nd guy, it is probably to give minimum wage. I just want a job, cause now in days its difficult to attain one.

Best answer:

Answer by ninja
I know in my state a dental assistance has to be certified. Its usually a 9 month program and then you take a state certification. Im no dental assistant (i have a year left of nursing school to be an RN) but my sister did it for awhile, and they checked people in, took them back to the room, did the minor cleaning of the teeth, flouride, etc, and assisted the dentist when he did his work. They mainly just took care of the patient for the dentist :)

Id be careful of the listing you responded to. Ive never heard of an ad on there asking for anything like that.

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  • Voltron says:

    most states dont require certification to do basic dental assisting. Some state may allow assistants to do expanded duties which will require extra training, for example in AZ dental assistants that want to take x rays must be certified to take x rays, but this is just a test that the person takes regardless of whether they have a dental degree. In Az they will grant you x ray certification if you graduated from an acrredited school and give you the lable certified dental assistant. But to answer the question no you dont need a degree to be an assitant in most states, but there may be requirements for certain procedures.

    dental assistants do a wide range of work. They talk to patients, set up the room, set up instruments. clean instruments. Assist during the procedures etc.

    i will say this most dentist that advertise no experience necessary are usually looking for people that are willing to work on the low end of the pay spectrum. Dental assistant is not an easy since you will be dealing with a lot of people and the pay many times is low relative to the amount of work they do.

  • <3 Dental Student says:

    You need to have some sort of certificate, When I did dental assisting, I got an associates degree. Its not an easy brainless job, it goes into serious depth on body systems, you need training in pathology, micro bio, and emergency medicine. Dental assistant, assists on procedures done by a dentist. You also have to know kinds of tools, tray set up for each procedure, how to xray and of course chair side etiquette. It’s not cut out for everyone. It is not an office job although you learn how to participate in a practice..Do a little more research, you can’t apply for the job since you don’t even know what it is, what it entails and since you have no background knowledge.

    as for them responding to you, asking your hobbies, and if you respect your parents and the picture..sounds like a scam. A dental practice will ALWAYS ask for a resume. Like I said this job requires in depth knowledge.

    Well, Just be careful, especially with craigslist. Dental assisting is not something you can just pick up without background knowledge taught in a specialized program, you have to take state exams and pass with usually an 80% to even have the title. I say just go for something in retail, especially at your age. It took me months to find a job as a dental assistant even with a degree.