Maintaining good oral health is a priority focus in our community, and dental assistants play a critical role in this effort.
Dental assistants help prepare patients and equipment. They also work alongside a dentist and/or dental hygienist as he or she examines and treats patients.
- Care for patients directly by greeting them, making them comfortable, and preparing them for a dental exam or treatment
- Help to educate patients on the importance of good oral care, and how to take care of their teeth and gums
- Update patient records, performing administrative tasks such as updating treatment information, requesting dental records, and billing
Education and training requirements
A high school diploma or GED and a certificate training program or on-the-job training are required to become a dental assistant. Some employers prefer to hire dental assistants who have passed a certification exam. Please note when you are selecting a dental assistant training program that not all programs provide college credit, which is important if you are planning on advancing your career.
Dental assistants are also expected to have:
- A comfort level with technology
- Understanding of basic chemistry and microbiology
- Strong communication and teamwork skills
Western MA Fast Facts
- Workers in Pioneer Valley: 720
- Education Requirements: Certificate
- Entry Level Wage: $17/hour
- Experienced Wage: $22/hour
- Learn more at VCN.org