Female assistant at the dental office

Life as a Full-Time Dental Assistant

Female assistant at the dental office

Life as a Full-Time Dental Assistant

Are you curious about the life of a dental assistant? Are you wondering if it’s the right career move for you?

The need for dental assistants is growing as more people visit the dentist for preventative dental care. So, dentists will need more dental assistants to operate their practice efficiently. With this in mind, pursuing a full-time position as a dental assistant is more rewarding than part-time or temporary.

Are you ready to become a dental assistant? Keep reading for a glimpse of your new rewarding career.

Typical Day for a Dental Assistant

There are responsibilities performed every day, but this doesn’t mean each day is the same. In fact, each day is rewarding because you learn something new and meet new people. You’re a reason the patient smiles because they’re grateful to you for helping to improve their oral healthcare.

Rise and Shine

The workday starts between 30 min to 45 minutes before the dental practice opens. You’ll check the patient schedule of the day, get their medical records out and prepare the exam rooms before the patient arrives. This includes:

  • Required dental instruments for the procedure are set up
  • Checking the room for cleanliness
  • Ensuring the dental instruments are sterilized

A team meeting to discuss the day’s agenda might take place. A plan is made for the office to run without a hitch or in case a problem arises. As a dental assistant, this is why it’s important to stay flexible and be a quick thinker.

After Open

Once the practice opens, you’ll interact with patients as they arrive. When it’s their turn, you’ll walk together to their exam room. You’ll help them put on their patient bib, ask them questions about their medical history, and update their records.

If the patient is new or hasn’t visited in a while, you’ll take x-rays. While taking their x-rays, you’re responsible for helping the patient feel comfortable and for the process to go well. Once the x-rays are completed, you’ll give them to the dentist for their review.

Throughout the examination or procedure, a dental hygenist or dentist might ask for your help. As the dental assistant, you’ll suction the patient’s mouth and move the patient’s tongue or cheeks for them to do the procedure.

Afterward, you’re one-on-one with the patient. You’ll make their next appointment, explain any follow-up details, and answer patient questions.


Taking a lunch break is important on the busiest days, which could be every day for you. During the day, you’re in contact with your team and will schedule lunches to support the practice’s efficiency for patient care.

Before going on lunch, check the exam rooms for readiness for the next appointment. This reduces any possible delays that would impact the patient and practice for the rest of the day.


Along with the morning part, you’ll aid in general cleaning, cavity fillings, and other procedures with the dentist. You’ll write a detailed summary in the patient’s record, including notes from the dentist or any concerns the patient expresses. It’s important to check in with the patient throughout the procedure to make sure everything is ok.

Winding Down

As the workday comes to a close, spend time helping the front desk staff in their duties. This involves filing away patient records and contacting patients to confirm future appointments. Also, restock supplies for the next day and process orders for needed equipment.


A dental assistant salary in Cincinnati, OH, ranges between $34,368 – $43,004, with an average of $38,754. Many factors contribute to the salary, one of which is your experience as a dental assistant. The dental assistant’s hourly pay starts as low as $12 with an average of $16.52 an hour.

Keep in mind the salary, and hourly rate varies depending on where you’re hired as well. So, working full-time is beneficial. You’ll receive health benefits, PTO, more pay, and gain more experience than if you chose part-time or temporary.

Time to Chat

Now you have a glimpse of a day in the life of a dental assistant. If you’re looking for a full-time position in Cincinnati, OH, we at Dental Career Connect will help. Chat with Alma for more details.