Dental Assistant/Dental Nurse

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Job Description

Dental Assistants prepare patients for oral examinations and assist in providing treatment for the teeth, mouth and gums. Dental Assistants work closely with dentists and may also provide assistance to dental therapists and dental hygienists and may also carry out reception and administrative tasks. In general, tasks may include:

  • Preparation of patients and assisting the dentist in carrying out dental procedures including examinations and treatments
  • Ensuring correct instruments and materials are prepared for surgery procedures
  • Providing information for patients on dental procedures including passing on advice from dental practitioners
  • Cleaning and sterilising instruments used in procedures and carrying out infection control measures in the surgery
  • Process dental x-rays
  • Ordering dental supplies
  • Making appointments, maintaining  patient records and  processing accounts and reminders


Personal Qualities

Dental assistants need to be interested in working in healthcare and require manual dexterity and the ability to work under pressure to complete treatments within appropriate timeframes. Working in close proximity of patients who may be anxious dental assistants should have highly developed interpersonal and communication skills to explain procedures and ease patients' concerns. They need to be able to concentrate and follow instructions from the dentist and should have good planning, organisational and time management skills to complete clinical and administrative duties.

Entrance Requirements

Usually a VET qualification is required for these positions, however many oral health university graduates commence their careers in Dental Assistant roles.

Principal employment Sectors and Industry

Dental Assistants work in private dental practices or public dental clinics.