A day in the life of a Dental Assistant

Working as a Dental Assistant (DA) is exciting, challenging and comes with a variety of responsibilities. While everyday changes, here is what a day on the job as a DA could look like…

Dental assistants play a vital role in the dental team by enhancing the efficiency of the dental practice and providing care to patients. Each day is a variety of technical, clinical, and administrative responsibilities depending on the practice you work in. 

Preparing the dental surgery

The day often starts with preparing the surgery rooms, sterilisation area and the dental equipment for the dentist. Dental instruments are sterilised and disinfected, then arranged on instrument trays according to the treatment the patient is receiving.

The DA is responsible for ensuring all the necessary equipment is set up for the dentist, therefore following infection control standards is essential for this task.

After the patient has been seen, the DA will efficiently clean the dental surgery and prepare it for the next patient. This aspect of the role requires effective time management and the ability to consistently follow protocol.  

Assisting the dental team

As the name suggest, dental assisting is mainly about supporting the dentist. You may however, also work closely with other members of the dental team such as Oral Health Therapists, Dental Technicians and Dental Hygienists.

Assisting fellow dental professionals requires a deeper understanding of clinical procedures. Being able to anticipate the dental team’s needs during treatment is highly desirable. It is important to be a team player.

To develop your confidence you can gain a Certificate III in Dental Assisting with ADAQ Training. This qualification will prepare you with everything you need to advance your career in dental assisting and feel more confident in the dental surgery. 

Providing patient care

Often the most rewarding aspect of dental assisting is providing support to the patients. DAs are often reassuring figures for patients. Part of your role will be monitoring the patient and watching for signs of discomfort or stress. 

DAs often help to educate patients in oral health care as well. Your ability to be personable, kind, and welcoming makes a big impact on the overall patient experience. Dental assisting is great for those with an interest in teaching and passion for helping others. 

If you complete a Certificate IV in Dental Assisting with a Radiography Specialisation you will also be able to perform x-rays on patients, with supervision. 

Administrative tasks

To help with the day-to-day flow of the dental practice, DAs will often assist with admin. You may help coordinate bookings, prepare bills, maintain patient records, and order supplies.

These roles are a great opportunity to demonstrate attention to detail and resourcefulness. Previous experience with admin is appreciated but can be taught quickly and is a skill you can take with you for your entire career.


While each day in the dental practice is different, you will always be a valued member of a team. 

If you want to learn more about how you can start or further your career in dental assisting, you can reach out to the ADAQ Training Team ([email protected]) with any questions.   
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