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Career as Dental Assistant

Career as a Dental Assistant

About Dental Assistant

A career as a Dental Assistant is one of the important roles in the healthcare industry, where teamwork is crucial to the success of medical procedures. As a Dental Assistant, ensuring that all the necessary steps are taken prior to, during and after a dental procedure to guarantee a smooth and successful operation. It is their responsibility to ensure that all the medical equipment are sterilised and are in proper working condition. As part of the role, they must communicate with the patient, confirming the date and time of appointments, assuring the patients of different procedures along with other important tasks. In India, various courses will train and qualify the candidates in the field of dentistry, producing skilled graduates capable of assisting dentists or dental hygienists in all aspects of carrying out a dental procedure. In India, the number of skilled and qualified professionals as Dental Assistants are lacking and with dental requirements increasing, so does the need for Dental Assistants for a smoother and more successful operation of dental clinics.

Eligibility to become Dental Assistant

In order to be a skilled and qualified Dental Hygienist, candidates must ensure that they have the necessary academic and professional qualifications to pursue a career as a Dental Assistant. The eligibility criteria for a career as a Dental Assistant, candidates must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Candidates must have a Diploma in Dental Assistant course or equivalent, from a recognised institution.

  • Candidates with a Certificate in Dental Assisting are also eligible for the role.

Types of Job Roles Dental Assistant

While working as a Dental Assistant, you may be asked to perform a range of clerical and clinical tasks under the supervision and direction of the Dentists. While aiding the dentists through a dental procedure is among the more important tasks of a Dental Assistant, you will also be responsible for helping the patients with the payments, sterilising and preparing the equipment, communicating with the patient regarding dental hygiene and their past health and dental records, among many other. Some of the job profiles of a Dental Assistant include:

Dental Assistant: Fresh out of a college, any dental clinic, hospital, etc would require graduates who are capable of following orders and assisting the specialists in their procedures. This is one of the first positions that would be available for any candidate who graduates in a Diploma or Certificate course in Dental Assistant. The duties would include sterilising surgical tools and equipment, communicating with the patient regarding dental practices, assisting dentists during a procedure, assisting patients with post-procedure steps and payments, etc.

Dental Hygienist: The job profile of a dental hygienist is to clean, polishing and scaling of teeth etc of a patient. The profile requires candidates to have good dexterity along with an adequate understanding of dental anatomy and oral hygiene. Dental Assistants will be able to become Dental Hygienists with proper experience and skills under the complete supervision of a dentist.

Surgical Technologist: Here, the profile would require candidates to assist the dentists in surgical dental procedures. Preparing the right tools and equipment to ensure a smooth and easy surgical procedure would come under one of the duties of a Surgical Technologist. They will also assist the dentists during the procedure by handing them the correct instruments and following the instructions laid down by the operating surgeon is among the crucial tasks that a Surgical Technologist must perform.

Medical Assistants: Like Dental Assistants, Medical Assistants will find themselves in a clinic, hospital or other healthcare facilities where they will be able to offer their administrative and clinical services in other medical fields.

Pharmacy Technicians: The job profile of a Pharmacy Technician would require a candidate to assist a pharmacist in dispensing medications as per the prescriptions to patients or other health professionals.

Employment Sector/Industry for Dental Assistant

The employment opportunities for a Dental Assistant are plenty, with both the Government and the Private sectors offering a range of job profiles and job opportunities. Among some of the top areas of employment for Dental Assistants include:

  • Government Hospitals

  • Private Hospitals

  • Government Dental Clinics

  • Private Dental Clinics

  • Solo Dental Practitioners

Planning to choose Dental Assistant as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Dental Assistant

The annual package of a Dental Hygienist will depend on different parameters. The career scope of pursuing Dental Assistantship in India is high due to the lack of such professionals. With this, the annual salary of a Dental Assistant will also be determined based on different parameters.

Job Profile

Initial Salary (Annual)

Median Salary (Annual)

Senior-Level Salary (Annual)

Dentist Assistant

₹80,000 - ₹1,00,000

₹1,10,000 - ₹1,40,000

₹2,50,000 - ₹4,00,000

Dentist Hygienist

₹96,000 - ₹1,10,000

₹1,90,000 - ₹2,50,000

₹3,45,000 - ₹5,50,000

Surgical Technologist

₹90,000 - ₹1,00,000

₹1,20,000 - ₹1,50,000

₹2,30,000 - ₹4,90,000

Medical Assistant

₹80,000 - ₹96,000

₹1,15,000 - ₹1,40,000

₹2,00,000 - ₹4,00,000

Pharmacy Technician

₹85,000 - ₹1,00,000

₹1,35,000 - ₹2,00,000

₹2,35,000 - ₹3,95,000


The numbers presented in the table above are purely for reference purposes. The actual salary depends on various factors such as academic qualifications, place of employment, job profile, economic conditions, type of organisation, etc. Therefore, the actual annual income may vary and could less or more.

Books & Study Material to Become Dental Assistant

While preparing to pursue a career in the field of Dental Assistantship, apart from the course books, it is essential to study additional books and journals to allow you a better understanding of the profile. Here are some of the preparation books for a career in Dental Assistant that you can refer to. 

  • Modern Dental Assistant by Torres and Ehrlich

  • Dental Instruments: Pocket Guide by Linda Bartolomucci Boyd

  • Foundations of Periodontics for the Dental Hygienist

  • Dental Radiography: Principles and Techniques

  • The Administrative Dental Assistant

  • Local Anaesthesia for Dental Professionals

  • Dental Terminology

These are just a few of the books that you must go through before pursuing a career as a Dental Assistant.

Pros of becoming a Dental Assistant

  • Job Tasks are easy but vital components of an overall dental procedure.

  • Dynamic in nature, in terms of the different procedures and techniques that need to be adopted for a single operation.

  • Trains candidates for administrative positions

Cons of becoming a Dental Assistant

  • Restriction in terms of dental procedures and following strict protocols and directions as set by supervising dentist.

  • Comparatively low pay-scale.

  • Small wiggle-room for mistakes and requires 100% attention at all times, i.e. pre-procedure, during the procedure and post-procedure, which can be stressful and tiring.

Paths for Being Dental Assistant

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