What Are Dental Assistants Not Allowed To Do

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Are you considering a career in dentistry? Many start off as dental assistants, but what exactly does this role entail? In this article, we will delve into the world of dental assistants and uncover what they are, and perhaps more importantly, what they are not allowed to do.

What Are Dental Assistants Not Allowed To Do
What Are Dental Assistants Not Allowed To Do

The Journey to Becoming a Dental Assistant

Becoming a dental assistant often serves as a stepping stone toward a greater goal within the field of dentistry. Alina Brown, a former dental assistant, shares her personal experience. Initially, she hadn’t considered college, but after attending the Miami Valley Career Technology Center, her perspective shifted. Recognizing her passion for dentistry, Alina decided to pursue a career as a dentist. To start her journey, she obtained certification as a dental assistant in the state of Ohio.

The Training and Responsibilities

Throughout their training, dental assistants learn vital skills and knowledge. Junior year focuses on academic work, including topics such as tooth morphology and infection control. As the students progress into their senior year, they engage in more hands-on technical training. This involves practicing infection control and sterilization techniques, even taking impressions on each other.

During senior year, students also have the option to work in a job that aligns with their newly acquired skills. This valuable experience allows them to apply what they’ve learned in a real-world setting.

The Duties and Limitations of Dental Assistants

Dental assistants play a crucial role in supporting dentists and ensuring the smooth running of dental offices. Their responsibilities include infection control, instrument sterilization, record-keeping, and making patients feel comfortable. They serve as the backbone of the dental team, making dentists’ jobs easier.

However, it is important to understand the limitations of a dental assistant’s role. While they are essential in facilitating dental procedures, they are not permitted to perform certain tasks that require advanced expertise. These tasks are typically reserved for dental hygienists or dentists themselves.

Exploring Career Progression

A career as a dental assistant offers exciting opportunities for growth and advancement. One can start as an entry-level dental assistant and progress to become an expanded functions dental assistant (EFDA). EFDA allows dental assistants to perform reversible procedures under the supervision of a dentist. Further career progression may lead to a degree in dental hygiene, followed by specialization in areas such as coronal polishing.

For those with even greater ambitions, becoming a dentist is not out of reach. With dedication and additional education, dental assistants can climb the ladder to achieve their dream of practicing dentistry.

The Impact of Dental Assistants

Dental assistants not only help dentists but also play a vital role in educating patients about the importance of oral health. Many patients mistakenly believe that oral health only involves brushing and flossing. However, dental assistants enlighten them about the potential systemic effects of poor oral hygiene, such as heart disease. By providing patients with knowledge and guidance, dental assistants contribute to overall health and well-being.

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Overcoming Financial Obstacles

Education should never be hindered by financial constraints. Alina Brown emphasizes the importance of pursuing education and finding ways to overcome financial barriers. She discovered that the Air Force provided opportunities for dental assistants to become nationally certified. This certification allows dental assistants to secure employment anywhere, whether in the military or civilian sector. Additionally, various programs aid military members in obtaining education while deployed.

Alina’s journey includes plans to pursue her undergraduate education, apply to dental school, and embark on exciting experiences in Japan. Her story showcases the endless possibilities and personal growth that a dental assistant career can offer.


Dental assistants play a vital role in the dental field, supporting dentists and maintaining the smooth operation of dental offices. While they have limitations on certain procedures, they have ample opportunities for career progression and personal development. Their impact extends beyond the dental chair, as they educate patients about the systemic effects of oral health.

If you have a passion for dentistry and aspire to make a difference, becoming a dental assistant could be the first step towards an incredible journey. Start your path to becoming a dental assistant and explore the vast possibilities that await you in the field of dentistry.

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