Dental assistants held about 318,800 jobs in 2014. Almost all dental assistants work in dentists' offices. Dental assistants work under the supervision of dentists and work closely with dental hygienists in their day-to-day activities.
Dental assistants wear safety glasses, surgical masks, protective clothing, and gloves to protect themselves and patients from infectious diseases. They also must follow safety procedures to minimize risks associated with x-ray machines.
Most dental assistants work full time. However, nearly 1 in 3 assistants worked part time in 2014. Some may work evenings or weekends.