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Dental Assistants help dentists with patient care, office tasks, and lab duties. They work closely with the dentists to assist with preparing the patient for the exam, taking X-rays, hand instruments and materials to the dentists during procedures, suctioning patient's mouth, keeping patient comfortable. They can help teach oral health care and give instructions for care before and after oral surgery. They make casts of teeth and mouth from impressions for dentures and bridges. They are responsible for cleaning and sterilizing equipment and ordering supplies. Dental assistants perform receptionist duties, billing, and recording treatment information on the patient's chart. Dental assistants take a one year program and pass the registration exam. Dental assistants can advance their education and become Dental Hygienists. In Minnesota, the median yearly income for a dental assistant is $40,601.
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