Skip to Main Content

What Is a Lead Dental Assistant and How to Become One


What Does a Lead Dental Assistant Do?

A lead dental assistant supports dentists during patient procedures and supervises other dental assistants. As a lead dental assistant, you perform a wide range of tasks like providing patient care, taking X-rays, recordkeeping, and scheduling appointments. You may also develop staff schedules, train dental assistants, and monitor staff performance during procedures. To become a lead dental assistant, you typically need professional training and certification at a community college or vocational school. You must also have prior work experience in a dental office or clinical environment. Additional qualifications include strong leadership and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to work as part of a team.

How to Become a Lead Dental Assistant

Education and training are the primary qualifications you need to become a lead dental assistant. You must graduate from an accredited training program before taking on any job duties. These programs result in a certificate or diploma, which are both accepted by employers. Obtaining your associate degree, however, can open the door to higher-paying opportunities. Before you take on independent responsibilities, you shadow and assist a lead dentist, who provides thorough on-the-job training. Interpersonal, organizational, and listening skills are vital to this role. Keep in mind that some states require you to hold licensure or certification to practice, even as an assistant.