What can you do with a Certificate III in Dental Assisting?

4th March 2021

A Certificate III in Dental Assisting will give you the practical skills you need to start a career in oral health. This course will prepare you to work as a dental assistant where you’ll help a dentist or hygienist with a range of procedures. You might work in a dental clinic or similar setting and you may prepare patients for treatment and clean and sterilise dental tools. This qualification will show you how to assist during dental procedures using dental equipment and will also explore techniques for helping with dental radiography.

The Certificate III in Dental Assisting covers a range of topics to help you succeed in a dental career. You’ll learn about policies and procedures for infection control and understand how to assist with oral health care procedures. You’ll develop the skills needed to assist with dental radiography and learn a range of administrative skills relevant to a dental practice. This course also covers working with diverse people and communicating in the health services industry. This qualification requires a work placement so you can gain valuable real world experience.

Working in the dental industry can be a very rewarding career. If you enjoy helping others and providing high standards of care, this could be an excellent career path for you. Working as a dental assistant requires strong personal skills and the ability to communicate with a wide range of patients. You’ll need to be a good listener and be able to follow directions well. It’s important that you are reliable and can carry out various administrative tasks.

A Certificate III in Dental Assisting is an ideal course of study for the following careers:

Dental Assistant
A Dental Assistant provides help to dentists and oral health professionals in a dental practice or clinic. They might prepare patients for treatment and assist during dental procedures by using tools such as water sprays or suction devices. They may also perform office administration tasks or help during patient x-rays. Dental Assistants will often have to clean and sterilise dental equipment and ensure infection control measures are followed.

Dental Nurse
Dental Nurses work alongside dentists and other dental hygienists to provide a range of oral health services. They might check patients in to a dental practice and get them ready for treatment. Dental Nurses might reassure nervous patients or provide advice about various aspects of dental care. They assist during treatments and procedures as well as during dental radiography sessions. Dental Nurses may perform a range of other tasks such as patient administration or sterilising tools and equipment.

Dental Hygienist
Dental Hygienists play an important role in a dental clinic or practice. As well as assisting dentists with oral health procedures, they may also perform some minor dental treatments such as cleaning or whitening procedures. Dental Hygienists may also get patients ready for radiography or they might operate equipment for dentists during treatments. They also provide advice to patients on post-treatment care or general oral health maintenance.

Higher education pathways

A Certificate III in Dental Assisting is a great qualification to get you started in a career in oral health. You might choose to extend your skills with a Certificate IV in Dental Assisting (Oral Health Promotion Specialisation) or a Certificate IV in Dental Assisting (Radiography Specialisation). You could also consider combining qualifications with a Dual Certificate III in Dental Assisting and Certificate IV in Dental Assisting with Oral Health Specialisation or a Dual Certificate III in Dental Assisting and Certificate IV in Dental Assisting with Radiography Specialisation.

If you decide to further your dental career you could enrol in a university degree such as a Bachelor of Dental Hygiene or a Bachelor of Dental Science. This will further develop your knowledge and skills in oral health and increase your career opportunities. A university degree will also allow you to perform more complex dental procedures and treatments. You may be able to use a Certificate IV in Dental Assisting as a pathway to these courses.

Getting started

If you’re thinking about enrolling in a Certificate III in Dental Assisting, start by gathering course information from a range of course providers. You’ll need to find out about the duration of the course, costs, any prerequisites and the content the course will cover. There is often some variation between course providers, so getting all the details will make it easier to compare and find the right course for you.

Written by Jodie Magrath
Jodie Magrath
Jodie is a freelance writer with a background in communication and journalism. She’s spent almost 20 years working in roles such as Special Projects Writer and Publications Officer.

You may also like

How to start a career in Aged Care

If you enjoy working with elderly people and helping them get the support they need, a career in Aged Care could be for you.

How to start a career in Social Housing

A career in Social Housing can be extremely rewarding and is ideal for people who enjoy supporting others.

What can you do with a Diploma of Business?

This qualification can help you improve your knowledge of business operations and take your career to the next level.