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Dental Assistant

Company: Department of Veterans Affairs
Location: Tacoma
Posted on: June 12, 2021

Job Description:

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  • Duties




The Dental Assistant assists the dentist in many aspects of direct patient care and performs other clinical and clerical functions under general supervision.

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Shows courtesy, respect, and positive attitude for patients, co-workers and the public. Responds to patients, families, visitors and staff requests for assistance in a prompt, friendly and cooperative manner.


Sets up operatory for planned dental procedures and cleans dental unit for timely turnover. Obtains and records vital signs in the medical rec ord. Passes instruments safely, accurately and efficiently. Keeps operative field clear of debris and retracts oral tissues effectively and comfortably.

Prepares dental medicaments and impression materials per manufacturer instructions.

Accomplishes all procedures within standard infection control protocols.

Assists in routine general dental procedures such as oral maxillofacial surgery, endodontics, prosthodontics and surgical periodontics.


Images are characterized by diagnostic quality, accurately oriented and exposed.

Dental imaging safety techniques are utilized, and retakes are minimized.


Follows standard operating procedures for all RME used in the dental clinic

Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in setting up and cleaning up operatories

Instruments are properly prepared for sterilization by SPS Standards.

Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in exposing radiographic images.

Transportation of soiled linen to soiled linin utility closet on daily basis.


Assists patients in scheduling appointments.

Assists dentist in charting findings and treatment plans in the patient's records.

Assists in filling gaps in doctor's schedule due to late cancellations and failed appointments.


Maintains patient confidentiality per HIPAA with written and verbal information.

Follows VA Computer Security and Privacy Regulations


Modifies care as necessitated by patient's age and abilities

Provides accurate and understandable instructions to patients

Participates in patient identification and time our per VA-JACHO requirements

Monitor patient (BP, pulse, EKG, pulse oximeter), for signs of physical distress and condition during moderate sedation and

during recovery period following procedure.


Complies with Employee Education and TMS Requirements

Completes mandatory annual safety training and RME sessions.


Pours impressions and prepares study models

Makes final denture impression trays and prepares bite rims

Performs other dental laboratory functions as time and skill levels allow.


Removes sutures and removal of periodontal surgical dressing

Impressions for diagnostic casts and preliminary impressions for prosthetic fabrication

Removes temporary crown/bridge and clean took preparation of debris

Recement and fabricate temporary crowns

Coronal polishing of teeth

Place rubber dams and matrix bands

Provides post-operative and another appropriate patient education

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, Variable 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

0681 Dental Assistant

Similar jobs

  • Assistants, Dental
  • Dental Assistants

  • Requirements



Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to a background/security investigation
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process



Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.

Basic Requirements:

  • Citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified candidates in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g, this part.)
  • Experience and Education. Experience. Six months experience that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work, or provides familiarity with the work. OR, Education. Successful completion of a 1-year dental assistant program accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying.
  • Certification. Public Law 97-35 requires that persons who administer radiologic procedures meet the credentialing standards in 42 CFR Part 75. Essentially, they must have successfully completed an educational program that meets or exceeds the standards described in that regulation, and is accredited by an organization recognized by the Department of Education, and be certified as radiographers in their field. Provisions for Certification of Radiologic Competence (a) Successful completion of the Dental Radiation Health and Safety Examination administered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.; OR, (b) Successful completion of the Principles and Practice of Dental Radiology and Radiographic Safety courses and examinations developed by the Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Dentistry. OR, (c) Successful completion of a radiation health and safety program or examination approved by a state board of dentistry or the Department of Defense (DoD).
  • English Language Proficiency. Dental assistants must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with chapter 2, section D, paragraph 5a, this part.

Grandfathering Provision. All persons employed in VHA in this occupation on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series and grade held, including certification (for positions above the full performance level) that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements required in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to it, the following provisions apply: (1) Such employees may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance (journey) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the journey level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions. Such employees MUST meet the certification requirement before they can be promoted to those higher grade levels. (2) Employees who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended or be reappointed, on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard. (3) Employees initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain additional education and/or licensure/certification/registration that meet all the basic requirements of this qualification standard must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation. (4) If an employee who was retained under this provision leaves the occupation, the employee loses protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation.

Preferred Experience: N/A

Grade Determinations:

GS-3: Experience or Education. None beyond the basic requirements.

GS-4: Experience or Education. In addition to the basic requirements, 1 year of experience at the next lower level, OR 2 years of education above high school that included completion of a dental assistant program accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs):

  1. Basic knowledge of infection control and safe instrument handling.

  2. Basic knowledge of dental procedures and medical emergencies.

  3. Ability to perform basic radiographic image capture and processing/retrieval.

  4. Basic knowledge of maintenance, care and storage of dental equipment.

  5. Basic knowledge of patient privacy requirements.

GS-5: Experience or Education.

In addition to the requirements listed at GS-4 above, applicants must demonstrate at least 1 year of experience equivalent to at the next lower grade level that demonstrates the core competencies described at that level,

OR, successful completion of a full 4-year course of study that included or was supplemented by completion of a dental assistant program by CODA.

In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs):

  1. Knowledge of anatomy and ability to evaluate diagnostic quality.

  2. Broad knowledge of common medical emergencies and vital signs measurement.

  3. Basic knowledge of instruments, materials and standardized dental procedures.

  4. Ability to learn and utilize software programs used within VHA.

  5. Basic communication skills to provide patient instructions according to established protocol.

GS-6: Experience. At least 1 year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level that demonstrates the core competencies described at that level.

In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following technical KSAs:

  1. Ability to identify normal oral anatomy.

  2. Advanced knowledge of instruments, materials, and standardized dental procedures used in all phases of restorative, surgical, endodontic and periodontal care and procedures.

  3. Ability to monitor and perform basic interpretation of vital signs.

  4. Ability to independently provide procedure-specific patient education and appropriate referral of patient concerns to treating dentist.

  5. Ability to capture standard and special dental images of good diagnostic quality in traditional or digital formats.

  6. Ability to perform maintenance on dental equipment used for routine and specialty dentistry.

  7. Ability to enter and retrieve data utilizing electronic dental records.

  8. Ability to perform dental assistant-appropriate laboratory procedures.

References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/46 PART II APPENDIX G36

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS6. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS3 to GS6.

Physical Requirements: Light Lifting (under 15 lbs); Light Carrying (15-44 lbs); Use of fingers; Both hands required; Mental and emotional stability required. Constant noise, working closely with other. This position requires some exposure to blood borne pathogens, body fluids, and other potentially infectious materials.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.

Keywords: Department of Veterans Affairs, Tacoma , Dental Assistant, Other , Tacoma, Washington

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