Associate Dentist Job Description [Updated for 2024]

associate dentist job description

In the healthcare industry, the focus on associate dentists has never been sharper.

As our understanding of oral health continues to evolve, the demand for skilled professionals capable of maintaining, enhancing, and safeguarding our oral hygiene is growing.

But let’s dig deeper: What’s truly expected from an associate dentist?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core responsibilities of this role,
  • A hiring manager drafting the perfect job description,
  • Or simply curious about the day-to-day tasks of an associate dentist,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we introduce a customizable associate dentist job description template, designed for easy posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Associate Dentist Duties and Responsibilities

Associate Dentists provide dental care to patients, including examinations, diagnoses, and treatments.

They work under the supervision of senior dentists, and they may also be responsible for administrative tasks in the dental office.

Associate Dentists have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Performing oral examinations and identifying dental health issues
  • Diagnosing and providing appropriate dental treatment to patients, including regular cleanings, root canals, surgical extractions, implants, and cosmetic dentistry
  • Educating patients and parents of patients on maintaining proper oral health
  • Completing comprehensive full mouth examinations and diagnose dental conditions
  • Performing dental procedures, such as fillings, tooth extractions, and root canals
  • Assessing treatment planning options and discussing with patients
  • Carrying out agreed clinical treatments such as restoring teeth affected by decay and treating gum disease
  • Maintaining patients’ dental records
  • Managing dental office administrative tasks, such as documenting procedures and scheduling appointments
  • Working closely with dental assistants and hygienists
  • Keeping abreast of new developments in dentistry through structured continuing professional developments


Associate Dentist Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are looking for a dedicated Associate Dentist to diagnose, treat and advise our patients on various dental issues.

You’ll provide high-quality dental care to our clients and help them maintain good oral health.

As an Associate Dentist, you should have experience in various dental procedures such as fillings, root canals, and extractions.

You should have a patient-friendly attitude and be willing to educate patients on preventive dental care.



  • Evaluate the dental health of patients through conducting oral examinations and x-rays
  • Diagnose and provide appropriate treatment for oral diseases, dental malocclusions and other dental disorders
  • Perform routine dental procedures and provide preventive dental care
  • Work with dental assistants and hygienists to provide patient care
  • Ensure patients are comfortable before, during, and after dental treatment
  • Provide instruction on dental care and oral hygiene
  • Adhere to safety and health regulations
  • Maintain patient dental records
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest treatments and procedures in dentistry



  • D.D.S. or D.M.D. from a school accredited by Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and American Dental Association
  • License to practice dentistry
  • Valid malpractice liability insurance
  • Minimum of 2 years of experience as a Dentist
  • Good computer skills and experience with healthcare databases and applications
  • Willingness to comply with all local, state and federal laws regarding dental and health care
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Keen attention to detail



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Professional development assistance
  • Paid time off
  • Dental insurance
  • Life insurance


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Associate Dentist
  • Work Environment: This role requires working in a clinical dental setting. Required to wear uniform and adhere to hygiene and health and safety standards.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Senior Dentist or Dental Practice Manager.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $100,000 minimum to $200,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Associate Dentist Do?

An Associate Dentist is a dental professional who usually works under the supervision or guidance of a senior dentist in a dental practice.

Their primary responsibilities include examining, diagnosing, and treating patients’ oral health issues.

They conduct routine check-ups to assess the health of patients’ teeth and gums, recommend and carry out necessary dental procedures such as fillings, extractions, root canals, and teeth cleanings.

An Associate Dentist also uses diagnostic tools such as X-rays and molds to help identify dental problems.

They are involved in educating patients about oral hygiene and preventive dental care.

This includes giving advice on diet, brushing, flossing, and the use of fluorides.

In addition to clinical duties, they also help in managing business aspects of the dental practice such as maintaining patient records, ordering dental supplies, and coordinating with dental lab technicians.

An Associate Dentist may also be required to stay updated with the latest developments in dentistry and participate in professional development activities like workshops and seminars.


Associate Dentist Qualifications and Skills

An effective Associate Dentist should have the skills and qualifications that align with your job requirement, such as:

  • Excellent manual dexterity to perform intricate dental procedures effectively and safely.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to interact with patients of all age groups, build rapport, ease anxieties and communicate oral health advice efficiently.
  • Good diagnostic skills to accurately identify and treat various oral health issues.
  • Detail-oriented approach to ensure thorough examinations and accurate reading of dental radiographs.
  • Excellent communication skills to explain dental procedures, treatment plans, and preventive care measures to patients and their families.
  • Problem-solving skills to strategize and implement effective treatment plans for various oral health issues.
  • Time management skills to handle multiple patients, administrative tasks, and emergency cases efficiently.
  • Patience and stamina, as dental procedures can be time-consuming and physically demanding.
  • Professional knowledge in dentistry, including the latest developments in dental technology, oral pathology, and pharmacology.


Associate Dentist Experience Requirements

Associate dentists typically require a considerable amount of experience, beginning with the completion of an accredited dental program.

This usually takes around four years and provides the opportunity to gain hands-on experience during clinical rotations, externships, and internships.

Upon graduation, dentists must also pass national and state licensure exams to legally practice.

This process includes a significant amount of practical dental experience, as the exams incorporate practical components alongside theoretical tests.

Entry-level Associate Dentists often have 1 to 2 years of experience post-graduation.

This experience could be accrued through residencies or fellowships, where they acquire real-world experience under the supervision of experienced dentists.

Those with more than 3 years of experience are likely to have developed their skills and knowledge by working in a variety of dental specializations like periodontics, orthodontics, or pediatric dentistry, enhancing their versatility and increasing their value to a dental practice.

Associate Dentists with more than 5 years of experience are generally considered highly proficient in their craft.

They are likely to have a wealth of hands-on experience and could be ready for a leadership position or to operate their own private practice.

They might also have additional certifications in specific areas of dentistry or a demonstrated record of continuing education, reflecting their commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field.


Associate Dentist Education and Training Requirements

An Associate Dentist usually needs a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field, followed by a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree from a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Dental school typically takes 4 years to complete and includes coursework in topics such as oral pathology, dental anesthesia, and periodontics.

After earning their DDS or DMD, Associate Dentists must pass the National Board Dental Examination to become licensed to practice dentistry.

This exam consists of two parts and tests candidates on their knowledge of general and clinical dentistry.

Additionally, some states may require dentists to pass a state-specific exam or complete a residency program, which provides practical experience in a clinical setting.

While not always necessary, some Associate Dentists may choose to specialize in a particular field of dentistry, which requires additional education and training.

Continuing education courses are also important for Associate Dentists to stay informed about the latest research and advancements in dentistry.

A successful Associate Dentist is not only well-educated but also has strong hand-eye coordination, good patient service skills, and an understanding of business principles, as they often help with the management of the dental practice.


Associate Dentist Salary Expectations

An Associate Dentist can expect to earn an average salary of $127,015 (USD) per year.

However, this can vary depending on factors such as the dentist’s experience, specialty, geographical location, and the dental practice they are associated with.


Associate Dentist Job Description FAQs

What skills does an Associate Dentist need?

Associate Dentists should have exceptional manual dexterity, strong interpersonal skills, and in-depth knowledge of various dental procedures.

They should be comfortable using dental tools, have good hand-eye coordination, and be able to discuss treatment plans clearly with patients.

Attention to detail and strong problem-solving skills are also important in this role.


Do Associate Dentists need a degree?

Yes, Associate Dentists must have a doctoral degree in dental medicine or dental surgery from an accredited dental program.

They also need to have passed written and clinical exams to obtain licensure in their state.

Post-graduate training or a residency may also be beneficial for specializing in a certain area of dentistry.


What should you look for in an Associate Dentist resume?

In an Associate Dentist’s resume, look for a completed doctoral degree in dental medicine or dental surgery and an active license to practice dentistry.

Additionally, check for any specializations, post-graduate training, or residencies.

Prior experience in a dental practice and knowledge of dental software are also advantageous.


What qualities make a good Associate Dentist?

A good Associate Dentist is patient-focused, demonstrating empathy and a desire to provide high-quality care.

They should be comfortable working with diverse populations, have excellent communication skills, and be able to handle stressful situations calmly.

They should also be detail-oriented to ensure accurate diagnoses and treatments, and stay updated on the latest advancements in dental technology and treatment methods.


Is it difficult to hire Associate Dentists?

The demand for dental services is high, and the pool of qualified candidates can be limited, making it a challenge to hire Associate Dentists.

It’s important to offer competitive salaries, a supportive work environment, and opportunities for professional development to attract the best candidates.

Additionally, providing a clear career progression path can also help to attract and retain Associate Dentists.



And there you have it.

Today, we’ve unraveled the real essence of being an associate dentist.

And guess what?

It’s not just about filling cavities.

It’s about sculpting the future of dental health, one patient at a time.

With our on-the-mark associate dentist job description template and concrete examples, you’re all ready to take the next step.

But why stop there?

Go a step further with our job description generator. It’s your tool for crafting laser-precise job listings or refining your resume to perfection.


Every patient is a step towards a healthier future.

Let’s shape that future. Together.

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