Expanded Duty Dental Assistant

Health Careers

About the Career

The expanded Duty Dental assistant (EDDA) is the dentist’s right arm, taking significant responsibility as a member of the dental health care team. Assistants greatly increase the efficiency of dentists in delivering oral health care. The duties of the dental assistant are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office. Expanded duty dental assistants perform a wide range of tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills. This may include:

  • Performing preliminary oral examinations
  • Assisting dentists in a number of general dentistry procedures and also in specialty dental practices such as: oral surgery, orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, Prosthodentics, and Implant Dentistry
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Making impressions of a patient’s teeth
  • Preparing filling materials
  • Performing office management tasks

Many dentists employ two or three expanded duty dental assistants and employment in this field is broad. Employment opportunities in South Carolina include private practice, for example, as chair-side dental assistants, treatment coordinators, OSHA compliance specialists, dental laboratory assistants, secretarial assistants, and office managers. There are also opportunities in public health settings, hospital dental practices, prison dental clinics, and insurance companies. Related careers include dental product sales representative, infection control consultant for private dental office, dental office business manager, and dental assisting education.

Academic Programs

Expanded Duty Dental Assisting

The Expanded Duty Dental Assisting program includes instruction in restorative dentistry and preventive oral care, including teaching patients oral self-care, applying sealants to the grooves of patients’ teeth, taking impressions of teeth, producing diagnostically acceptable dental radiographs (X-rays), polishing teeth and fillings, assisting the dentist, preparing the filling materials, scheduling patients, managing health information and monitoring nitrous oxide.

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Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate

The Pre-Dental Hygiene Certificate curriculum is Phase I of the two-phase Dental Hygiene program and consists of the 36 hours of general education courses required for the Dental Hygiene curriculum.

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Projected Job Growth


* Source: EMSI Career Coach

Average Annual Salary


* Source: EMSI Career Coach

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